Get Answers To Some Of Your Questions About Medical Malpractice In New Jersey

Medical malpractice cases are more complicated than almost any other type of personal injury or wrongful death case. If you have reason to believe that you or someone you love was harmed due to a medical error, it is essential to have skilled legal counsel on your side. For years, The Epstein Law Firm has worked closely with families across New Jersey, helping them rebuild their lives and recover fair damages after a medical professional's mistake.

The information below is meant to answer some of the more common questions people have about medical malpractice cases.

Call our New Rochelle law firm at 201-918-3560 to set up a free initial consultation.

What is medical malpractice? Some people think that any poor outcome is the result of medical negligence. This is not true. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional breaches his or her duty of care to the patient and the patient is injured as a result.

What is a "breach of duty"? Under New Jersey law, a breach of duty occurs when a medical professional does not act with the care, skill or knowledge as an average professional in the same field.

Is there a time limit to file a medical malpractice case in New Jersey? Yes. These time limits, known as statutes of limitations, are very important in medical malpractice cases. Under New Jersey law, individuals have two years to file a medical malpractice claim. There are important exceptions to this rule, however, and they are listed below.

  • If a person could not have reasonably discovered the injury when it happened, the statute of limitations does not begin running until the time the person could have reasonably discovered the injury.
  • If a person is under the age of 18 when the malpractice occurred, the statute of limitations does not begin until the person reaches the age of 18. The exception to this rule is for birth injuries. In these cases, a malpractice claim must be brought before the child turns 13.

What types of damages can I recover in a medical malpractice case? If you were harmed by medical malpractice, you are entitled to compensatory damages. Compensatory damages can include the following:

  • Your medical expenses caused by the malpractice, both in the past and going forward
  • Your lost income and lost earning potential
  • Pain and suffering

In New Jersey, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the medical professional, and are not awarded in every case. New Jersey law caps punitive damages at $350,000 or five times the compensatory damages award, whichever is greater.

How do I prove my damages in a medical malpractice case? Expert testimony is critical to the success of any medical malpractice case. In short, you will need physicians who practice in the same field as the physician who harmed you to review the evidence and testify on your behalf. Per New Jersey Statute 2A:53A-27, these experts must also sign a sworn statement that they believe there is a "reasonable probability" that your care "fell outside acceptable professional or occupational standards or treatment practices." At The Epstein Law Firm, our attorneys work closely with physicians and other medical experts to help support every part of your case.

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