We trust the medical professionals who treat us and our loved ones to provide competent care. After all, they have completed extensive training, haveagreed to the Hippocratic Oath and have dedicated their lives to helping others. When something goes wrong, however, the results can be emotionally and financially draining. Medical malpractice can result in lifelong injuries, or even in death.
When malpractice occurs, wronged parties or their loved ones may be entitled to receive compensation. There are many medical malpractice lawyers serving clients in Passaic County, NJ. Consider hiring an attorney, how a lawyer can help in your specific case and how to compare attorneys to find one to represent your interests in court.
When to Consider Hiring a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice in New Jersey can take many different forms. Some of the most common cases medical malpractice lawyers handle include:
- Misdiagnosis of, or the failure to properly diagnose, a medical condition, such as cancer, heart disease or stroke
- Medication errors, including drug overdoses
- Pharmacy mistakes
- Failure to properly treat a medical condition
- Emergency room malpractice
- Hospital negligence
- Anesthesia malpractice
- Birth injuries
- Pediatric malpractice
- Surgical mistakes
If you believe you or a loved one are a victim of medical malpractice, you should discuss the situation and circumstances of the injury or wrongful death with an attorney. If, based on the initial information provided, your attorney believes he or she will be able to help you recover damages through filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you will be able to evaluate your options and discuss next steps. You can then choose to move forward if and when you are ready to do so.
How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
You may be entitled to receive monetary damages if medical malpractice occurred. These can include funds that cover medical expenses (current and anticipated future expenses), rehabilitative care and lost wages, as well as money that compensates you for any pain and suffering. However, in order to recover damages, you will need to be successful in your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Building a successful medical malpractice case can be a detailed and time-consuming process. Every case is different and will hinge on the circumstances at hand. The steps involved in reaching a settlement usually include the following:
1. Investigation and Gathering Evidence
This step is often one of the longest parts of the process, although it is critical that no stone be left unturned. The information gathered from clinic, hospital and/or pharmacy records, witness’ statements and medical research will form the basis for your legal case.
2. Medical Assessments and Evaluations by Experts in the Field
As part of the process of building your case, you will need to undergo medical assessments and be evaluated by experts in the field. It is important that the lawyer choose credible experts who have a deep understanding of the medical issue and/or treatment you believe resulted in medical malpractice.
3. Filing Pleadings and Motions With Passaic County Courts
As with any type of legal case, a medical malpractice action requires you to file certain pleadings, motions and other documents through the court system.
4. Preparing and Presenting Your Case
If your case isn’t settled outside of court, you will need to present an organized, cohesive narrative that includes and ties in the evidence and testimony gathered.
When you choose to work with a medical malpractice lawyer, you will have help with every step of this process. Your lawyer should be diligent and dedicated to uncovering all relevant evidence, deposing possible witnesses, arranging for medical evaluations and expert testimony and arguing your case for you.
Choosing an Attorney to Represent You in Your Medical Malpractice Action
When you are considering medical malpractice lawyers, consider the following:
After a malpractice injury, it is not always practical or even possible to visit an attorney’s office. Look for an attorney who offers to come to your home, in the hospital, in a nursing home or a rehabilitation center to evaluate your case.
Explore how the attorneys you are evaluating bill for their services. Many medical malpractice lawyers handle this type of matter on a contingent-fee basis, which means they are only paid if you are successful in your case.
Type of Representation
Some medical malpractice lawyers only represent defendants (medical professionals accused of malpractice.) Look for a firm that represents plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases.
Dealing with the aftermath of a medical malpractice matter can be frightening. Look for an attorney who is not afraid to go head-to-head to advocate for your rights, but who also understands what you are going through. Your attorney should treat you with respect, not just as another case number.
Familiarity With Passaic County Courts
Choose an attorney and firm that practices in Passaic County, NJ. Simply being familiar with the court processes, structure and requirements will not necessarily help you win your case, but it can make the process easier and more streamlined for you.
After you have identified one or more attorneys who might be able to help you with your case, don’t be afraid to take advantage of their offers for free initial consultations. Use that time to ask questions and to learn more about what the process of pursuing justice for medical malpractice entails.