Medical providers have a legal responsibility to practice within accepted standards of care within the particular field of specialty of medicine that encompasses the treatment being rendered to the patient. If a medical practitioner departs from the accepted standards of care, and the departure results in injury or death, it is considered medical malpractice and the victim of the malpractice has the right to pursue legal action.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death as the result of medical malpractice, contact our New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys for help with quality legal guidance. Medical malpractice is a challenging area of law and the prosecution of medical malpractice cases, in general, should be handled by law firms such as ours, that have the skill, experience, and resources to properly investigate and, if the case is appropriately supported by qualified medical experts, to pursue the case.
At the Cerussi & Gunn, P.C., we are very selective regarding the legal cases we accept and prosecute. Our lawyers carefully screen potential cases before deciding to file a lawsuit against a professional such as a physician, nurse, lawyer, pharmacist, or other medical professionals. The screening process includes:
Our firm takes great pride in only prosecuting medical and other types of malpractice cases that we feel confident are supported by credible and objective medical evidence. We also make certain that the firm’s reviewing medical experts are board-certified and that these physicians are giving honest and ethical reviews of the potential case.
We only accept cases in which the harm to the patient resulted in serious personal injury, including birth injury, disability, or wrongful death. Our lawyers understand and place a priority on finding out why the medical event occurred and in helping to prevent other potential future acts of medical negligence.
We believe that our cases can change the way hospitals and doctors practice medicine. We want to make patient safety an important topic and priority. We also know how important it is for the injured person or the family of the decedent to be compensated for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages.
Determining whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey requires help from an attorney. Understanding the definition of medical malpractice in your state, however, can help you understand your rights.
Any action or omission that a reasonable and prudent physician would not have committed in the same or similar circumstances can constitute medical malpractice or medical negligence. Although there are many forms of medical malpractice, some are more common than others.
Physicians must use a specific process when diagnosing patients. They must create a list of possible diagnoses based on the patient’s complaints and medical history. Then, they must use the process of eliminations to narrow down options until making the most accurate diagnosis. Misdiagnosis is the negligent failure to come to the correct diagnosis if another physician in the same position would have.
Birth injuries are medical negligence if a doctor, nurse or surgeon negligently does something wrong during pregnancy, labor or delivery. If a doctor uses the incorrect birthing techniques during a complicated delivery, for example, and this injures the infant, it is medical malpractice.
Medication errors can refer to a doctor prescribing the incorrect drug or dosage, a pharmacy incorrectly filling a prescription, or the administration of the wrong drug. Medication errors can cause serious health problems, including overdoses and adverse drug interactions.
It is critical for an anesthesiologist to correctly mix the right type and dosage of anesthesia for an operation. Negligence in anesthesiology can lead to too much or not enough anesthesia administered to a patient. This can cause serious problems such as anesthesia awareness or permanent brain damage.
Errors during surgery can be disastrous for a patient. If a surgeon makes a careless mistake, such as damaging a nerve or nicking an artery, the patient may suffer severe health complications. Common examples of operating room errors include operating on the wrong patient, performing the wrong surgery, puncturing an organ and leaving surgical tools inside the body.
If our attorneys believe you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey, we can help you prove your case based on the required evidentiary standard. This standard is enough evidence to convince a jury that the defendant is more likely responsible for the injury than not (a preponderance of the evidence).
Proving medical malpractice takes proof of four elements:
Your lawyer can help you gather evidence to establish these four elements. Evidence in a medical negligence claim may include eyewitness statements, photographs and videos, medical tests and records, and testimony from a medical expert.
You have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey. If you fail to initiate your lawsuit within two years of the medical error, you will most likely forfeit the right to file. If you did not discover your injuries immediately, however, you have two years from the date of discovery. You or your lawyer will need to fill out and submit the required paperwork by the deadline.
You will submit claims paperwork with the civil courthouse in the county where the medical error occurred. You will also need to submit an affidavit of merit with your claim. This is a document signed by a licensed medical professional that declares he or she believes the defendant fell outside of the acceptable standards of care. Your attorney can connect you to experts to sign the affidavit, as well as handle the rest of the filing process for you.
It is a common misconception that filing a medical malpractice lawsuit guarantees a court trial before a judge and a panel of jurors. Not every – or even most – medical negligence claim ends up in court. Instead, most insurance companies prefer to settle claims before they reach the trial stage, as this is less costly. The vast majority of medical malpractice claims in New Jersey do not go to court.
Instead, your attorney will submit your claim to the insurance company of the physician or health care center responsible. The insurance company will investigate your claim and decide whether to accept or reject coverage. Your lawyer can negotiate a settlement agreement with the insurance company using aggressive strategies for a fair and full award.
If the insurance company rejects your medical malpractice claim or refuses to offer a fair amount for your injuries, your case may end up in court. This is why it is important to hire a medical negligence lawyer with experience taking cases to trial. That way, if your case does not settle, your lawyer will have the power to represent you before a judge and jury. Discuss your specific case in more detail with a lawyer to find out if it is likely to end up in court.
Medical malpractice is a serious form of wrongdoing that can compromise a patient’s treatment and recovery. No health care provider should ever engage in careless, negligent or reckless acts when caring for a patient. Unfortunately, thousands of patients suffer serious injuries and are killed as a result of preventable medical negligence.
If you believe you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, contact the New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Cerussi & Gunn, P.C. We offer free, 100% confidential initial consultations, where we will review the facts of your case and let you know if it has merit. If so, we may extend our legal services to you and your family during this difficult time.
Learn more about your rights and legal options today. Request a free case review online or by calling (732) 936-9920 24/7.