New Jersey Attorneys Specializing in Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a physician, nurse, hospital administrator, medical technician or other health professional fails to meet standards of care and commits an error in the diagnosis or treatment of an illness. A medical professional’s negligence or misguided course of action can inflict severe harm on the patient by exacerbating a preexisting medical condition, creating new medical complications or having life-threatening consequences that result in the patient’s death.
Prospective clients who seek legal representation in a medical malpractice claim should keep in mind that there is a limited time frame in which they are permitted to file a lawsuit. In New Jersey, medical malpractice lawsuits are restricted to a two-year statute of limitations, or a two-year period in which clients must file a claim, after which point they are barred from doing so. The two-year statute of limitations is calculated from the precise date that the medical professional committed an error. However, patients do not always experience the harmful repercussions of a doctor’s mistake immediately after the error occurs; a substantial amount of time may pass before a patient is ultimately informed that his pain and suffering is attributed to a medical error committed at an earlier date. For example, a patient who files a medical malpractice lawsuit resulting from the delayed diagnosis of cancer is often unaware that he is ill until the disease has progressed into more advanced stages, long after the physician’s initial misdiagnosis. Accordingly, New Jersey law dictates that the two-year statute of limitations is calculated from the time the patient should have discovered or should have “reasonably known” that the medical professional was at fault for violating standards of care and worsening his condition.
In order to determine whether a patient’s illness or injury is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is imperative to differentiate between medical negligence that could have been prevented and an unpreventable poor medical outcome. If a doctor provides an acceptable standard of care that other competent physicians would provide in similar circumstances, but the patient sustains an injury or his condition worsens despite the doctor’s efforts to heal him, the physician cannot be held liable for the bad result. However, if a physician does not act as a medical professional would reasonably be expected to act when faced with such circumstances, he could be held accountable for the error he commits, which constitutes medical malpractice. The experienced team of attorneys at the law firm of O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble will review your medical records with the assistance of expert medical professionals to determine if there is a valid, justifiable malpractice claim.