Medical Malpractice & Medical Negligence in New Jersey
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Throughout our lives, most of us are fortunate to have had good experiences with doctors and nurses. Through those experiences, we have built relationships of trust with our doctors and a view that medical professionals are good people. However, medical malpractice is more common that we want to believe.
When we, or a loved one, has been a victim of negligent medical treatment, the consequences can be awful. And, in sharing stories of poor medical care, we learn that many other folks in our communities have their own stories of poor medical care. Maybe there is some truth in the words of Napoléon Bonaparte: “Doctors will have more lives to answer for in the next world than even we generals.”
What is Medical Malpractice in New Jersey?
Medical malpractice occurs in New Jersey when a medical professional fails to provide treatment within the standard of care, resulting in death or injury. What does that mean? The doctor is negligent if he/she didn’t do what a reasonable doctor would have done.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
- Anesthesia Negligence
- Birth Injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Chest Pain & Shortness of Breath
- Delayed Diagnosis
- Emergency Room Errors
- Failure to Diagnose
- Fetal Distress
- Inadequate Treatment
- Informed Consent
- Medication Mistake
- Nursing Malpractice
- Podiatrist Malpractice
- Post-Partum Bleeding & Hemorrhage
- Premature Discharge
- Surgery Injury
Recent New Jersey Medical Malpractice Successes
Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC has successfully handled many cases of wrongful death in New Jersey.
- The firm obtained a $3 million verdict for psychiatric malpractice that caused the death of a young schizophrenic man. The verdict was reduced following post-trial motions.
- In a case involving the death of the motion after child birth, the firm negotiated a $1.5 million settlement with the OB/GYNs and anesthesiologists. The final compensation to the estate will exceed $3 million.
- The firm negotiated a $1million dollar settlement during trial for malpractice by a bariatric surgeon that caused the death of a young man who died from a post-surgery infection.
- The firm negotiated a $750,000 settlement during trial for an undocumented immigrant was injured during a botched surgery.
- The firm negotiated a $500,000 settlement as a result of the death of an elderly man who was sent home by his primary care doctor but died a few days later from a heart attack.
- In a case involving nursing malpractice that resulted in the disfigurement of the foot of an infant child, the firm negotiated a settlement that will result in a final pay-out of $1.2 million.
How Do I Pay For A Lawyer?
When you retain LMLTOO in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you do not pay us unless you recover money. We accept medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis.
What We Can Do For You
If we decide to pursue your case, we will commit ourselves to getting you justice through maximum financial compensation.
How Much Time do I Have to Sue?
Generally, a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey must be filed within two (2) years of the malpractice or date of last treatment with that doctor. However, there are some hospitals and medical professionals who provide medical care through the state of New Jersey (for example, University Hospital, Newark) who must first be served with a Notice of Claim within ninety (90) days or, in exceptional cases, within one (1) year if a court permits a late filing of the Notice of Claim.
In some cases of medical malpractice, a victim might not know about a potential malpractice case until much later (for example, failure to diagnose cancer). In those instances, the Court might recognize that the two (2) year statute and/or time to file the Notice of Claim starts to run when the victim knew or should have known about a potential malpractice claim.
How do I Know if I Have a Lawsuit?
Not every bad medical outcome is from malpractice. Bad medical outcomes are unfortunately a fact of life. However, if the bad medical outcome could have been avoided by proper medical practice, it is worth contacting a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney to investigate.
In New Jersey, your lawyer will need an expert to give an opinion that the doctor’s medical care was negligent and that the negligence caused the injury and/or death. For example, if the case involves the death of a lady during child birth, the lawyer will most likely need an expert in gynecology and obstetrics, an expert in anesthesia, and an expert in nursing. For example, if the case involves failure of a primary care physician to diagnose a heart attack, the lawyer will probably need an expert primary care physician and an expert in cardiology.
The other side will also have experts who will dispute the opinions of your experts. Therefore, it does not mean that you will win just because you have an expert giving an opinion that favors your argument.
You should also know that many New Jersey medical malpractice cases do not settle and are decided by juries. Why? Because doctors must first give the insurance company permission to settle the case before the insurance company can make any offer. That is different from other areas, such as car accidents, where the insurance company usually makes a decision on settlement without involving the car owner who caused the accident.
How Long Does the Lawsuit Take?
New Jersey medical malpractice cases take longer than regular personal injury lawsuits. Less complicated medical malpractice lawsuits usually take 2-3 years after filing the lawsuit. More complicated lawsuits can take longer. Of course, if a case settles, it can move much faster.
These are the significant steps in a typical New Jersey medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Complaint Filed with the Court*
- Doctor & Medical Facility Served with the Complaint
- Answer to Complaint Filed by Doctor & Medical Facility
- Affidavit of Merit Filed by Plaintiff’s Lawyer
- Court Convenes a Conference (Ferreira Conference) to discuss any issues with Affidavit of Merit
- Both Sides Provide Answers to Interrogatories
- Depositions of Both Sides
- Experts Provide Reports
- Depositions of Experts
* Notice of Claim might be required before filing Complaint depending on doctor and/or medical facility.
Who do I Sue and Who Pays If I Win?
In most cases, the lawsuit is filed against the doctor and the medical facility. In New Jersey, nearly every doctor carries at least $1 million in primary insurance coverage. Most responsible doctors will carry insurance above $1million to cover their assets. Private medical facilities usually carry separate insurance policies that can be higher than $1 million. The exposure of regular hospitals is usually capped at $250,000 in New Jersey.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys
At Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC, our team of New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers are experienced, dedicated, and committed to help those going through very difficult times. Contact us today at 201-488-1161 for a legal consultation with our New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys.