Going to the doctor is fairly routine for many of us. We visit the doctor once a year for an annual checkup. We go to the doctor when we are ill. Regardless of the reason for the appointment, no one expects to be a victim of negligence during a doctor visit.
But medical negligence does happen. Understanding the criteria for what constitutes medical malpractice under the law is important — not every mistake or procedural error merits a medical malpractice lawsuit. Experienced Jersey City medical malpractice lawyers at Team Law are skilled and knowledgeable in all aspects of medical negligence, and have been serving New Jersey families for more than 60 years.
The term “medical malpractice” should not be used lightly. It refers to a form of serious negligence exhibited by a medical professional. So how do you know if your doctor’s error is considered medical malpractice?
After establishing that a doctor-patient relationship existed, the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys cites key elements that must be present to demonstrate a case of medical malpractice. Those elements are:
Determining whether your injuries meet the criteria for a medical malpractice lawsuit can be challenging. At Team Law, our Elizabeth, NJ medical malpractice lawyers are skilled in evaluating personal injury cases that are due to medical negligence.
Medical malpractice lawsuits may be based on a variety of medical errors. Those include – but are not limited to – any of the following:
But a patient saying that a doctor was negligent in some shape or form is not enough to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In New Jersey, those who believe they are injured must provide an “affidavit of merit”.
After a medical malpractice claim is filed in the state’s civil court system, the defendant healthcare provider then files a response to the lawsuit. In New Jersey, the plaintiff – the injured patient filing the lawsuit – then has 60 days to provide the defendant with an “affidavit of merit”.
An affidavit of merit basically requires that another person who is appropriately licensed must declare under oath that the defendant did not demonstrate the appropriate medical standard of care for the patient under the circumstances, and that there is a legitimate basis for filing a medical malpractice claim.
In New Jersey, if the plaintiff fails to provide an affidavit of merit, this may lead to dismissal of the medical malpractice claim.
All states have statutes of limitations – legal time limits for filing a lawsuit after suffering some form of harm. In New Jersey, the legal timeframe for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is two years from the date the harm occurred. In some cases, the time limit is two years from the point in time in which the harm was actually discovered or from when it reasonably should have been discovered.
In New Jersey, the two-year statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for a child under the age of 18 years commences with the child’s 18th birthday. One exception to this statute pertains to medical malpractice lawsuits for injuries sustained at birth. In these situations, the lawsuit must be commenced before the child turns 13 years old.
Suffering harm at the hands of a medical professional can be particularly upsetting. Don’t be intimidated by doctors, hospitals, or insurance companies who are more interested in protecting themselves from litigation than they are in justly compensating you for their negligence. Talk to us instead.
At Team Law, our Elizabeth, NJ medical malpractice lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of medical malpractice lawsuits. Our skilled team has been protecting the rights of New Jersey families for more than 60 years.We offer a free consultation to answer your questions, review your case, and discuss the available options. Team Law medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency basis – if we do not win your case, you don’t owe us anything. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers today.
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