Health is probably the thing most important to us all. It’s difficult to live a stress-free life while unhealthy. Fortunately, we live in an age when highly-skilled and effective health care is available to us. In the majority of cases, that care successfully treats what ails us or at least reduces the suffering it causes.
There are times, however, when health care is not only ineffective, it actually makes things worse. If this has happened to you or a loved one, it’s possible you have been the victim of medical malpractice and should seriously consider searching for qualified medical malpractice attorneys in Passaic County, NJ.
How can I prove medical malpractice occurred?
A knows that in order to commence arguable legal action against a physician or health care practitioner and/or health care facility, certain things must be established:
- That a doctor-patient relationship (or relationship with another health care professional or facility) existed.
- That the medical malpractice resulted in actual harm to the patient.
- That an error in diagnosis or treatment actually occurred, and
- That another reasonably skillful physician or facility conducted the testing would not have committed the error in diagnosis or treatment of the illness/injury.
Medical malpractice attorneys in Passaic County will look for certain factors, the presence of which may indicate that grounds exist for a malpractice case. These include:
- A clear and obvious failure to identify or treat the condition correctly.
- Something unexpected happens during the care of an illness or injury.
- The result of the diagnosis or treatment is different from anything previously explained as a possible outcome.
- You are being given information or prescribed treatment that seems to be completely unrelated to everything that came before.
- You have requested the health care practitioner or facility to provide you with a full, detailed description of what happened and why it happened but the response is evasive or there is no response at all.
- You have been offered money in exchange for a full release from you of all potential claims that have arisen or may arise from the diagnosis or treatment you received. This factor in particular is a sign that medical malpractice may have occurred.
If you have experienced any of the scenarios we’ve described above, you would be well-served to seek out qualified medical malpractice attorneys in Passaic County, NJ. The question is, of course, how can you tell who they are?
If you are unsuccessful in getting a strong referral, you’ll need to find an attorney on your own. Either way, do not hire any of the medical malpractice attorneys in Passaic County without conducting a thorough interview of each prospect. As you meet with each attorney, you’ll want to focus on several key factors which are critical to ensuring that you’re hiring the lawyer that’s right for your circumstances.
How many years has the attorney been practicing medical malpractice?
Not all lawyers with many years of personal injury experience become qualified medical malpractice attorneys in Passaic County. Although medical malpractice is a form of personal injury law, it is significantly more complex than a motor vehicle accident or slip-and-fall case. Medical terminology is complicated and few people have the ability to fully understand diagnostic tests or surgical procedures.
While medicine may not be an exact science, it is a science nonetheless. Most lay people simply don’t have the education or training to fully comprehend either the scope or the details. Hence, your choice of your lawyer should be from among the best medical malpractice attorneys in Passaic County.
Of the cases handled, how many have facts similar to yours?
No two medical malpractice cases are exactly alike. Patients, doctors and circumstances are all unique. That being said, there are often similarities. Find out whether the lawyers you are interviewing are familiar with the circumstances similar to those of your case. If so, ask them to describe any similar case they worked on and what the outcome was. Also ask how your circumstances differ from that case/those cases.
How will you be charged?
As with most personal injury lawyers, medical malpractice attorneys in Passaic County generally take cases on a contingency basis. However, you should know up front how you will be billed for expenses (medical reports, expert testimony, etc). Will it be as they are incurred or whether these will be deducted from a settlement amount or award granted at trial?
Good medical malpractice attorneys in Passaic County, NJ will understand your claim. Will they understand you, though? Because mutual trust is the most important part of any attorney-client relationship, you want to feel comfortable that your lawyer is cognizant of your preferences, your biases, your concerns and fears and perhaps even your idiosyncrasies.
If you’re dealing with a medical malpractice case, you may be under a lot of mental and emotional stress. If so, you need an attorney who has the patience and understanding to assist you through what is probably a very difficult time for you while also providing you the information and guidance you need to make sound, well-informed decisions.
What does the lawyer think of your chances?
Medical malpractice attorneys in Passaic County fully expect to be asked whether your case has merit. Ask what your case’s strengths and weaknesses are. What additional factors or information could strengthen your prospects for a positive outcome and what will the lawyer be expecting from you?