New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys: Overview of a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, physician or health care provider fails to provide the accepted standard of care resulting in an injury or death to a patient. While we all hope that our health care professionals will act in a careful and prudent manner, that is not always the case. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is a common occurrence in this country and medical errors occur every day. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 225,000 people die each year from medical malpractice.
Types and Consequences of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can involve surgical errors, anesthesia errors, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a medical condition, failure to provide proper treatment, birth injuries, prescription errors and other acts of negligence. Consequences can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. Victims are often left with permanent debilitating injuries. In some cases, the victims may die and families are left with outstanding medical bills, lost income, and costs of a funeral. The injured person or family has the right to file a lawsuit and receive financial compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages and future income, and damages for pain and suffering.
Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Anyone who has been harmed or injured due to a healthcare provider’s negligence or carelessness may choose to file a medical malpractice claim. All types of medical professionals and institutions may be held accountable for injuries resulting from the failure to provide the requisite standard of care. This includes doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, anesthesiologists, emergency room personnel, hospitals, and nursing homes.
If you suspect that you have suffered an injury as the result of a mistake made by a healthcare provider, you should transfer your care to another physician or hospital. You should immediately seek the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer and tell the attorney exactly what happened. Having a copy of your medical records would be helpful in the event the attorney wanted to have an expert review them. The medical malpractice lawyer can then determine the legal options available to you. Each state has a statute of limitations, or a deadline, in which a medical malpractice claim can be filed. Therefore, you must act in a timely manner to help protect your rights and determine if you have the foundations for a valid case.
Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim
In order to meet the requirements of liability, it must be proven that the health care provider had a professional relationship with the patient and that a duty of care was owed. The injured party must also show that the provider did not provide the accepted standard of care and that this breached standard of care caused the patient direct injury or harm. The patient must provide medical expert testimony from a similar healthcare provider explaining how the standard of care was violated. In addition, it must be shown that the injuries also resulted in specific damages including physical pain, additional medical bills, lost income and lost earning capacity, and emotional distress.
Steps for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Once a medical malpractice attorney agrees to review a case, the attorney will conduct a comprehensive and detailed investigation. The patient’s entire medical record, test results, laboratory reports and any other medical documentation are gathered for review. Once the decision is made to pursue a medical malpractice claim, medical experts in the specific field of medicine will be retained to review the records and provide their professional opinions as to whether a breach of standard of care occurred and if it resulted in an injury to the patient. Next, your medical malpractice attorney will prepare and file a lawsuit followed by a discovery phase where both parties produce and turn over any documents related to the case. Depositions of the parties, witnesses, and medical experts are conducted. At this point, negotiations may take place and a settlement may be reached. If this does not happen, the case will need to move to a trial.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Legome & Associates: Dedicated to Protecting the Rights of Victims of Medical Malpractice
While the general course of a medical malpractice case is simply outlined above, medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely challenging, complex, expensive, and difficult to pursue. Therefore, it is imperative to seek legal guidance from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. At Legome & Associates, our experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys are available to review your case, obtain any necessary documentation such as medical reports, and retain a team of reputable medical experts and other expert witnesses – all while protecting your rights and fighting to secure the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If you believe that you or a loved one are the victims of medical malpractice, we encourage you to contact our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers who are experienced at handling all types of medical malpractice lawsuits and have an established track record of success in negotiating substantial settlements and winning significant verdicts for our clients throughout New Jersey including the communities of Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, Atlantic County and Salem County. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with the reputable New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys at Legome & Associates, call our Haddonfield office at 856-528-3284 or submit a free online inquiry.