When you are ill or have health issues, you would like to think that you can trust your doctor or other health care provider to make sure you get the care you need. However, many individuals sustain serious injuries or their conditions worsen due to the negligent or careless actions of their physicians and other medical professionals. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or illness as a result of medical malpractice or medical negligence, it is necessary that you consult with an experienced New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer as soon as possible. Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case.
Parker Waichman LLP Represents Victims of Medical Malpractice Throughout the State of New Jersey
Medical malpractice or medical negligence is a complex area of the law so if you’ve been injured or are suffering from an illness due to the careless actions of a health care provider, it is important that you consult with an experienced New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer who can assist you with recovering the damages to which you are entitled. Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) and find out what we can do for you.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN NEW JERSEY
Medical malpractice, also known as medical negligence, happens when a doctor or another medical professional, health care facility, or hospital fails to care for a patient according to accepted standards within the medical profession and the patient suffers an injury or illness as a result, or the patient’s sickness or condition worsens due to the negligence or inappropriate care.
Some typical examples of medical malpractice include:
- Improper Treatment. Sometimes patients do not obtain the care required to treat a particular condition or illness, and they suffer damages as a result.
- Failure to Diagnose. Many patients sustain serious injuries or even die as a result of a doctor’s or health care provider’s failure to diagnose an illness, disease or medical condition.
- Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis. This type of medical malpractice causes a large percentage of medical injuries and illnesses. If a doctor fails to diagnose, or misdiagnoses, a serious condition or disease, a patient can miss opportunities for treatment that might have prevented severe injury or even death.
- Failure to Warn about the Risks Associated with a Certain Procedure. If a patient is misinformed or does not receive appropriate warning about the risks associated with a procedure, opts to have the procedure performed, and is injured by one of the hazards or side effects that the procedure can cause.
- Birth Injuries. Birth injuries can happen to the mother or the child during childbirth. These injuries can include bone fractures, Erb’s Palsy, brain injuries, and even death of the baby, and failures to diagnose medical conditions or diseases, failure to anticipate birth complications, and death on behalf of the mother.
- Anesthesia Errors. Anesthesia errors can be extremely severe. Just small errors by an anesthesiologist can lead to brain damage, permanent injury, and even death. Some common errors that occur include failing to monitor a patient while they are anesthetized, giving them to much anesthesia, using defective equipment, or improperly intubating a patient.
- Failure to Monitor. In some instances, hospital staff may fail to monitor a patient’s health properly which lead to serious and even fatal injuries. For example, if the medical staff fails to monitor for infections following surgery, a patient’s condition can worsen or result in death.
- Surgical Errors. Many malpractice claims stem from mistakes that occur in the operating room. Surgeons may be negligent during the operation by leaving surgical instruments inside the patient’s body, amputating the wrong body part, operating on the wrong body part or puncturing internal organs. The staff assisting the surgeon or handling the post-operation care might also be negligent which could lead to infections and other serious complications.
- Prescription or Medication Errors. Medication and prescription errors can happen in a number of different ways, from the doctor prescribing the drug to the medical professional administering it. For instance, perhaps a patient is prescribed the wrong drug or the incorrect dosage, or a patient is harmed by the drug because their doctor misdiagnosed a certain condition. Sometimes, patients even receive the wrong drug during their stay at the hospital. Regardless, severe injuries and illnesses can result from prescription and medication errors.
- Hospital Negligence. Usually, medical techs, nurses, and support staff are considered hospital employees. If the hospital employee is performing their job-related duties and they injure or otherwise harm a patient, the hospital or medical center could be held liable for the damages.
Proving Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Case
An important element of a medical malpractice case, or for establishing medical negligence, involves determining the appropriate medical standard of care.
In order to prove negligence, a victim of medical negligence must be able to establish that the care received was:
- Inappropriate, or, in other words, that the treatment, diagnosis, and other decisions made by your doctor “fell below” the commonly accepted medical standard of care; or
- That your doctor did not provide the care or perform the duties that a doctor in the particular medical specialty ordinarily would; or
- That your doctor failed to treat you.
When a doctor or other medical professional fails to adhere to the accepted standard of care, or breaches it and causes injury or illness, they can be found to be medically negligent.
In addition to establishing the duty of care owed to you as a patient, you must also show that you were actually under the care of a doctor or healthcare provider and that there was a doctor-patient relationship. If you just received medical advice from a friend or acquaintance who is a doctor, but it was outside of a doctor-patient relationship, you will not be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You will be required to substantiate that your doctor’s careless or negligent actions caused or contributed to your injuries or illness and that you have measurable damages. What this means is that you must be able to show that you’ve suffered actual harm. If you were not injured, then you will not have a viable lawsuit, even if the doctor or care provider failed to adhere to the accepted medical standard of care.
It is important to note that if you are simply unhappy with the results of your medical care or treatment, this does not necessarily mean that your doctor was medically negligent. Again, to prove that your doctor engaged in medical malpractice, it must be established that you were harmed by your doctor’s unreasonable and negligent treatment or diagnosis and that a reasonably competent doctor under similar circumstances would have acted differently.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Medical Malpractice in New Jersey
Q: What is medical malpractice or medical negligence?
A: Physicians, nurses, other healthcare providers, hospitals, and other medical facilities have a duty to provide reasonable care to patients in accordance with accepted standards in the medical field. If they fail to adhere to these standards of care and a patient sustains serious injuries as a result of their actions, they can be liable for those injuries and other damages.
Q: If I’ve been injured as a result of medical malpractice, who can I sue for damages?
A: Determining who is liable in a medical malpractice case can be complex. Any health care provider, hospital, or another medical facility that owed you a duty of care can be liable for damages in a medical malpractice claim including:
- Medical Specialists
- Physical Therapists
- Lab Technicians
- Psychologists and Psychiatrists
Q: Do I need a medical negligence lawyer to file a medical malpractice case?
A: When it comes to medical malpractice cases, an injured patient or grieving family member of a deceased patient is basically powerless against a physician or hospital and their insurance defense lawyers. Medical malpractice cases can also be extremely complex as a number of defendants may be involved, proving liability can be difficult, and expert witnesses may be necessary. You can bring a claim for damages, but health care providers and facilities are usually reluctant to settle a case out of court, even if you do have a lawyer. Whether your case does settle, or you end of going to trial, it is important to have a skilled and experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers by your side in these complex cases so that you can obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
Q: Are New Jersey laws any different than other state laws when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits?
A: New Jersey medical malpractice laws have similarities and differences from laws of other states. Some of the key differences in New Jersey have to do with the statute of limitations, or deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, joint and several rules regarding liability and expert witnesses.
Q: In order to recover damages in a medical malpractice case, what do I need to prove?
A: Medical malpractice cases usually revolve around proving that a health care provider or facility was negligent. To prevail on your claim, you must be able to establish that:
- The health care provider or facility owed you a duty of care;
- The health care provider or facility breached or failed to adhere to this duty of care;
- You sustained injuries or suffered an illness due to the breach; and,
- The damages you sustained were caused by the breach of duty and your injuries or illness.
Once you establish that the health care provider or facility was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The forms of evidence that you might need to establish your case will usually depend on the particular facts and circumstances and the extent of your injuries and other damages.
Q: What is the medical standard of care in a medical malpractice case?
A: The typical standard of care that a physician or other healthcare provider must exercise when treating a patient is that they must use the skill or the customary practices of the average doctor or health care provider who practices the provider’s particular specialty. When the care provider’s conduct fails to adhere to this standard of care, they can be considered to have committed medical malpractice or negligence.
Q: How does a court usually determine what the appropriate standard of care should have been?
A: Typically, the appropriate standard of care is established through expert witness testimony. Experts are generally other medical professionals who are similarly situated or practice the same specialty, and they will testify as to what would be the reasonable standard of care.
Q: How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey?
A: Every state has a different set of malpractice laws that govern the deadlines for filing particular lawsuits. These laws are also known as statutes of limitations. The statute of limitations in New Jersey for medical malpractice cases and other personal injury cases is two years. In other words, a claimant has two years from the date that the harm was inflicted to file a lawsuit. But in some instances, it can also mean two years from the date you discovered or were expected to discover your injury. If you fail to file your case by the deadline prescribed by law, you risk losing your right to compensation. Two years may seem like a long time, but due to the complexity of medical malpractice cases, the sooner you file, the better. Thus, if you’ve sustained injuries as a result of the negligent actions of a health care provider or facility, it is essential to consult with a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer as soon as you are able in order to protect and preserve your legal rights to compensation. Call the lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
Q: When can a hospital or other care facility be named as a defendant in a medical malpractice case?
A: While doctors are oftentimes hired as contractors at hospitals and care facilities, hospital staff such as nurses and medical and lab technicians are usually considered hospital employees. Under what is called the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is typically responsible for employees who engage in negligent actions while performing job-related duties. Hospitals and other care facilities also have a duty to make sure that reasonable safeguards and policies and procedures are in place so as to prevent harm to patients.
Q: What are some of the most common kinds of medical malpractice claims?
A: Some of the most common types of medical malpractice claims in New Jersey involve:
- Surgical errors
- Medication and prescription errors
- Birth injuries
- Obstetrician/gynecologist errors
- Nursing home injuries
- Defective drugs
- Lasik surgery errors
Q: How much might my medical malpractice case be worth?
A: What your case might be worth will all depend on the facts and circumstances of your case, including the types and extent of your injuries, and whether you will require medical treatment for your injuries on an ongoing basis. There is no way to predict the exact amount that your case is worth, but by having an experienced and qualified New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer on your side, you have a greater chance of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve.
Q: What might I be able to expect will happen during my medical malpractice lawsuit?
A: Every medical malpractice case is different, so what happens will depend on the unique set of facts and circumstances of your malpractice case. No two cases are the same. If you have been hurt as a result of medical negligence, it is essential that you discuss your claim with a knowledgeable New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer who can explain your case with you and familiarize you of your legal options based on the particular facts of your case.
Q: What kinds of damages might I be entitled to in a medical malpractice case in New Jersey?
A: When you are injured due to the negligent actions of your doctor, care provider, or care facility, you are entitled to seek compensation from these at-fault parties. The damages that you can recover can include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages usually include medical expenses and lost wages while non-economic damages are those where you can receive compensation for loss enjoyment of life and pain and suffering. In New Jersey, you could be permitted to ask for and receive “punitive damages.” Punitive Damages are designed to punish and deter outrageous conduct. It is important to note, however, that punitive damages in New Jersey are limited to $350,000 or five times your compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
Q: What if my spouse or another family member dies as a result of medical malpractice? Will I be able to file a claim for damages on the account of a loved one?
A: Possibly. If you’ve lost a family member or another loved one due to medical malpractice, you might be permitted, by law, to file a “wrongful death action” or lawsuit on their behalf. Whether you are able to file a wrongful death claim, will typically depend on your relationship with the decedent. In most cases, if you are the decedent’s parent, child, spouse, or sibling, you will be able to file suit. The damages that you might be entitled to in a wrongful death suit can include loss of benefits, compensation for the loss of your loved one’s expected earnings, loss of services and support, medical and funeral expenses, loss of companionship and love, and the lost prospect of receiving an inheritance.
Q: If I have been injured as a result of medical negligence, how much will it cost me to hire an experienced New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
A: In New Jersey, most personal injury attorneys take medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that you usually do not have to pay anything to your lawyer up front, and you will not be required to pay for costs and expenses for the duration of the case. But, if your case is successful either through settlement or a winning verdict at trial, your lawyer will be paid by a percentage of your recovery. If your case is not successful and you do not recover any damages, you will not have to reimburse your malpractice lawyer. To be clear, unless and until you get paid, your lawyer will not receive any compensation.
Parker Waichman LLP?
Our lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP have extensive experience representing clients who have sustained injuries at the hands of doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, and hospitals. We have earned a reputation for success having recovered more than one billion dollars in settlements and verdicts over the years. Our firm has also received a variety of accolades and honors because of our ability to achieve favorable and significant results for our clients. These recognitions include:
- Listed in the extensive peer review’s Best Lawyers publication.
- Lawdragon’s highest ranking of “5 Dragons” based on peer review.
- Recognition as “Preeminent Lawyers” by the AV Peer Review Rating.
- A near perfect AVVO rating of 9.8 out of 10.
When you decide that Parker Waichman LLP is the right firm for your medical malpractice case, you can be certain that your malpractice lawyer will make every effort to obtain the compensation you need and deserve to help you recover from your injury or illness.
Our Promise to You
At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers will make every effort to ensure our that our injured clients recover to the fullest amount possible. If the event that you or your loved one has sustained an injury or illness as a result of medical malpractice, you might be entitled to damages.
TALK WITH ONE OF OUR EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYERS TODAY
At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers have many years of experience assisting injured patients and their loved ones with medical malpractice cases. The injuries or illnesses that a patient can suffer in a medical negligence can range from minor to severe, can often require ongoing and expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and in some instances, the injuries or illnesses can even be fatal.
Free Medical Malpractice
Be sure to contact one of the experienced New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP today by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out our contact form online to schedule your free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation.
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