Injuries from improper medical care, worsened diseases from misdiagnoses, and hospital-acquired infections can all constitute medical malpractice. When a doctor’s care falls below what is required of them, victims could be entitled to financial compensation, including compensation for a loved one’s death.
Working with an experienced attorney can help you ensure that you have a valid case before taking it to court. Our lawyers can also help you build a strong case, working with medical experts and witnesses to gather the evidence and testimony necessary to prove your claim.
Call our medical malpractice lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey today by dialing (732) 838-9769 for a free case evaluation.
Common Medical Malpractice Claims in Jersey City, NJ
Our medical malpractice attorneys are equipped to handle a wide range of medical malpractice cases. Most claims of malpractice are based on the same four elements of a “negligence” case, but the facts can be vastly different, splitting these claims into general categories.
The four elements that must be met in every claim are that there must be a legal duty known as the “standard of care” (which is usually formed by the existence of a doctor-patient relationship), a breach of that duty, and proof that the breach of duty was the actual cause of injury. Lastly, there must be proof of the damages the victim suffered. The following types of cases see those elements met in various ways:
When you go to the hospital or see a doctor for a medical issue, they should take the proper steps to analyze what is wrong with you and diagnose your illness. If the doctor fails to examine you, perform tests, or get lab work done, they may have failed to adequately diagnose your condition. With the proper care and skill, they should also avoid wrong or mistaken diagnoses by using the right tests to rule out those misdiagnoses.
If you are given an incorrect diagnosis or the doctor fails to diagnose you, you might have a case for misdiagnosis. In many misdiagnosis cases, the damages are worse because you have paid for and undergone treatments that might be wrong or even dangerous for your true condition, all while that condition is not treated.
During a surgical procedure, the doctor must take care to perform the procedure properly and avoid all mistakes they reasonably can. Something like severing a nerve or nicking an artery can create huge consequences for the patient, and some of these mistakes fall below the standard of care. Even careful surgeons make mistakes sometimes, and some complications are acceptable within the standard of care. For this reason, an expert is almost always required to explain whether or not your doctor’s mistakes were reasonable, given the facts at hand.
The damages in these cases can be incredibly severe, often including life-threatening injuries or death.
Retained Objects (E.g., Sponges)
If a doctor leaves a sponge or other instrument inside a patient during a procedure, this almost definitely falls below the standard of care. In fact, a legal doctrine called res ipsa loquitor often helps patients injured by a retained medical instrument sue if they can prove that that injury usually would not happen without negligence, that the objects were in the defendant’s exclusive control, and the victim did not contribute to the accident. Since the sponge cannot be left inside without someone making a mistake, and the patient is unconscious throughout a surgical procedure, it essentially has to be the medical team’s fault for one of these items to be left inside the surgical site.
Often, victims do not discover the cause of these injuries until they seek a second opinion and talk to a medical malpractice lawyer.
In patient rooms, surfaces should be reasonably clean to prevent the spread of illness and infection. This is especially true in operating rooms, where all tools and surfaces must be sterilized to prevent infection during a procedure. If hospitals fail to provide clean facilities and patients get infections from the hospital, that could place the hospital at fault for malpractice.
Doctors can also face malpractice issues in this area by failing to wash their hands or otherwise contaminating the surgical site. Doctors should also proscribe antibiotics ahead of time to prevent infection for many surgeries, and failing to do so without a good reason can also be considered a breach of the duty of care.
In many cases, victims face prolonged healing times and other complications. The worst complication is often sepsis, which can be fatal or at least require additional hospitalization and care costs, all of which should be included in your damages.
When treating a patient who is expecting, the doctor should take steps to check on the baby’s growth and progress. In some cases where the parents have genetic disorders, it might also be part of the standard procedures to screen the baby for potential health problems. In many cases where an issue is discovered, the doctor will have a duty to act. Sometimes this even means performing an emergency C-section, especially if the doctor knows that the baby is in distress from an umbilical cord wrapped around the neck or the doctor knows the mother’s birth canal is too narrow to allow the baby to pass through. Any time the doctor unreasonably fails in screening for complications or properly responding to issues, they can be held liable for the resulting injuries.
The doctor could also be liable for other mistakes during the delivery, such as dropping the baby or improperly or unnecessarily using forceps or other tools to assist them.
Often, birth injuries can lead to health problems like hypoxic-ischemic shock, cerebral palsy, Bell’s palsy, and other long-term health effects.
Call Our Jersey City Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
Contact Legal Care New Jersey’s medical malpractice attorneys for a free case review today at (732) 838-9769.