Medical Malpractice Attorneys In New Jersey
Medical malpractice—or medical negligence—occurs when a physician or other health care professional, hospital or other health care facility does not care for a patient in agreement with medical profession accepted standards and the patient becomes injured or ill while under care, or if the patient’s condition or illness worsens due to alleged inappropriate care or negligence. Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to inform the patient of the risks of a specific procedure
- Failure to monitor
- Improper treatment
- Injury during birth, to mother or child
- Prescription errors
- Surgical errors
Another element that is important in pursuing a medical malpractice case involves defining the fundamentals upon which the success of a medical malpractice case is focused, which is known as the “medical standard of care.” When a health provider breaches these basics that is known as medical negligence.
The Standard of Proof for Medical Malpractice
The injured party must show that the care provided was not appropriate, meaning that decisions, treatment, and diagnosis by the physician fell below the accepted medical standard of care; that there may have been a failure to treat; and that the healthcare provider did not work in the way that a physician in that medical specialty is expected to act. This is considered a “breach” of the standard of care that comprises “medical negligence,” according to the law if these behaviors caused the patient to be injured or become ill or the patient’s condition or injury worsened.
The plaintiff must show that a physician-patient relationship existed and that he or she was under the care of a physician. The plaintiff must have hired a doctor and that doctor agreed to be hired by the plaintiff. Overheard medical advice or advice received outside of a doctor-patient relationship is not cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The case must also show a contributing connection occurred between the care provider’s medical negligence and the alleged patient harm that led to measurable damages. In other words, the injury has to be shown to have led to specific damages and the patient must show that he or she suffered harm. If it is clear that the doctor performed below the expected standards in his or her field, the patient may not bring a lawsuit for malpractice against the provider if the patient did not suffer harm.
Simply being unhappy with treatment or the results of medical care does constitute medical malpractice. The doctor must be proven negligent in association with the plaintiff’s diagnosis or treatment and must be shown to have caused harm in a way that a competent doctor—under the same circumstances—would not have acted. A physician’s care does not have to be the best available care; however, the physician must be “reasonably skillful and careful.”
The Role of the Medical Expert in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
The medical expert will be brought into the lawsuit to provide key evidence through detailed testimony involving the plaintiff’s condition, the appropriate course of treatment for that patient, the appropriate diagnosis methodology, and what the doctor did or did not do during all of the phases of the patient’s care.
Typically, the plaintiff must present a medical expert during the course of the lawsuit to testify about what the appropriate medical standard of care is for that particular case to the injury involved and to show how the physician or healthcare provider who is being sued diverged from that standard.
An expert witness may also be brought in to explain how, in the case presented, that it is “more likely than not” that the doctor’s alleged incompetence was the direct cause of the injury.
Parker Waichman has strong ties to the New Jersey community and is well-versed in all aspect of Medical Malpractice Law, including when to bring in expert witnesses to strengthen a case.
When A Medical Expert Is Not Necessary
In some medical malpractice lawsuits, a specific doctrine is used that eliminates the need for a medical expert’s testimony. The doctrine, known as res ipsa loquitur—or the thing speaks for itself—is used in cases in which there is no way that the injuries could have occurred without the negligence of the doctor or healthcare provider. Three such examples are when a plaintiff undergoes surgery expecting his or her appendix to be removed and the surgeon removes the gallbladder or when the plaintiff undergoes surgery and later suffers from a serious infection caused by a surgical sponge being left in his or her body, or a patient undergoes surgery for a mastectomy of the left breast and the right breast is removed.
In these types of medical malpractice cases, instead of an expert witness, the plaintiff’s attorneys will be able to show the court that the accident that caused the harm could not have occurred in the absence of negligence, that the equipment or conduct that led to the plaintiff’s harm was under the physician’s or physician’s team’s control at all times during the procedure, and that the plaintiff did not contribute in any way to the medical malpractice injury with his or her behavior.
If You Suspect Medical Malpractice has Occurred
New Jersey residents who suspect medical malpractice should seek immediate medical attention. Plaintiffs should also document the claim and consult with knowledgeable personal injury attorneys who are able to discuss matters such as statute of limitations and any special requirements. Parker Waichman LLP has decades of experience representing personal injury victims in New Jersey and the firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey. Patients may bring lawsuits over physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, lost work, and lost earning capacity.
In New Jersey, under Medical Malpractice Law, individuals with valid claims of medical injury may pursue compensation from doctors, hospitals, and other medical personnel or facilities that are allegedly responsible for the patient’s injury. Parker Waichman is fully versed in personal injury law in New Jersey, including the provisions for what damages may be claimed in each case, including medical expenses, pain, suffering, and lost income.
Filing a Medical Malpractice
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey, contact the personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman today. For more information call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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