New Jersey Medical Negligence Lawyers
In September 2013, a study published in The Journal Of Patient Safety estimated that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year that go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death. According to those statistics, hospital medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer.
Medical negligence law is designed to protect a patient’s right to safe medical care by permitting recovery of monetary compensation for harm caused as a result of sub-standard medical care. Medical negligence cases require intensive case evaluation to determine whether a patient’s claim has merit.
Under New Jersey law, a patient who wants to sue a medical professional or licensed facility must provide an Affidavit that a case has merit from a like-licensed professional in order to avoid dismissal of the claim. When you come to our office to discuss a potential case, Tom Shebell, and a full-time attorney and registered nurse, Isabelle Britton, will meet with you to discuss the facts that lead you to believe you have a case.
If our investigation shows that there is a legitimate basis to proceed with a claim, we will then obtain your medical records and any medical scans. In the event we conclude that there is probable merit to your case, we will refer your records for evaluation by the appropriate medical expert to determine whether your medical professional’s care fell below accepted standards in that professional’s field.
If we receive a medical expert’s sworn conclusion, called an Affidavit of Merit, that shows that you or a loved one suffered harm through medical neglect, we will proceed with a case that thoughtfully advocates the patient’s position to the defendant’s insurance company, and many times, to a jury.
Understanding Medical Negligence
Health care professionals are obligated to meet or exceed the applicable “standard of care.” The standard of care is generally defined as the level of competence that a physician or other license health care professional of average skill and ability practicing in the same specialty field would use when caring for a patient. When a treatment provider deviates, or falls below the standard of care by providing inadequate treatment, a misdiagnosis, or makes an inappropriate medical decision or surgical error, a patient can suffer from long-term health problems or death.
In order to prevail on a claim for medical malpractice, a patient must generally prove:
- The medical provider’s care fell below the appropriate standard of care
- The patient suffered a new, different, or worsening of his condition or injury
- The medical professional’s conduct is a substantial factor in causing or contributing to the injury or condition
In addition, treatment providers are required to obtain a patient’s informed consent for all medical procedures. If a patient is not told about the potential risks and complications involved with a certain procedure, enough so that the patient can make an informed and educated decision, a patient may have a valid claim for medical negligence or battery. This policy is critical to patient’s rights so that the patient fully understands knows of the risks, so that the can make an informed decision to undergo the procedure in the first place.
Although doctors and political lobbyists acting on their behalf routinely repeat the myth that medical malpractice insurance premiums are forcing doctors on a mass exodus out of New Jersey, the reality is that the total cost of medical errors, including additional care, prescription drug services, and disability payments is as high as $1 Trillion annually in the U.S.
Why You Need a Medical Negligence Lawyer
Unfortunately, medical providers often do not disclose medical errors or neglect that have injured you. If you suffer adverse consequences while undergoing medical treatment, your doctors might tell you that they did their best, or that your injury was a “complication of the procedure”, or was “unavoidable”. Although complications may occur that are inherent in a particular surgical procedure, you should get an opinion from a lawyer who is experienced in this area of law and who can advise you of your legal options.
Some frequently seen examples of medical negligence include injury as a result of:
- Medication errors
- Unsterile hospital conditions, resulting in infections
- Incorrect dosage of medication
- Improperly administered care
- Negligent nursing treatment
- Inadequate staffing
- Equipment failure
- Failure to properly monitor vital signs
- Delay in diagnosis and or treatment
- Incorrect or misdiagnosis
- Operating room errors
- Emergency room (E.R.) errors
- Obstetrical & Gynecological (OB-GYN) errors
- Medical testing or radiology errors
The medical negligence lawyers at Shebell & Shebell have years of collective experience in successfully representing patients injured from medical neglect. To learn more, call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online today.