Medical Malpractice

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We trust our medical professionals with the most precious thing we have: our health and the well-being of our families. Violating that trust is inexcusable – but it happens every day in hospitals and doctors’ offices across the nation. A medical professional makes a devastating decision and a patient’s life (and that of loved ones) can change in an instant.

While most encounters with medical professionals are positive, the AMA reports that medical errors in the U.S. cause nearly 100,000 deaths annually. Moreover, researchers show that repeat offenders are not uncommon. If the victims of malpractice don’t come forward, these doctors, nurses, and other caretakers not only face no consequences, but are likely to continue harming other patients in the future. The bottom line for family members is that even a single death or life-changing medical error is too many and may want to seek the aid of a lawyer for medical malpractice in New Jersey.

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Not all tragic or disappointing medical outcomes are considered malpractice. In New Jersey, it occurs when a doctor or other medical professional fails to adhere to the appropriate standards of medical care. Medicine is not an exact science; bad things can and do happen. Often, relevant medical records in unfortunate outcomes show that the doctor did in-fact adhere to appropriate standards. However, when failure to comply with standards triggers a bad outcome, it is time to consider consulting with a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney. Many firms work on a contingency basis, which means the firm takes a percentage of what it recovers for its client. 

Common Forms of Medical Malpractice in NJ

In a medical malpractice claim, a plaintiff is required to prove the following:

  • You must show that a doctor, hospital, or nurse made a mistake because of negligence in the care of a patient;
  • You must prove that damage occurred as a result of that negligence; and
  • You must make a direct connection between the negligence and the damage.

The reasons to file a medical malpractice claim cover a huge swath of territory. Among the injuries suffered by patients include:

  • Birth related injuries, including failing to interpret obstetric ultrasound studies properly, applying too much force during delivery, wrongful birth, and failure to perform C-section;
  • Brain injuries and cerebral palsy;
  • Misdiagnosing a patient’s condition or diagnosing the wrong condition with resulting damage;
  • Prescribing incorrect or contraindicated medicine or at dangerously high dosages;
  • Laboratory testing mistakes;
  • Preoperative and postoperative clearance failures
  • Shoulder Dystocia/Erb’s Palsy
  • Hyperbilirubinemia/Kernicterus (Jaundice)
  • Opioid Prescription Malpractice
  • Wrong-site surgery, where a surgeon works on the wrong part of the body and wrong-patient surgery, where a procedure is performed on the wrong patient. There are also foreign object mistakes, in which a surgeon leaves an object inside a patient during surgery, such as a towel or a sponge;
  • Failure to diagnose cancer;
  • Surgical errors, including anesthesia accidents;
  • Failing to monitor and follow up with patients about test results or ongoing treatment; and
  • Failing to diagnose or treat conditions in a timely manner.

In medical malpractice claims, attorneys help plaintiffs determine how to fairly and fully compensate for losses, which fall into two categories:

  • Economic damage includes direct financial losses due to hospital bills and lost wages; and
  • Non-economic damage includes losses without an objective dollar amount. They are based on the plaintiff’s experience and may include pain and suffering or the loss of enjoyment of life.

It is important also to know that punitive damages—designed to punish a defendant—are rare in New Jersey. The law only allows for punitive damages in egregious circumstances. By searching online for a lawyer for medical malpractice near me will help the patient get the proper assistance. 

How to file a negligence claim in New Jersey

A doctor/patient relationship is based on trust. However, sometimes a patient has a nagging feeling that something went wrong with the medical care that was administered. The patient asks the physician about it, but is neither satisfied nor convinced by the doctor’s answers. Having a  medication malpractice lawyer look into the situation will either lay fears to rest (if no negligence happened), or give a plaintiff the opportunity to take action. Initial consultations often come at no cost to the patient.

Understanding what really went wrong is the key to helping injured patients move forward with their lives after a poor medical outcome. But it is vital to note that patient rights are limited. Because New Jersey has a statute of limitations, a plaintiff can’t wait indefinitely to move a case forward. The statute allows only two years to file a lawsuit. Believe it or not, it isn’t a lot of time. The clock starts the moment a patient knew, or should have known, of the alleged malpractice—and that can begin while the injured party is still in the hospital!

A medication malpractice lawyer can help get the ball rolling by reviewing medical records for signs that something unusual or out of the ordinary occurred. The law firm then brings in other professionals who possess the background to more fully understand what occurred during care. Drawing on decades of experience, the legal team sets out to prove that the damage a patient suffered resulted from the substandard care at the hands of the plaintiff. The team then determines whether negligence played a part in the situation and, if so, how to pursue compensation.

If a plaintiff misses the claim deadline of two years, the case cannot be pursued. The same is true once a claim is settled. It cannot be reopened because a plaintiff realizes the compensation was insufficient.  

Among the highest hurdles in any malpractice cases is facing the large legal departments retained by hospitals’ and health care systems. Looking for a lawyer for medical malpractice near me will help plaintiffs pursue justice and fair compensation. By searching online for a medical malpractice attorney near me will help the patient get the proper assistance.