Individuals who need medical treatment place their trust in doctors and other medical professionals expecting to receive quality care for their illnesses and injuries. Unfortunately, errors and accidents occasionally occur during medical exams and procedures with devastating consequences. If you have suffered a serious injury resulting from medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages including pain and suffering, medical bills, and past and future lost wages. The Cassidy Law Firm fights for patients who have been victims of medical malpractice in New Jersey.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when an injury results from medical treatment that deviates from the appropriate medical standard of care. This is the type of care that a reasonably skilled doctor or other medical professional would have provided under the same circumstances. A few examples of medical malpractice are:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Surgical errors
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Injuries incurred during birth
- Prescription of experimental drugs
- Cosmetic surgery mistakes
- Emergency room errors
- Medical device injuries
- Post-surgical infections
- Nursing home neglect
- Lack of informed consent
Grounds for Medical Malpractice
In order to successfully bring a medical malpractice case in New Jersey, the following conditions must be proven:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed
- The doctor was negligent
- The doctor's negligence caused, or contributed, to an injury
- The injury led to damages
Medical malpractice cases typically require a thorough investigation and careful presentation of evidence at trial. Proving medical malpractice is not only difficult, but also depends upon a qualified medical expert's testimony that the defendant failed to provide the appropriate standard of care.
In addition, medical negligence plaintiffs are required by New Jersey law to serve the defendant with an "Affidavit of Merit." This is a written statement by a licensed medical professional attesting to the fact that the defendant's treatment did not meet the medical standard of care. New Jersey’s “Affidavit of Merit” statute is complicated and can lead to the dismissal of your case if the requirements are not met in a timely fashion.
Moreover, copies of all medical records, such as X-rays, lab results, diagnostic tests, and other procedures should be obtained as soon as practicable to prevent the loss, alteration, or destruction, known as “spoliation,” of evidence. Preparation and investigation of your medical malpractice case requires the expertise of highly skilled medical malpractice attorneys like those at The Cassidy Law Firm.
How long do I have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, you have two years from the date the medical error occurred to file a lawsuit. In some cases, the time period is two years from the date on which you discover, or could reasonably have been expected to discover, that you were harmed by medical negligence. If you were a minor at the time of the medical negligence, then you may have two or more years to file a medical malpractice claim from the time of your 18th birthday. Call us to find out if you can pursue your claims.
Because medical malpractice cases can be complex and difficult to prove, you need an attorney who is highly adept at pursuing claims of medical negligence. The Cassidy Law Firm routinely helps victims of medical malpractice in New Jersey obtain meaningful compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as the result of the negligence of a doctor, hospital, nurse, or other medical professional or facility, call our office today for a free evaluation of your case.