If you have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, pursuing a legal claim may not be at the forefront of your mind. The emotional pain you experience can be devastating.
If you relied on the victim for financial support, you may also be facing financial hardships already—with more to come in the future.
Filing a wrongful death medical malpractice claim can help you hold the at-fault doctor or medical professional responsible for their actions. A wrongful death settlement can also help provide the financial security you and your family need to get through this difficult time.
The experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys of O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble assist clients with wrongful death medical malpractice cases. Contact us today for help.
Wrongful Death vs. Medical Malpractice: Understanding the Difference
When a doctor, nurse, or another type of medical treatment provider causes harm to a patient—even when the practitioner is clearly at fault—it is not automatically a case of malpractice. Malpractice occurs when the actions of a medical professional are wrongful, negligent, or reckless and a patient was harmed as a result.
If the victim dies as a result of that harm, the victim’s family members may have a valid medical malpractice wrongful death claim.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine what types of actions could constitute negligence on the part of a doctor, surgeon, etc.
Talking to an experienced medical malpractice attorney is the best way to determine whether you have a valid cause for legal action. An attorney can explain your options and help you take the next steps in pursuing a claim or civil lawsuit.
Who Can Commit Medical Malpractice?
In addition to doctors, surgeons, and nurses, any duly authorized treatment provider can commit medical malpractice. This could include any of the following.
- Nurse practitioners,
- Physician assistants,
- Medical technicians,
- Physical therapists,
- Psychiatrists, and
In addition, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to pursue a claim against some employees of hospitals, urgent care centers, nursing homes, medical testing labs, etc.
What Types of Actions Constitute Malpractice?
This question is difficult to answer because virtually any type of action could constitute malpractice if the legal elements for proving malpractice are present. If a practitioner acted with negligence and the patient sustained an injury or had an existing condition worsen, that practitioner may have committed malpractice.
Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include the following.
- Delayed or missed diagnosis,
- Incorrect diagnosis,
- Medication prescribing errors,
- Medication dosing errors,
- Surgical errors, and
- Childbirth errors.
Because this area of the law is highly complex, consulting a New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer is the best way to determine whether your loved one was harmed due to practitioner negligence.
How Do Attorneys Prove Medical Wrongful Death Cases?
To prove a medical malpractice wrongful death claim, attorneys must demonstrate that the victim’s death was avoidable.
In addition, a lawyer must demonstrate that the doctor or other treatment provider acted wrongfully and not in accordance with how another medical professional with similar training and experience would have acted in the same situation.
In most cases, lawyers are able to negotiate a settlement with the provider’s medical malpractice insurance. To accomplish this, your attorney will investigate the circumstances of the injury and subsequent death and compile documentation and evidence to support the facts.
Your attorney will also document the damages that you suffered to determine the value of your claim. Once the claim is submitted, your attorney will negotiate with the insurer.
If the insurance company will not make a fair settlement offer, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit.
How Can a New Jersey Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Legal Representative Help?
As you can see, making a strong medical malpractice case requires experience and an in-depth knowledge of the law. Filing a wrongful death claim is equally complex.
Only a personal representative of the victim can file a legal claim, which the representative brings on behalf of qualified beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries are typically the victim’s spouse and children, although the victim’s parents or other immediate family members may qualify as beneficiaries if the victim did not have a surviving spouse or children.
An experienced attorney can assist you in getting answers to these complex questions. Your attorney can also help ensure that you file your legal claim within the period required by the New Jersey wrongful death statute of limitations.
In most cases, you have only two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a lawsuit. Although some exceptions may apply in your case, the sooner your attorney can get started, the better.
A malpractice wrongful death lawyer can also help determine what damages you may be entitled to recover. Funeral and burial expenses, emotional damages, pain and suffering, and lost financial support are just some of the potential damages you may have the right to pursue.
Finally, having an experienced attorney on your side means that you don’t have to face this overwhelming situation alone. Your attorney will handle every aspect of your case, so you can take this time to be with your family and loved ones.
Contact us for Legal Representation Today
The experienced and compassionate attorneys of O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble understand how frightening and confusing the legal process can be and how daunting your situation can feel. We fight to protect your legal rights and work tirelessly to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
We have offices in Springfield, Newark, Freehold, Paramus, Woodbridge, and Jersey City. You can call us at 908-928-9200 or contact our office now to learn more about how we can help you get justice for your loved one’s wrongful death from medical malpractice.