When you are ill or have health issues, you would like to think that you can trust your doctor or other medical provider to give you the care you need. However, many individuals sustain serious injuries or worsening of their health conditions 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’s important to consult an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a free case evaluation.
Medical Malpractice in New Jersey
Medical malpractice, also known as medical negligence, happens when a doctor or other 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 or experiences worsening of their condition due to this inappropriate care. When a health-care provider fails to give you their best, a medical malpractice attorney in NJ can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Some typical examples of medical malpractice include:
- Improper Treatment: Sometimes, patients do not receive the care required to treat a particular condition or illness, and they suffer injuries as a result.
- Failure to Diagnose: Many patients sustain serious injuries or even die as a result of a health-care provider’s failure to diagnose a medical condition.
- Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: This type of medical malpractice causes a large percentage of malpractice-related 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 Procedure: If a patient is misinformed or does not receive appropriate warning about the risks associated with a procedure and opts to have the procedure performed, they may suffer an injury that they didn’t know was a possibility.
- 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, as well as serious health complications or death of the mother.
- Anesthesia Errors: Even small errors by an anesthesiologist can lead to brain damage, permanent injury or death. Some common errors include failing to monitor a patient while they are anesthetized, giving them too 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 can 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 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 post-operative 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. For instance, perhaps a patient is prescribed the wrong drug or the wrong dosage or a patient is harmed by a drug because their doctor misdiagnosed a certain condition. Sometimes, patients even receive the wrong drug during their stay at the hospital. 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 a 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 damages.
Proving Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Case
An important element of establishing medical negligence in a malpractice case is determining the appropriate standard of care. In order to prove negligence, a victim of medical negligence must be able to establish that the care received did not meet the standard that a qualified medical professional would adhere to. When a doctor or other medical professional fails to apply the accepted standard of care, they can be found medically negligent.
You must also show that you were actually under the care of the medical provider and that there was a doctor-patient relationship. For instance, if you received medical advice from a friend who’s a doctor, but it was outside of a doctor-patient relationship, you will not be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In addition, you must show that the medical provider’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’s 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. It must be established that you were harmed by their unreasonable and negligent treatment or diagnosis and that a reasonably competent doctor under similar circumstances would have acted differently. Consulting with the best medical malpractice attorney in NJ can help you to determine whether you have grounds for a malpractice case. When you contact Parker Waichman, we’d be glad to evaluate your case and advise you on whether you should pursue a claim.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice in New Jersey
What Is Medical Malpractice or Medical Negligence?
Medical malpractice happens when a health-care provider or medical facility does not provide care to a patient that follows accep
It’s not legally required that you have a lawyer to file a medical malpractice case, but it’s a bad idea to attempt to go it alone. An injured patient or their grieving family can be powerless against a physician or hospital and their insurance company’s defense lawyers. Medical malpractice cases can also be extremely complex. A number of defendants may be involved, proving liability can be difficult, and expert witnesses may be necessary. Medical providers are also typically reluctant to settle a case out of court, meaning that you’re likely to need to know how to handle all of the intricacies and requirements that come with litigation, including trial. For these reasons, it’s a much better idea to find the best malpractice attorney in NJ for your claim and let them handle it for you. A skilled New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer can manage every detail of your case, take the burden off of you, give you peace of mind, and maximum recovery
Are New Jersey Laws Any Different Than Other State Laws When it Comes to Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
Some of the key differences in New Jersey medical malpractice laws compared to other states have to do with joint and several liability, expert witnesses, and statutes of limitations, which are rules regarding the deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey.
In Order to Recover Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case, What Do I Need to Prove?
Medical malpractice cases usually revolve around proving that a health-care provider or facility was negligent. To prevail, you must be able to establish that:
- The provider or facility owed you a duty of care.
- The provider or facility breached or failed to adhere to this duty of care.
- You sustained injuries or suffered an illness due to this breach.
- The damages you sustained were caused by the breach of duty.
Once you establish that the health-care provider or facility was negligent, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
What Is the Medical Standard of Care in a Medical Malpractice Case?
The typical standard of care that a physician or other health-care provider must exercise when treating a patient is that they must use the skill or customary practices of the average doctor or other provider in their 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.
How Does a Court Usually Determine What the Appropriate Standard of Care Should Have Been?
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.
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in New Jersey?
The statute of limitations in New Jersey for medical malpractice cases and other personal injury claims is two years. Generally, this means that you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit, but in some cases, you might have two years from when you discovered or should have discovered that you were injured. If you fail to take legal action by the deadline, you risk having your claim thrown out of court. When you trust your case to the best malpractice attorneys, NJ claims will be filed on time, preserving your legal rights.
Two years may seem like a long time, but due to the complexity of medical malpractice cases, the sooner you begin filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey, the better. If you’ve sustained injuries as a result of the negligent actions of a health-care provider or facility, call us today to speak with a New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer about your claim.
When Can a Hospital or Other Care Facility Be Named as a Defendant in a Medical Malpractice Case?
While doctors are often hired as contractors at hospitals and care facilities, staff such as nurses and medical and lab technicians are usually considered 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 policies and procedures are in place to prevent harm to patients.
What Are Some of the Most Common Kinds of Medical Malpractice Claims?
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
How Much Might My Medical Malpractice Case Be Worth?
What your case might be worth will depend on the facts and circumstances of your particular case, including the types and extent of your injuries and whether you will require medical treatment for your injuries on an ongoing basis. There’s no way to predict the exact amount that your case is worth, but by having an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer on your side, you have a greater chance of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve.
What Can I Expect to Happen During My Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Every medical malpractice case is different, so what happens will depend on the unique set of facts and circumstances of your specific case. If you have been hurt as a result of medical negligence, it’s essential that you discuss your claim with a knowledgeable New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer who can evaluate your case and familiarize you with your legal options.
What Kinds of Damages Might I Be Entitled to in a Medical Malpractice Case in New Jersey?
When you are injured due to the negligent actions of a medical professional or facility, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages usually include medical expenses and lost wages, while non-economic damages compensate for things like loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering. Occasionally, you may also be able to seek punitive damages, which are designed to punish and deter outrageous conduct. Punitive damages in New Jersey are limited to $350,000 or five times your compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
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 Behalf of a Loved One?
If you’ve lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, you may be allowed to file a wrongful death 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.
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?
In New Jersey, you do not have to pay anything to hire the skilled attorneys at Parker Waichman. We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you do not have to pay anything to your lawyer up front and will not need to cover any costs as your case proceeds. When you receive a settlement or jury award, your attorney will be paid from a portion of this compensation. If you do not recover damages, however, you will not have to reimburse your malpractice lawyer.
If you’re thinking of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey, you shouldn’t trust your case to just anyone. At Parker Waichman, our lawyers 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, and we’ve recovered more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Our firm has also received a variety of accolades, including:
- Recognition with Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer-review rating, “AV Preeminent”
- Listing in Best Lawyers, based on extensive peer review
- Lawdragon’s highest ranking of “5 Dragons”
- A near-perfect AVVO rating of 9.8 out of 10
When you decide that Parker Waichman is the right firm for your medical malpractice case, you can be certain that you will be working with one of the best NJ medical malpractice attorneys around. Our lawyers make every effort to ensure that our injured clients are compensated to the fullest extent possible.
Talk With One of Our Experienced New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
At Parker Waichman, we know that choosing an attorney for your medical malpractice case and filing a lawsuit is a big decision, and we’re here to help. Contact us today by calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or filling out our contact form and you’ll be able to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers. We’ll evaluate your case and advise you on whether you should pursue a lawsuit, and we’ll do so with no obligation to you. Don’t wait: Call us today to protect your legal rights.
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