When negligence takes the form of omissions or inaction, it typically relates to healthcare professionals failing to do something that they should be doing. These omissions can include:. Just as there are many different specialties within medicine, there are many different kinds of medical malpractice lawsuits. From the first prenatal care visit to the actual delivery and immediate post-birth care, doctors, nurses, and other providers must adhere to the standards of care for the best chances of a healthy pregnancy and birth. Birth injuries are especially devastating because they affect the most fragile population — newborn babies or babies still in the womb — and because they strike at a time that is supposed to be filled with joy, not grief.
In many areas of medicine, the earlier doctors begin treating a condition, the better the prognosis.
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Any delay in getting the treatment you need for one of these brutal diseases could mean the difference between a favorable prognosis and a bleak one — even between life and death. Misdiagnoses can prolong suffering, exacerbate prognoses, and even cost lives. The physicians who misdiagnose patients must be held accountable. With so much going on in hospital settings, it may come as no surprise that many malpractice claims stem from the care provided in hospitals.
Instances of hospital negligence can include:. The American Association for Justice puts that number considerably higher, at , deaths per year. Even one single death — for that matter, even a life-changing injury — due to a preventable medical error is too many. Researchers have discovered that many defendants in medical negligence cases are repeat offenders. Nearly one-third of all medical malpractice lawsuits in America stem from negligence on the part of just one percent of physicians. Medical malpractice is preventable. If doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers always met the standard of care, there would be no instances of medical negligence.
Some of those factors primarily involve faults on the part of individuals working in medicine, while others reflect large-scale problems in health systems. What matters is that you suffered genuine harm due to the behavior of your providers — and that you get justice for what has happened.
Understanding what needs to happen to win a medical malpractice lawsuit is fairly simple, even though accomplishing those standards is a challenging feat that calls for experienced legal representation. Any healthcare provider who had a duty to care for you and fell short in meeting the standard of care could be liable for the harm you suffered.
Depending on the facts of your situation, the defendants in your lawsuit could include:. To win a claim, the burden of proving that malpractice occurred is on the plaintiff. How do we go about proving medical negligence? First, we review your medical records for any signs that something unusual or out of the ordinary occurred. Then we bring in the experts. These qualified healthcare providers have the specialized medical background needed to understand what occurred in the course of your care and to decipher whether negligence played a part in your situation. Next, we set out to prove that the damage you suffered resulted from the substandard care you received at the hands of the defendant.
Again, we draw on many decades of legal experience and as well as the insight of medical experts to show the link between what your healthcare providers did and the preventable poor outcome you endured. You have this nagging feeling that something went wrong with your medical care or with the treatment a loved one received.
How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Perhaps you have been wondering for some time now whether malpractice is the reason for an unexpectedly poor outcome. The question is, what can you do about it? Having an attorney take a look at the situation can either put your fears to rest, if no negligence happened, or give you the opportunity to take action. If the medical issue has also left your family struggling under the weight of massive medical bills — or fearing for the future expenses of treating this condition — then there are compelling financial reasons for pursuing a claim.
A medical malpractice settlement can compensate you for all of these costs, plus the intangible but shattering impact on your quality of life. Your legal rights are limited — and you may have a lot less time than you think.
Statutes of limitations refer to the deadlines for taking certain legal actions. In a New Jersey medical malpractice claim, the statute of limitations generally gives you only two years to file a lawsuit. Miss this two-year timeframe, and you may entirely lose your right to hold a doctor accountable. The fact is, people become sick and injured all the time, and it is not necessarily the fault of health care providers. However, every person who receives medical treatment is entitled to expect quality care.
When a doctor, nurse, paramedic, emergency medical technician or other medical professional fails to provide the acceptable standard of care for a patient, those affected have a right to take action.
The standard of care is understood to be the generally accepted practices and procedures used by other medical professionals in the same geographic area when treating patients suffering the same disease or disorder under the same or similar circumstances. In order to prove a breach of this standard of care, your lawyer will have to rely on testimony from expert medical witnesses, who must have extensive experience in the same type of medicine at the same level of expertise and in the same region as defendant s. Plaintiffs in these actions may recover substantial compensation for not only medical expenses, but pain and suffering, lost wages, embarrassment, loss of consortium and other general damages.
The first consideration is the statute of limitations. In general, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice actions in Massachusetts is three years, just as it is for other types of injury cases. This is pursuant to Massachusetts G. This three-year window generally starts accruing at the date of injury.
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However, there are some exceptions. In children under the age of six, the statute of limitations may be extended up to six years. And in no case — except for those involving retained foreign objects during surgery i. Massachusetts G. The tribunal will then decide if the evidence is sufficient for the action to proceed. The tribunal also has the authority to reduce or increase that bond amount. Per Massachusetts G. The only exception is if a jury finds there is a substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function or substantial disfigurement or some other special circumstance warranting an excess award.
However, this would not apply to the negligent employee, so plaintiff could still sue the physician or health care provider directly for an excess amount. To learn more about how we may be able to help with your medical malpractice case, call us today. Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation.
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