Medical malpractice is one of the most talked-about topics of law, and yet there remains a lot of mystery and confusion about what it means and how it works.
Get answers to your questions below with our Medical Malpractice FAQ, which outlines New Jersey medical malpractice in general. To seek specific advice for your particular situation, remember that you’re always welcome to consult with an NJ medical malpractice attorney at The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A.
- What is Medical Malpractice?
Generally speaking, medical malpractice (sometimes referred to as “med-mal”) refers to any healthcare professional’s failure to behave reasonably or to meet the professional standard of care for his or her profession. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a legal duty to protect their patients’ health.
How Do Courts Determine Whether a Doctor Committed Medical Malpractice?
New Jersey courts will compare the defendant to other competent professionals in the same field. The guiding question is whether a reasonable person in the doctor’s same situation would have acted the same way. Often, when a patient suffers injury or death, the court will find that the doctor behaved unreasonably (i.e. negligently) under this standard. Healthcare providers are legally liable for unreasonable or negligent behavior.
Who Cn I sue for Medical Malpractice
While people usually think about medical malpractice as a lawsuit against a doctor, it actually applies to virtually any kind of healthcare professional, including:
- Nurses (including RNs) and nursing aides
- Physician Assistants
- Pharmaceutical manufacturers
- Urgent care clinics
- Outpatient surgery centers
- Nursing homes
- Psychologists and Psychiatrists
- Physical therapists
- Lab technicians
- Any person or organization who employs any of the above.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Recover in a NJ Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
New Jersey recognizes many kinds of financial compensation for victims and their families. These may include:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Hospital bills (past and future)
A Parsippany-Troy Hills medical malpractice attorney can help you explore every possible avenue for compensation in order to truly understand the full scope of your rights under the law.
- Medication costs (past and future)
- Income lost due to time away from work or inability to work
- Future loss of income due to the effects of the malpractice
- Diminished capacity or quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress (mental anguish)
- Physical disfigurement
- Cognitive impairment
- Loss of consortium (in the case of wrongful death)
- Loss of emotional / economic support (in the case of wrongful death)
- Punitive damages (in cases involving extreme or egregious malpractice).
Who Is Eligible to Sue for Medical Malpractice in New Jersey?
As a general rule, only the injured patient is eligible to sue for medical malpractice in New Jersey. There are, however, exceptions. If the patient is unable to advocate for his or her rights due to age or incapacity, for example, a family member can sometimes sue on the patient’s behalf.
In the event that a patient dies because of medical malpractice, some family members are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for their suffering and loss.
How Does a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Work?
Your lawyer can handle most of your lawsuit for you. Plaintiffs are required to prove three things: that the defendant breached a legal duty, that this breach caused the plaintiff’s injury, and that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result.
Expert witnesses are absolutely essential for winning these cases. Fortunately, at The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., we’ve developed a number of invaluable relationships with respected experts in a wide range of medical fields.
Will I have to Go to Court?
When you hire an experienced NJ medical malpractice attorney, you may very well be able to settle your case without ever having to go to court. (You may still need to attend mediations, depositions, or settlement conferences during the settlement negotiations.) Of course, some cases do go to trial. In that case, you will need to attend the court proceedings.
Remember, your attorney will be with you at every step along the way. Whether in settlement, in a deposition or mediation or conference, or even at a trial, you are never alone. Hiring an experienced lawyer means you’ll have a representative who knows what they’re doing and is ready to fight for your rights at every turn.
How Much Will a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Cost me?
Our law firm accepts medical malpractice lawsuits on a contingency basis. That means we will not charge for our services unless and until we achieve a financial recovery on your behalf (either by settling the case or winning at trial). If we do reach a favorable outcome, our fee will be a percentage of the overall recovery.
Do I have a Case? How Long Will it Take? Will I Win?
These are questions that simply can’t be answered without consulting a NJ medical malpractice attorney first. Our office offers these consultations for free. We will not charge you for a medical malpractice lawsuit consultation.
The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. has a strong record of success when it comes to representing injured patients in New Jersey med-mal actions. However, the outcome always depends on the specific facts and variables of each case.
While no one can ever guarantee victory in any legal action, we only accept cases we believe in. We think victims should recover every penny they’re owed, and we are committed to aggressively pursuing their maximal compensation.
Get Help from a Parsippany-Troy Hills Medical Malpractice Attorney
To schedule a completely free consultation with a Parsippany-Troy Hills medical malpractice attorney, please call us at (973) 358-6134 or use our online quick connect form. Remember: time limits likely apply, so you should take action as early as possible.
We represent injured patients throughout New Jersey, including Morris County, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Essex County, and the rest of The Garden State.