Hospitals often try to maximize profits, which can be very dangerous for patients. If you or a loved one has been the victim of patient dumping, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys are vigorously dedicated to representing victims of malpractice. Dealing with a medical injury can be daunting but we are here to help.
Patient dumping generally refers to situations in which hospitals deny medical screening and stabilization services. Patient dumping take can happen in a variety of ways, including, but not limited, to:
- When a hospital turns away someone in need of emergency care;
- When a hospital transfers a patient when it is not necessary to do so;
- When a hospital discharges a patient before they are stable;
- When a patient is transferred without receiving adequate medical care first;
- When a hospital discharges a patient too early;
- When a hospital unreasonably delays emergency medical treatment.
The sad reality is that patient dumping often takes place when hospitals realize that a patient cannot afford treatment; is uninsured or underinsured; or has a medical condition that the hospital is not equipped to treat. In addition, patients are sometimes turned away because they are under-documented or undocumented immigrants
The problem of patient dumping was serious enough that the federal government had to address it. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requires hospitals to perform a medical screening on anyone coming into the hospital who asks for emergency medical treatment to determine if an emergency condition exists. If such a condition exists then the hospital must either stabilize the condition or transfer the patient to a hospital that can. In short, it is illegal for a hospital to turn away someone who is seeking emergency help.
EMTALA allows victims of patient dumping who suffered harm due to the practice to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical facility in federal court. In other words, EMTALA gives individuals a private cause of action under personal injury law. Just because a poor outcome occurred does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice took place. Medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional acts in a negligent manner. This means that the medical professional causes injury by not following an accepted standard of care. The accepted standard of care will vary in every case depending on a number of factors, such as the patient’s age and medical history. It is important to note that malpractice can be the result of an act or an omission.
If you or your loved one suffered harm due to patient dumping, you need to reach out to a seasoned Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we will examine the facts of your case and develop a legal strategy accordingly. You can rest assured that we are committed to providing detail-oriented and personalized representation every step of the way. For a free consultation, please call us at 315-479-9000 or contacting us online.
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