At Team Law, we are in the unfortunate position of seeing a lot of bad things happening to innocent people. We see firsthand how badly mistakes and carelessness can harm others.
For example, do you know what the third biggest killer of Americans is? No, it’s not guns or terrorism or substance abuse. It’s not even car crashes, even though the attorneys at Team Law see a lot of injuries from motor vehicle accidents.
The number three killer of people in the United States is medical mistakes. That’s right, medical mistakes kill more than a quarter-of-a-million people each year, according to a study from Johns Hopkins. This is why you might find yourself needing an Elizabeth, NJ medical malpractice lawyer from Team Law.
To successfully sue for medical malpractice, three elements must exist.
First, there must be a breach of duty (often called a standard of care). For instance, doctors have a duty to amputate the correct limb of a patient.
Second, the breach of that duty must cause the injury. In a case where the wrong limb was amputated, this is usually very easy to prove. But in a more complicated case, such as a failure to diagnose cancer, it can be far more difficult.
If the cancer was diagnosed earlier, would it have reduced the patient’s pain or allowed them to live longer? Maybe, maybe not, depending on the type of cancer and other underlying facts.
The defendant would likely argue that even if the cancer was diagnosed sooner, the patient still would have died at the same time and suffered just as much.
Third, there must be an injury. In practice, this injury must be significant.
Minor injuries can still result from medical malpractice. But because any legal recovery will be so small, bringing a lawsuit usually doesn’t make financial sense.
The simplest answer to this question is that humans provide medical care and humans aren’t perfect. Sometimes a medical professional has a substance abuse problem. Maybe they’re distracted by a family problem.
Other times, there’s a flaw in how a hospital or medical office operates. For example, when conducting an amputation, doctors used to have opposite ways of indicating which limb was to be amputated.
One doctor would draw an “x” on the limb that was to be amputated. Yet another doctor might have an “x” on the limb to indicate it was not to be amputated.
Basically, medical malpractice can take place for any range of reasons, from honest mistakes to careless mistakes to intentional conduct.
Regardless of the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that we have a patient that is now suffering despite having done nothing wrong.
A medical mistake can be utterly devastating, causing unnecessary pain and sometimes death. Some of the injuries and deaths are even more tragic because they are so preventable, such as a delayed diagnosis. Common instances of medical malpractice include:
Because these are some of the most complicated personal injury cases to win. There are several reasons for this.
For one, the defendant often has a large number of resources to defend against a lawsuit. Medical professionals and healthcare facilities often have access to medical malpractice and liability insurance which usually provides a solid legal defense.
There’s also the fact that delays are no big deal for defendants. It’s not like a doctor, nurse or hospital has medical bills to pay or lost wages to replace during the lawsuit.
Next, it’s hard to prove the medical malpractice caused the injury. The human body is a marvel of nature in its complexity and function. But many things can go wrong and cause illness. So it becomes difficult to show the medical mistake is legally responsible for the injury.
Then there’s the fact that most medical malpractice cases usually involve a lot of money. We’re talking six figures and easily seven or eight. With so much money on the line, the legal defense will be fierce.
Finally, it’s expensive to win a medical malpractice case. You need special expert witnesses which cost a lot of money.
These expert witnesses are necessary to prove every element of your medical malpractice case. And it often takes multiple expert witnesses to do this.
If you think you’re the victim of a medical mistake, reach out to an Elizabeth, NJ medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you can. There are time limits on when you can sue for medical malpractice. And the longer you wait, the harder it will be to prove your case.
Even if you think you don’t have a case, it doesn’t hurt to contact us to speak with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys. You don’t pay anything for a consultation or for any legal representation until we collect a recovery for you.
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