Medical Malpractice FAQs: Everything You Need to KnowNew Jersey Legal News
If you have been harmed at the hands of a medical professional who has not abided by the standard duty of care when treating you, you have likely fallen victim to what is known as medical malpractice. Every year, patients are harmed and even suffer fatal injuries at the hands of professionals who are supposed to be looking out for their well-being. If you have suffered harm in one of these incidents, you might wonder what options you have. You might also have a wide array of questions.
It is normal to have questions after being harmed by the outright recklessness of a party who is supposed to be specifically trained for the job. Luckily, with the help of a skilled attorney, you can ensure that your rights are being protected and that you have the answers to all of your questions as you move forward.
Medical Malpractice FAQs
What is medical malpractice? Medical malpractice takes place when a hospital, doctor, or another type of medical professional causes injuries or harm to a patient. These cases take place due to reasons like diagnosis issues, treatment issues, and problems with aftercare. To prove a medical malpractice case, many things must be proven including a violation of the standard of care, an injury resulting from this negligence, and significant damages.
What are the most common types of medical malpractice? There are many types of medical malpractice that are more common than others. For instance, one of the most common types is misdiagnosis–which takes place when a patient is wrongly diagnosed with an illness or is not diagnosed in a fast enough period of time, putting them at further risk. However, there are other types of medical malpractice, including surgical errors, which might include operating on the wrong body part or puncturing an organ during surgery. Medication errors and childbirth errors occur as well, putting mothers and their children at risk.
Who do I bring a claim against? Many people are unsure of the party or parties they are supposed to name in the midst of a medical malpractice claim. In some cases, the defendant will be a doctor but it could also be a nurse or anesthesiologist. Of course, if a hospital is in charge of their employees, then they might be named as well. If the doctor works separately from the hospital and is a contractor, you might find that you only have a claim against the medical professional.
How much are medical malpractice cases typically worth? This actually depends on many factors, as every medical malpractice claim is different and should not be expected to be like others. You will receive a variety of compensatory and non-compensatory damages. These will cover aspects like lost wages if you have missed time at work as well as medical bill repayments if you have bills due to your injuries, therapy and surgery costs. If you are able to prove your claim, you have a higher chance of recovering against a party who caused you harm, which is why evidence is so important.
Is there a statute of limitations that specifically applies to these cases? Yes, as with many other personal injury claims, there is also a statute of limitations in medical malpractice claims. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases is two years. From the moment the incident occurs or when you find out about your injury, the clock starts ticking on your case. If you have fallen victim to a birth injury, you are able to benefit much longer from the statute of limitations and it will usually extend until you turn 18 so that you have a chance to bring a claim as an adult.
What is the “standard of care” everybody keeps referring to? The “standard of care” is the professional context involving the care professional who caused your harm. A doctor or other medical professional is always supposed to work within a certain standard of care and protect you from harm in their line of work. They must act as if they would for any other patient. If you have been harmed by a medical professional and believe that you have a claim, you must be able to introduce an expert who can testify on your behalf and understands this standard of care.
What if my doctor didn’t make me aware of the risks of a procedure? A doctor is always supposed to tell their patients about the risks that are associated with a procedure. However, some risks are not mentioned because there are just too many to account for and every person is different. In some other cases, a medical professional has no choice but to operate on a person despite the risks because it might be an emergency and they are attempting to save a life. When a patient is trying to make a claim, they would have to show that a competent doctor told them about any risks associated with a procedure.
Should I have a medical malpractice attorney? Many people believe that they can handle a medical malpractice claim on their own, only to find out that there are many complexities in these cases and they should not always be handled alone. Having somebody on your side who is widely experienced in the laws that apply to these cases can help you in unimaginable ways. You should speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible so that you can ensure your rights are being protected.
Turning to a Medical Malpractice Attorney
In New Jersey, medical malpractice claims occur every single year due to the negligence of patients who have been greatly harmed. At Brady, Brady & Reilly, our personal injury attorneys are prepared to handle every aspect of your case as you navigate the legal system for the first time. Please reach out to us at (201) 997-0030 for more information on how we can play a role in your case.