Doctors are required to swear by the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, and to be ethical in their practice of medicine. But what happens when a doctor makes a medical error by leaving a suture in a victim’s body, failing to properly diagnose a patient’s disease, prescribing a harmful overdose of medication, or even operating on the wrong body part? The simple answer is that you may need to sue to protect your interests.
If a doctor or other medical professional has done something to cause you harm, speak to a Cumberland County medical malpractice lawyer to understand your rights and how to obtain compensation. Get in touch with an experienced attorney to begin your claim today.
Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Negligence refers to an individual’s failure to act the way a reasonable medical professional would act under the same or similar circumstances. A deviation from the standard of reasonable conduct can cause an accident or injury. A personal injury plaintiff needs to establish certain elements to obtain compensation in a medical malpractice case:
- Duty – medical professionals are bound by the doctor/patient relationship. Patients have the right to refuse treatment, the right to confidentiality, the right to communication about material matters, and the right to receiving informed consent before receiving treatment. A doctor’s duty is defined by the doctor/patient relationship.
- Breach – if a doctor fails to conform to the standard of care owed to the patient, the doctor has breached his duty. This breach can be found in a number of circumstances, from failing to follow ethical or medical guidelines, making an error or omission, or creating a risk of harm via an error in judgment.
- Causation – the doctor’s breach of a duty owed to the patient must be the cause of the injury. This could be difficult to prove in cases where the patient suffered from a serious, life-threatening, or terminal condition that led to the treatment in the first place.
- Damages – the negligence of the medical professional caused harm resulting in damages, including medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Potential Recoverable Damages
Most plaintiffs are curious as to just how much money they can obtain in a Cumberland County medical malpractice lawsuit. Many doctors and medical professionals are covered by insurance, but the value of the assets owned by the defendant might be a consideration in calculating how much a plaintiff can obtain.
While no one can tell a plaintiff for certain how much they can expect to receive in terms of compensation, the following factors are generally used by jurors in calculating damages:
- The credibility of the plaintiff, defendant, and the witnesses
- The type of injury
- The seriousness of the harm
- The effect on the victim’s life
- The age and physical characteristics of the victim
- The cost of medical bills, medications, lost wages
- Earnings capacity
- Permanency of injuries
- Demographics/background of claimant
Consult with a Cumberland County Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
It is critical to be aware of court deadlines for filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice in New Jersey. Under New Jersey law, there are time limits on how long you have to bring claims, called Statute of Limitations, and you should contact a Cumberland County medical malpractice lawyer immediately to protect your rights
If you – the plaintiff – file a lawsuit against the doctor, nurse, hospital, or another party – the defendants – after this time period, they will likely be able to have your claim dismissed by drafting a written motion and filing it with the court.
If you have questions about starting your medical malpractice lawsuit, contact a medical malpractice attorney in Cumberland County now for a consultation.