Medical Malpractice & Negligence
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys
The trust you place in a doctor, surgeon, or other medical provider can be shattered in an instant. A surgical error or failure to diagnose cancer becomes more than a life-changing event; negligence and malpractice puts lives at risk.
According to the American Medical Association, medical errors result in nearly 100,000 deaths in the US each year. This means more people are killed annually as a result of medical error than those who are killed in highway accidents.
Additionally, research by the American Association for Justice found preventable medical errors to be the third leading cause of death across the nation.
When it comes to medical malpractice, there is no such thing as a minor error. Mistakes in administering anesthesia can cause brain damage and death. Failure to identify an infection can have equally catastrophic consequences. Making any error in medication can result in a newborn becoming afflicted with a birth injury such as Cerebral Palsy. There are countless ways that medical malpractice can adversely affect our lives.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical Malpractice is defined as an act of negligence by a healthcare professional, including doctors, surgeons, nurses, hospitals, chiropractors, therapists, and other licensed medical providers.
These medical professionals are required to follow a standard of care, or a protocol, for providing the proper care to their patients. If the medical professional does not meet the standard of care, or does not follow required protocol, he or she may be negligent in the care of the patient. If the deviations from the standard of care result in injury or death of a patient, these professionals may be held liable for the victim’s damages.
Causes and Types of Medical Negligence
There are many different causes and types of medical negligence. Our experienced New Jersey Medical Malpractice lawyers can help you pursue legal claims for injuries sustained from medical errors such as the following:
Birth injuries and defects can be related to issues that occur before or after delivery. A healthcare provider, such as a doctor or a nurse, can be considered negligent for things such as medication errors, failing to order or perform C-sections when necessary, improperly using forceps or vacuums, or applying excessive force during delivery.
In some cases, providers may be considered negligent or deviating from standards of practice if they fail to counsel a couple regarding genetic issues.
Birth defects may also result from substandard care by your healthcare provider, including:
- Anoxia (lack of oxygen)
- Shoulder dystocia/Erb’s palsy
- Improper prenatal care
- Improper labor and delivery care
- Failure to diagnose a fetal abnormality
- Failure to diagnose or treat onset of infant conditions
- Undiagnosed uterine rupture (resulting in conditions such as cerebral palsy or brachial plexus)
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
In New Jersey, a delayed, missed, or misdiagnosis may be considered a type of medical negligence.
When a person seeks medical attention, he or she trusts that the healthcare provider will diagnose the injury, condition, or issue as timely and accurately as possible. Many times, the ability of a provider to correctly diagnosis a condition in a timely manner can have a large impact on a patient’s medical outcome. Even “simple” issues or easily-cured conditions can turn into more complex or chronic problems if they are not diagnosed correctly and in a timely fashion.
Medical tests play a large role in how providers diagnose serious issues such as cancer, cardiac diseases, illnesses, and more. Negligence concerning medical tests can lead to missed or wrong diagnoses, and can include:
- Not ordering the correct test
- Ordering a test too late
- Not providing the results to the patients
- Incorrectly interpreting the test results
Mistakes or errors that occur during a hospital visit and results in injury or death can also fall into the realm of negligence.
Some examples of hospital negligence include:
- Surgical errors
- Records or patient chart mix ups
- Blood transfusion injuries
- Miscommunication or poor communication between hospital staff such as nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals
- Foreign objects such as sponges being left behind in surgery
- IV errors
- Equipment failure
- Injuries occurring from ventilators
- Medication or laboratory errors
- Bed sores
- Patient identification errors
While surgical errors may be considered one type of hospital negligence, there are many different examples of errors that can occur before, during, and after surgery, including:
- Allergic Reaction
- Blood Clot
- Hypoxic Brain Injury
- Unnecessary surgery
- Surgery performed on the wrong body part, organ, or person
- Incorrect or improper procedure or technique
- Sponges or instruments left inside after surgery
- Nerve Damage
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Repeat surgery required after a surgery failure
- Post surgical care negligence
- Bracial plexus
- Wrongful death
- Risky surgery or operation performed without proper informed consent
Furthermore, as there are many different kinds of surgical errors that may be considered a form of hospital negligence, there are also a few different types of anesthesia errors that can be considered medical malpractice. These errors include:
- Failure to properly monitor a patient before, during, and after surgery
- Giving inadequate anesthesia or sedation
- Intubation errors leading to insufficient oxygen for the patient, which can result in brain injury or death
- Improper placement of intubation tube resulting in trachea or esophagus injuries
- Dosage errors, such as providing too much anesthesia
- Anoxic brain injury
- Errors in administering nerve, regional, or spinal blocks
- Anesthesia awareness, when a patient is awake during a procedure and can be traumatically affected
- Wrongful death
How does Informed Consent Affect Medical Malpractice?
When a doctor is going to perform a procedure, he or she is required to advise the patient of the procedure that is going to be performed as well as all the possible consequences. This is referred to as “informed consent.” Doctors will ask a patient to sign a form acknowledging their informed consent and the risks associated with any surgeries, treatments, or procedures.
If a medical provider does not do this, it might lead to a medical malpractice case.
There are some instances where a doctor isn’t required to obtain an informed consent, such as a case where the patient is unconscious, a family member cannot be reached in an emergency or if there is not a living will in place.
Still, even if a patient does sign an informed consent, it does not guard against medical malpractice. If malpractice has occurred, you may still be able to file a claim or lawsuit. It is important to speak to an experienced malpractice attorney about your situation..
Where to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
A medical malpractice claim should be filed in the state that the care was received. Our law firm handles medical malpractice cases across the State of New Jersey, and in areas including Camden County, Burlington County, Marlton, Voorhees, Mount Holly, Moorestown, Cherry Hill.
An exception to filing within the state where the procedure, surgery, or care was received if is the facility or healthcare provider also does business in your home state. For example, many physicians and medical providers operate across multiple states.
If you have questions regarding your medical malpractice claim and where you need to file, you can contact our team for a free consultation and case review.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations for medical malpractice cases are set by state law. In New Jersey, a patient is required to file a medical malpractice claim within two years of discovering the injury or negligence. This is an important distinction, as the date may be different from the time that the actual negligence or occurred.
As an example, if a patient had surgery and then a month later he realized that he was injured during the procedure or negligence occurred. The deciding factor for the time of the statute of limitations is determining the date that the person became reasonably aware that he or she was injured or suffered negligence.
The exception to the two year timeframe is if the person was a minor at the time that the injury or negligence occurred. In the cases of minors, the statute of limitations for filing may expand.
If you have suffered negligence and are considering pursuing a medical malpractice claim, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney about your injuries as soon as possible.
Hiring an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
At Dansky | Katz | Ringold | York, our attorneys provide aggressive legal representation for victims of negligence. When you retain us as your law firm, you become more than just a client; we promise to always treat you like a member of our family.
We understand that medical malpractice claims are filled with emotion and may even involve the death of a loved one. You need an attorney who is compassionate while fiercely fighting for your rights and maximizing your compensation.
Our level of patient and client advocacy means that we will work hard to pursue all aspects of your medical malpractice claim. As discussed above, these types of negligence cases are complex and require the help of medical professionals. In addition to a Certified Civil Trial Attorney with the New Jersey Supreme Court on staff, we also have a qualified and dedicated nurse who reviews medical records for our malpractice claims.
Here at Dansky | Katz | Ringold | York, we become your strongest advocate, fighting for your best outcome. We know that far too much is at stake to accept anything less.