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A medical malpractice lawyer is your best friend when seeking compensation for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Healthcare providers have a legal obligation to provide a standard of care. Unfortunately, countless patients suffer at the hand of medical professionals. According to a recent John Hopkins study, a shocking 250,000 Americans die every year due to medical errors. Surviving victims are often left with lifelong injuries and medical bills. The good news is that affected patients have legal recourse. Keep reading to find out what to expect from your medical malpractice attorney during such difficult times.
Types of Medical Malpractice
A large number of medical malpractice incidents go unreported. A medical malpractice lawyer cannot help you unless you come forward. However, you can only report if you know what constitutes medical malpractice. Here are the most medical blunders that you may need to contact a Newark personal injury lawyer for.
Diagnosis refers to the process of investigating the symptoms and finding out what disease may be responsible. It can be done using laboratory tests, physical exams, blood tests, imaging, biopsies, and reviewing a patient’s medical history. Doctors can misdiagnose patients by
- Failing to order the right test based on the symptoms.
- The test results are incorrect due to improper handling.
- The results are correct but are misinterpreted or ignored, preventing early detection of the disease.
Usually, the earlier you are diagnosed with a problem, the better your chances of curing or managing the disease. But what happens when you get the wrong diagnosis? For one, it means you will have spent time treating a disease you don’t have. Secondly, the real medical conditions remain untreated and possibly get worse during that time. And lastly, the prescribed treatment based on a misdiagnosis may worsen everything. Your settlement will depend on evidence presented by the medical malpractice lawyer to support these facts.
Bringing life into this world is a memorable moment. While things may still go wrong, giving birth is a lot safer than it used to be. Thanks to modern medicine like incubators, even pre-term babies go on to live full lives. Despite having all these technological advantages, some facilities still cause avoidable birth injuries to the newborn and the mother. A medical malpractice lawyer can help if
- The doctor failed to interpret the obstetric ultrasound correctly.
- You were never correctly advised concerning genetic issues before the pregnancy.
- The physician or facility failed to order or perform a C-section when one was needed.
- Excess pressure was applied during the delivery, causing injury to the baby.
- Improper use of forceps, vacuums, and other tools during an assisted birth.
Birth injuries can be challenging to handle since they come at a time when you expect joy. However, it is essential to point out that some birth injuries are nobody’s fault. If you have reason to believe that injuries sustained were due to negligence, then speak to a medical malpractice lawyer about it.
Although most medical errors can be traced back to an individual, the medical facility can also be sued. Only a medical malpractice lawyer will know which party should be sued, depending on the particulars of the case. Hospital negligence occurs when a hospital employee fails to uphold the expected standard of care through errors or omission. It may be due to improper training, faulty equipment, shortage of staff, or unsafe conditions.
The following are clear examples of hospital negligence you should discuss with your medical malpractice attorney.
- Unnecessary surgeries or surgeries in the wrong part of the body.
- Patient chart mix-up, leading to improper treatment
- Premature discharge.
- Wrongful hospitalization.
- Poor management of infections.
What most people don’t know is that not all doctors are employees of a hospital. Some only have to admit privileges but are otherwise independent contractors. With the help of a skilled medical malpractice law firm, you will know who to hold responsible. If you are injured in a car accident and suffer from hospital negligence, you may want to contact our car accident lawyer for your case.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Laws
Like all States, New Jersey has its own set of laws on medical malpractices. Only an experienced medical malpractice attorney will know all the ins and out of the law. Fortunately, New Jersey is patient-friendly. The following are some of the critical state laws that will come to play during your case.
Statute of Limitation
The statute of limitation is a crucial law in any legal proceeding. The purpose of such restrictions is usually to ensure that legal disputes are addressed while the physical evidence is still fresh. The statute of limitation for medical malpractice cases in New Jersey is two years of the alleged malpractice. Failure to file a suit within this time means you forfeit your right to sue over the matter. However, our medical malpractice lawyer knows that there are exceptions. These are
- Discovery Rule – Sometimes, it takes the patient a while for the medical evidence of malpractice to manifest. The discovery rule allows such exceptions when shown that there was no way the patient could have discovered the problem earlier. Your medical malpractice attorney will need an expert witness for this. In such cases, the two-year statute of limitation is counted from when the victim discovered the injury.
- Children – Where minors are involved, things get a little more complicated regarding the filing deadline. In New Jersey, the statute of limitation does not start until the child is 18 years old. However, if the medical malpractice occurred at birth, then the parents or guardians have until the child’s 13th birthday to file the suit.
- Other Exceptions – Apart from cases involving minors and the discovery rule, the statute of limitation may be extended in two exceptional circumstances. The first is if the defendant fled the state after committing medical malpractice. The second is if the victim of the medical malpractice is mentally ill.
Limits on Damages
While most states have a cap on damages, New Jersey only puts a limit on punitive damages. Under New Jersey Statutes Section 2A:15-5.14, the punitive damage award is capped at $350,000 or five times the compensation awarded. The good news is that they are currently no limits on both economic and non-economic the compensation award. It allows our medical malpractice lawyer to fight for the highest settlement possible.
The Affidavit of Merit
The Affidavit of Merit is another vital state law our medical malpractice attorney must meet. An affidavit of merit is a sworn written statement by another licensed medical professional in the same field as the defendant that states that there is reason to believe the accused was negligent. Under Section 2A:53A-27, this affidavit must be provided to the court within 60 days of filing for a medical malpractice case.
If more than one healthcare provider is being sued, the medical malpractice lawyer will need to file a separate affidavit of merit for each health care provider. Should your medical malpractice attorney fail to file within the stipulated time, the lawsuit may be dismissed. However, if there is a good cause for the delay, your medical malpractice attorney can file for an extension of another 60 days.
Get Help from an Expert Medical Malpractice Lawyer
As you can see, the legal proceedings and requirements are quite complex. Only a skilled medical malpractice firm can navigate the system to get you the settlement you deserve. Our team, led by Robert Lord, has been faithfully serving our clients in Newark, Union, Essex, and Middlesex for over 30 years. Thanks to our aggressive team, we have won our clients a total of $300 million in settlements. Please don’t leave your fate to chance. Let our medical malpractice lawyer fight for you and contact us today.