Very few of us enjoy going to the doctor for a checkup or to determine why we are not feeling well – what could be wrong?
When we seek treatment from a medical professional, we place our trust in that professional’s ability to render proper medical care. When that trust is broken by negligence or incompetent conduct, the consequences can be significant and long-lasting.
Even though the judicial system is unable to return the injured person to the health they enjoyed before the negligent treatment, it can offer monetary relief that will ease the financial burdens caused by the negligent medical care.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider breaches or violates the standard of care, causing the patient harm. The standard of care is accepted procedures that doctors use when treating a patient.
A medical malpractice case can stem from:
- Failure to diagnose or improper diagnosis
- Improper or unnecessary treatment
- Unnecessary surgery
- Wrongful death
According to New Jersey law, “medical malpractice actions must be commenced within two years from the date of the act or when the injury was discovered. Except in cases resulting from birth injury, the statute of limitations begins to run on a minor’s eighteenth birthday.”
In addition, another aspect of New Jersey medical malpractice law is damages caps. However, there are no caps placed on:
- Compensatory – compensation for medical bills
- Non-economic – compensation for pain and suffering
Punitive damages are only awarded when the medical professional’s actions are determined to be extraordinarily reckless. Under New Jersey malpractice law, “there is a cap placed on punitive damages. The medical professional will not have to pay punitive damages that exceed either five times the compensatory damages or $350,000, depending on whichever is greater.”
If you have sustained a serious injury due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse or hospital staff, please contact the personal injury law offices of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi – with offices in Fort Lee, New Jersey and New York City.
You need experienced legal counsel – ready to protect your rights.