New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers
The Reinartz Law Firm represents victims of medical malpractice throughout New Jersey. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional deviates from the accepted standard of care for their profession and, in doing so, causes harm to a patient. When this happens, the patient or their family may be able to bring a medical malpractice claim against the wrongdoers who caused the injury, and seek compensation for their damages.
As a medical patient, you have a reasonable expectation that your doctors, nurses and other medical professionals will take care of you. However, sometimes accidents happen during the course of medical treatment which result in harm to the patient. When medical treatment or a procedure leaves you or a loved one suffering from injury, infection or even results in death, you may be able to bring a medical malpractice claim.
What is Needed to Prove Medical Malpractice?
There are many laws that apply to medical malpractice claims, but generally there are four factors that must be proven to sustain a claim in the courts.
First, it must be shown that the medical professional owed the patient a duty of care. This means that there must have existed a relationship where it was understood and accepted that the medical professional would provide medical care and treatment to the patient.
Second, it must be proven that the medical professional breached the duty of care that was owed to the patient. This requires that the injured patient show that the medical professional deviated from the accepted standard of care for their profession in treating the patient. The standard of care will vary case-to-case based a number of factors including, but not limited to, the medical professional’s area of specialty, the patient’s medical condition, the specific type of procedure or treatment at issue, the patient’s age, general health, past medical history, etc. The applicable standard of care is frequently disputed in medical malpractice matters, and typically requires the testimony of one or more qualified expert witnesses to establish.
Third, it must be shown that the medical professional’s breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of the patient’s injury. In some instances, patients have pre-existing conditions that are the source of their pain. Other times, intervening factors, unforeseen complications and known risks associated with surgery may be the cause of a patient’s injury. Thus, in a medical malpractice case, the injured patient must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the medical professional’s breach of the duty of care was a substantial factor in bringing about their injury.
Finally, it must be shown that the injured patient suffered damages. Damages in these cases may be economic and non-economic. Economic damages typically include bills for medical treatment, out-of-pocket costs, lost wages and the cost of future care, among others. Non-ecomonic damages may include pain, suffering, disability, impairment and loss of the enjoyment of life. Each of these is a separate, compensable category of damages which must be affirmatively proven by the injured patient.
How Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can review the facts of your matter, identify relevant issues, and prepare and pursue a viable case. A lawyer can take the legal burden off of you by obtaining complete sets of medical treatment records from all necessary providers in an efficient and cost-effective manner, and then provide them to one or more qualified expert witnesses to review the case. If the reviewing experts find a basis for a claim, the medical malpractice lawyer can then file and pursue the case in court.
In New Jersey, there are a number of special rules that apply in medical malpractice matters. There are strict limits on the time in which a medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed. There are also certain requirements that must be met at the outset of a case, including the filing of an Affidavit of Merit from a qualified professional. The Affidavit of Merit is a sworn statement by a qualified professional stating that, at first blush, it appears there was a deviation from the accepted standard of care. Without such an affidavit, or affidavits, where there are defendants in multiple medical specialties, the injured patient’s case may be dismissed.
At the Reinartz Law Firm, we have the experience and resources to pursue justice for injured victims of medical malpractice. Cases accepted by the firm are thoroughly reviewed, all medical records are obtained at the outset of the client’s retention, and the case is reviewed by one or more qualified medical professionals. Further, all lawsuits filed in court are prepared as if they will go to trial, since this is the only way to maximize the client’s claim.
What to Expect When You File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Once a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed in court, litigants should be prepared to participate in the prosecution of the case. Although the medical malpractice lawyer will generally do most of the work, litigants will nonetheless need to meet with their lawyer to sign various authorizations for medical records and to review case documents and written discovery. Additionally, litigants will need to attend a deposition, where they will be questioned by the defendants under oath, and attend one or more independent medical examinations by doctors who will offer testimony in the case on the nature and extent of the injuries. Finally, if there is no pre-trial settlement, the injured patient will need to attend the trial of their case in court and provide testimony on various issues.
Without the assistance of a lawyer, victims of malpractice would be at a severe disadvantage in court proceedings. A lawyer can help level the playing field, guide you through the legal process, and protect the integrity of your case against attempts to have it dismissed by defense lawyers.
Medical Malpractice Laws in New Jersey
Medical malpractice cases are complex matters and the law surrounding these claims is constantly evolving and being interpreted by the courts. In particular, these cases typically require the testimony of one or more expert witnesses to support the claims of the injured plaintiff. Experts can range from medical doctors and nurses, to economists, vocational experts, pain management specialists, and more. Expert witnesses offer testimony on various issues, including the applicable duty of care owed to the patient, breach of the duty by defendants, causation and damages.
No two cases are factually identical, thus each case requires an individualized review and retention of the necessary expert witnesses to support the claims. Damages that are recoverable in these cases may include money damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, the cost for continuing treatment, and others. New Jersey medical malpractice claims typically have a two year statute of limitations, so it’s important that you don’t wait too long to contact an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer regarding your claim.
Committed to You
Rich Reinartz, Esq. is proud to represent wrongfully injured victims of medical malpractice. At the Reinartz Law Firm, we handle a variety of medical malpractice matters including, but not limited to, cases involving:
- Birth Injuries
- Prescription Errors
- Surgical Errors
- Neglect and Abuse Claims
- Medication Issues
Contact the Reinartz Law Firm today.
Medical malpractice can be difficult to detect. Were your injuries the result of expected risk factors that were unavoidable? Or are you suffering due to the negligence of one or more medical professionals who were charged with your care? The vast majority of doctors are good people, but this does not mean they are infallible. Whether they are overtired from too many consecutive hours on call, or simply made a critical error in practice or judgement, mistakes do happen.
Do not delay in contacting an experienced lawyer to seek help with a medical malpractice claim. We work on a contingency basis, which means we will review your case at no cost to you and we only get paid when we win compensation for you. The window to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is a short one, considering the statute of limitations and the time it takes to obtain medical records and research your case.
Contact the Reinartz Law Firm today to discuss your medical malpractice claim. Our lawyers are available to provide you with a free consultation.