People seek the services of a physician, hospital, or healthcare provider for treatment of an illness or injury. However, sometimes doctors and other medical professionals do not do their job right. Through negligence or ineptitude, those charged with caring for and healing patients may end up doing irreparable harm, permanently affecting their patients quality of life.
If you or a family member have been the victim of medical malpractice, it is crucial to contact a Burlington County medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced Burlington personal injury lawyer will best be able to fight for your right to compensation.
Different Forms of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is the official term used to refer to professional healthcare provider negligence. Another way to describe medical malpractice is that the medical provider failed to follow the standard of care and failed to act like another reasonable medical provider would have acted in the same or similar circumstances.
A bad outcome does not automatically mean that medical malpractice was committed. A review of the facts and the medical standards of care is required to determine if medical malpractice was committed. Negligence involves deviating from the standard of care a doctor or hospital should have provided. A medical malpractice attorney in Burlington County will be able to examine forms of damages and negligence involved.
The patient must suffer some type of damage as a result of the healthcare provider’s negligence. While medical malpractice applies to any field of medicine, common situations include:
- Anesthesia complications
- Brain injuries
- Birth injury
- Medication errors
- Misdiagnosis of a serious illness or injury
- Negligent prenatal care
- Neurological damage
Surgical errors constitute a large number of medical malpractice cases. Surgeons could leave items inside a patient after a procedure, resulting in painful, perhaps fatal complications. Operations may occur on the wrong site, resulting in removal and exposure of a healthy body part, while leaving the diseased area untreated. Other common examples include patients discharged too early from the hospital, or poor post-operative care leading to severe infection.
The plaintiff might receive compensation with the help of a Burlington County medical malpractice attorney relating to:
- Medical costs
- Future medical costs resulting from the injury
- Lost wages
- Lost earning ability
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
If the patient died as a result of medical malpractice, the family may file a wrongful death suit.
Requirements For Filing a Claim
Plaintiffs have two years from the discovery of the incident to file a medical malpractice suit. Not every case of medical malpractice is obvious immediately. A victim may suffer for some time with an issue before there is a realization of malpractice. There is an exception for injuries occurring at birth. In these cases, such suits require filing by the time of the victim’s 13th birthday.
One of the most important things about medical malpractice claims in Burlington County is what is called the affidavit of merit. The entire state of New Jersey, including Burlington County, requires that if you are going to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice, you must have an affidavit of merit signed by a medical professional that is in the same field of medicine as the potential defendant.
That professional must sign that affidavit of merit, which says they feel, with a reasonable degree of medical probability, that that physician or medical professional deviated from the standard of care. If you do not get a signed affidavit of merit within a certain amount of days of filing a complaint, your claim will be dismissed and will be barred forever.
Where Malpractice May Occur
There are a lot of hospitals in Burlington County and the surrounding areas where malpractice may occur. There is Virtua Hospital in Mt. Holly and the Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County. In the surrounding area as well, there is Virtua, Cooper, Lourdes, and Inspira. There are many big hospitals in South Jersey, especially in Burlington County, but medical malpractice can happen anywhere. It can also happen in a non-hospital setting, such as at the doctor’s office.
Contacting a Burlington Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice cases can be complicated and will require a great deal of investigation and expert involvement. A Burlington County medical malpractice lawyer will obtain medical records and hire experts to examine the medical documentation. This is done on a contingency basis, so the victim does not pay any fees unless awarded compensation.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, you need the services of a lawyer who will fight for you in this difficult situation. If a family member has died because of medical malpractice, an experienced Burlington medical malpractice lawyer will be able to help.