Medical malpractice is alarmingly common in New Jersey. While most medical conditions are properly treated, negligence, misdiagnosis, and treatment errors can cause a wide range of injuries and even death. When medical malpractice occurs, you may be able to seek compensation for damages through a legal claim.
Such an undertaking can be confusing and difficult for individuals to navigate without the assistance of a lawyer. Patients can be overwhelmed by medical jargon, legal requirements, and pressure from insurance companies.
Turning to a legal professional is often the best course of action to better understand your rights and learn what protections exist under New Jersey law.
Components of a Medical Malpractice Claim
To pursue a claim in New Jersey for Medical Malpractice it is important to understand some of the underlying legal concepts. Malpractice occurs when a patient is injured due to a healthcare provider's deviation from the appropriate standard of care for treatment. Below are several key components to a medical malpractice lawsuit:
To pursue a medical malpractice claim the plaintiff must have sustained some form of injury. An "injury" in this context may be a medical complication, a complication where a patient’s condition has worsened, or death.
The Standard of Care
"Standard of care" is used to describe whether a medical professional with the same qualifications, training, and experience would have performed or recommended the same medical treatment that you received.
In other words, would another similarly qualified doctor have treated you in the same manner for your condition? Would they have recommended an alternative treatment or method of care which could have avoided your injuries? If so, this may lay the foundation for a medical malpractice claim.
Negligence in this context refers to the healthcare provider's deviation from the standard of care described above. This deviation can take many forms including, misdiagnosis, failure to properly examine, surgical errors, medication errors, and more. A medical malpractice attorney will investigate to determine whether the medical provider deviated from accepted practices at any point during your treatment.
Damages may be economic or noneconomic in nature. Economic damages may include things such as current and future monetary losses caused by your injuries. For example, if you lost your job or can no longer work and earn wages due to your injuries, this would be considered economic damage.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are damages related to your pain, suffering, disability, impairment, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by medical malpractice.
Damages may also be punitive in nature. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant if they're found to have malicious intent or willfully acted improperly.
How To Seek Justice
A medical malpractice lawyer investigates the facts to build a legal case on a client's behalf. These cases involve exhaustive investigation and reliance on medical experts to evaluate and support the claims.
If you've been injured due to medical malpractice, call us to learn your rights during a free consultation.