Personal Injury Deposition FAQs

deposition faqDepositions serve two main purposes in personal injury cases. First, they allow the parties to learn about the facts of the case. Second, they let the parties develop a factual record that can be used to cross-examine adverse witnesses at trial.  Below are some of the common questions we receive regarding depositions in personal injury cases.

Q: What is a deposition?

A: This is a method of gathering information by obtaining testimony under oath from parties, fact witnesses and expert witnesses in a personal injury case. It is essentially a question and answer period, where an attorney asks a witness a variety of questions relating to the lawsuit. The witness is under oath, thus their testimony has the same force and effect as if it were in court. The deposition testimony is recorded by a court reporter and printed in a booklet called a transcript. The testimony […]

Common Types of Medical Malpractice in New Jersey

common types of medical malpracticeMedical malpractice occurs when a health professional or medical facility deviates from the accepted standard of patient care, thereby causing injury, disease, or death. There are numerous ways that this can happen, and it’s usually not obvious or clear right away whether medical malpractice is the culprit. If you are injured by medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Below are just a few of the common types of medical malpractice claims that lawyers assist clients with.

Diagnostic Errors

Accurate and timely diagnosis is essential for patient care. The following types of diagnostic mistakes can be costly, and even fatal for the patient:

  • Failure to diagnose – When a physician misses the symptoms of a disease or health complication, the issue continues untreated. This may result in a worsening of the illness or disorder, and can lead to injury or death.
  • Delayed […]

Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish Damages in Personal Injury

emotional distress in personal injury casesIn personal injury cases, damages refers to the permanent injuries suffered by the accident victim, for which monetary compensation is sought to help make them “whole” again. Personal injury awards and settlements are designed to compensate injured people for the harms and losses that they sustain. In certain cases, damages may be sought for the mental, emotional, and psychological injuries sustained by the injured plaintiff.

Emotional Distress / Mental Anguish

Mental anguish and emotional distress are sometimes used interchangeably to describe the emotional and psychological impact of a serious injury or a traumatic accident. These damages may be categorized under pain and suffering.

Depression

When someone suffers a catastrophic injury, the resulting changes can lead to depression and other mood disorders. In particular, depression frequently accompanies a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Other times, just dealing with pain, rehabilitation, life changes, and other consequences of injuries can lead to depression.

Fear

Feelings of dread and fear frequently […]

The Role of Occupational Therapists in Personal Injury Cases

Occupational Therapists in Injury Cases

Occupational therapy and rehabilitation services are essential to the physical and psychological recovery of many personal injury victims. After a serious slip and fall, motor vehicle accident, work injury or other catastrophic accident that causes severe physical damage, the injured person’s life may be greatly altered. Accident victims often require ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitative care to deal with the effects of injuries. Occupational therapists are on the front line of this important battle.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist (OT) is a healthcare professional who helps aging, injured and/or disabled patients achieve physical, psychological, and functional goals, thereby improving the patient’s overall quality and enjoyment of life.

Some common services an OT performs include:

  • Assessing the impact of injuries on a patient’s life and functional abilities
  • Assessing new challenges presented by the injuries
  • Developing a plan to restore the client’s pre-injury […]

The Role of Expert Witnesses and Their Importance in Personal Injury Lawsuits

export witness personal injury

In a personal injury case, the injured party has the burden of proof. This means it is the victim’s responsibility to demonstrate that they suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence. This often requires the testimony of expert witnesses in various fields.

 

What is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is a person with specialized knowledge in a particular field that is beyond the knowledge of the average juror. Expert witnesses offer testimony in both criminal and civil legal matters. Their testimony is relied upon to prove or disprove claims. An important distinction between a fact witness (i.e. eyewitness) and an expert witness is the type of testimony they provide.

Fact witnesses offer testimony that requires no specific skill or training. They are simply relaying something they saw or heard. Expert witnesses, on the other hand, provide opinion testimony on specialized issues in the lawsuit. These witnesses […]

Medical Malpractice (Med-Mal) FAQs

medical malpractice faq

Medical malpractice claims are complex, expert driven cases. This article answers some basic questions about these complicated cases as a starting point for victims of malpractice. If you or someone you know has suffered injury, and you believe it may be due to a medical professional’s failure to provide appropriate care, you should contact an experienced Medical Malpractice lawyer to discuss the circumstances of your case and learn your rights and options.

 

Q: What is Medical Malpractice (Med-Mal)?

A: Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional or facility deviates from the accepted standard of care in treating a patient, and as a result the patient is injured. Medical malpractice can be difficult to detect, though there are many ways it can occur. Some common types of malpractice involve:

  • Diagnosis error / failure to diagnose
  • Surgical errors
  • Post-surgical complications
  • Treatment errors
  • ER errors
  • Medication errors
  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Birth injuries
  • OB/GYN malpractice
  • […]

Negligence Claims in New Jersey

negligence claimsWhen building a case in a personal injury matter, the primary legal claim to be proven is the claim of negligence against one or more defendants. The plaintiff typically has the burden of proof, and whether the plaintiff can prove the defendant was negligent will usually determine the outcome of the case.

Under New Jersey law, negligence is defined as a party’s failure to act as a reasonable person would, or failure to exercise the “degree of care for the safety of others” which a “person of ordinary prudence” would exercise under “similar circumstances.”  NJ Model Jury Charge (Civil) 5.10A “Negligence and Ordinary Care – General” (1984).

In order to prove a negligence claim, four elements must be established by a preponderance of the evidence.  First, an injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, meaning the defendant had an […]

What is Medical Malpractice?

icon-medical-malpracticeMedical malpractice involves a medical provider’s breach of an applicable standard of care that results in harm to a patient.  The standard of care that applies in a specific situation depends on a number of factors, including the “generally accepted” practices and procedures for other, similarly situated medical providers.

In order to sustain a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey, a plaintiff must show that a defendant deviated from the applicable standard of care, that the deviation proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and the plaintiff suffered resulting damages. Schueler v. Strelinger, 43 N.J. 330, 344 (1964); Rosenberg v. Tavorath, 352 N.J. Super. 385 at 399-400 (App. Div. 2002).  Because the subject matter of medical malpractice cases is typically complex, the services of expert witnesses is essential to sustain a claim.  In fact, New Jersey law requires the filing of an Affidavit of Merit at the outset of a case by a […]

$10 Million Settlement in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Alleging Permanent Brain Injury to Infant

A catastrophically injured boy and his parents recently accepted $10 million to settle a medical malpractice lawsuit against Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and doctors employed by the facility. The lawsuit alleged that doctors at the medical facility were negligent in their attempts to intubate the 15 month-old boy, who had been brought to the facility to be treated for pneumonia. As a result of the doctors’ acts and omissions, the boy suffered a loss of oxygen to the brain and permanent brain damage. The parents were forced to leave their jobs to move near an out-of-state facility where the boy receives hyperbaric oxygen treatment. The settlement on behalf of the child was approved by a Superior Court judge in Middlesex County.

Hudson County Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Yields $1.1 Million Jury Verdict

The estate of a man who died from a blood clot following a surgical weight loss procedure was recently awarded $1.1 million by a Hudson County, NJ jury. The man died as a result of a blood clot that traveled from his leg to his lung four days after undergoing gastric bypass surgery. It was alleged in the medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the decedent’s estate that the doctors who performed the surgery failed to provide sufficient blood thinners following the surgery or perform follow-up tests after an inconclusive ultrasound. It was further alleged that the doctors discharged the decedent prematurely. No settlement offer was made by the defendants and the trial lasted four weeks in total.

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