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Medical malpractice in New Jersey is when a healthcare institution or professional fails to provide the standard of care owed to a patient that results in harm. The standard of care is what all medical providers in that area consider to be generally accepted practices and procedures for a particular disorder. The standard of care will vary based on where the medical procedure was done, and the age and health of the patient can all play a role in what standard of care is required.
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In New Jersey, sustaining an injury may not be enough for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The injury must have been sustained because the medical provider breached the standard of care. This can make medical malpractice lawsuits extremely difficult and complex. Team Law’s sixty years of legal work in New Jersey has been successful in recovering over $10 million in medical malpractice compensation for its clients. If you sustained an injury during a medical procedure, a consultation with an experienced attorney from Team Law can help evaluate if there is cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Under New Jersey Statutes section 2A:53A-27, after a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed in New Jersey, an “affidavit of merit” must be filed within sixty days after the defendant’s health care provider has filed a response.
This affidavit requires an appropriately licensed person to declare under oath that there is “a reasonable probability that the care, skill or knowledge exercised or exhibited in the treatment, practice or work that is the subject of the complaint, fell outside acceptable professional or occupational standards or treatment practices.”
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Team Law’s client fell and dislocated her knee, causing an injury to the popliteal artery that ultimately resulted in the amputation of her leg. Suit was filed against the hospital to which she had been taken by ambulance, the emergency room doctor, a radiologist and an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon claimed he was inordinately delayed getting to the hospital because of traffic problems on the Garden State Parkway. Team Law was able to counter the surgeon’s testimony by obtaining records from the Garden State Parkway that showed no traffic problems and by obtaining the surgeon’s EZ Pass records. The claim against the emergency room doctor was that he should have asked for vascular consultation when he detected a weak pulse in the foot, not just an orthopedic consult. The claim against the radiologist was that his actions also delayed treatment. After a seven week trial, a verdict was entered in favor of Team Law’s client and against all four of those defendants.
Put simply, the expert must state that they believe the defendant failed to provide the appropriate standard of care under the circumstances, creating a valid basis for the malpractice lawsuit. Additionally, the affidavit requires:
Due to these requirements, it is essential to consult with a Team Law attorney to ensure that all requirements of a medical malpractice lawsuit are properly followed. With offices throughout New Jersey, from Newark to Elizabeth, NJ medical malpractice lawyers at Team Law are ready to help.
A statute of limitations is a time limit on when a plaintiff can file a personal injury case. In New Jersey, failing to file a lawsuit in a timely manner can result in an inability to move forward in the court system and have the case dismissed.
New Jersey’s medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years. That gives a plaintiff two years to start a lawsuit. This clock would start running from when the harm first occurred. However, in some cases, the clock may not start until the harm is first discovered, or would have reasonably been expected to be discovered.
Additionally, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for birth-related injuries requires that the lawsuit be filed prior to a child’s 13th birthday.
Compensatory damages are the amount of money available to a plaintiff if they successfully win a lawsuit. There are several types of damages available in New Jersey, including economic and non-economic compensation. Economic compensation is for expenses related to the injury that is easy to calculate. For example, medical bills and expenses that resulted from the injury. Non-economic compensation would include mental and physical damage, including pain and suffering, which is difficult to calculate. There is no limit in New Jersey on the amount of economic and non-economic damages a plaintiff can receive if they are successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
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The third type of compensation available in a medical malpractice lawsuit is called punitive damages. These types of awards are usually done to punish a defendant for reckless or malicious behavior. In New Jersey, punitive damages are capped at five times economic and non-economic damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.
Medical malpractice cases cover a wide range of injuries that can occur during a medical procedure. These injuries can include:
If you were injured during a medical procedure, a Team Law attorney can help evaluate if there is sufficient evidence to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact us today.
Newark is a city located in Essex County, New Jersey. Newark is both the county seat for Essex County and the largest city in the state of New Jersey; according to the Census Bureau, as of 2018 Newark was the 73rd-most populated municipality in the U.S. Newark was settled in 1666 by Puritan settlers from the New Haven Colony. Today, Newark is a major corporate and shipping/transportation hub, being home to Port Newark-Elizabeth, the primary container shipping terminal for the largest port on the East Coast, along with Newark International Airport, one of the nation’s busiest airports. Many companies also have their headquarters in Newark, including Prudential Corporation, PSEG, Panasonic North America, and IDT Corporation. Newark is also an educational hub, with campuses for the law and medical schools of Rutgers University, Seton Hall University’s law school, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Medical malpractice simply means that a doctor was careless in treating a patient. The technical legal definition in New Jersey is that the doctor failed to do something that was required by standard medical practice. Less commonly, NJ medical malpractice can also occur when a doctor does something that was forbidden by standard medical malpractice.
In order to start a medical malpractice case, the first thing your lawyer will need to do is collect a complete set of the patient’s medical records. Then, your attorney will need to have those records reviewed by a doctor in the same specialty as the doctor, surgeon, or medical provider who may be the defendant in the lawsuit. For example, if it’s a nephrologist, it will be necessary to hire a nephrologist to review the medical records. At that point, you will be ready to start a medical malpractice lawsuit.
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