Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

Did you or a family member suffer an injury or loss of life as the result of a medical mistake or medical provider’s gross negligence? If so, you have the right to financial compensation. It is important to understand what needs to be done in order to present the best claim. You owe it to yourself and your family to retain the sound counsel of a highly competent attorney. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Malamut & Associates can help you.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the US, after heart disease and cancer. In 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts, averaging one payout every 43 minutes.[1] In 2013, New York ($763,088,250), Pennsylvania ($316,167,500), and New Jersey ($206,668,250) ranked in the top five states for medical malpractice payouts.[2] In that same year, 80% of claims for medical malpractice nationwide were due to death, significant/major permanent injury, paralysis, brain damage, or other injury that would require lifelong care.[3]

At Malamut & Associates, we know how devastating the effects of medical malpractice can be on a victim and their loved ones. Contacting an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible will help to ensure your rights are protected. We are here to make sure your claim is handled correctly. If you or a family member were injured or suffered loss of life, it is important to retain the representation that best fits your needs. We offer free consultations in person at our office in Cherry Hill, NJ, or we can come to you. Contact Malamut & Associates today to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to meeting you.

Why would you need an attorney?

As with all injuries, each medical malpractice incident is unique. The incident may have a single cause or multiple nuanced causes with a single or multiple negligent parties. A good medical malpractice attorney is an invaluable asset as you navigate the claims process. We recommend that you do not give a statement to the medical provider’s insurance carrier prior to speaking with our highly competent attorneys. The bottom line is that the medical provider’s insurance carrier is a business whose job it is to make and save money. They do not always have a victim or their family’s best interest in mind when making decisions. Our aggressive meticulous case handling will give you time to heal, while we compile, preserve, and present the best case possible on your behalf.

Aren’t there too many medical malpractice claims already?

No, there are not too many medical malpractice claims. All legitimate claims should be filed and sustained through a resolution that satisfies the victim and their family. Champions of “tort” or “malpractice” reform often argue that there are too many medical malpractice claims today. Lately, it seems like most people are inclined to feel this way. These people are misinformed. The most recent data actually suggest the number of lawsuits is declining.

Sadly, some states have imposed limits on what a victim can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. These limits unfairly impact those with the most severe injuries that require lifelong medical care. Alternately, some patients decide not to pursue justice because the hassle seems too great or they feel the general perception of a medical malpractice lawsuit may negatively impact how people form an opinion of their character. These people will often inadvertently put the burden of medical malpractice costs on to the public through Medicare and Medicaid programs as their continued lifelong medical needs strain finances. If you are the victim of medical malpractice, there is no reason not to report it. Good counsel can mean the difference between a lifetime of nerve-racking medical bills and sustained financial security.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in New Jersey?

According to New Jersey medical malpractice law, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional or a healthcare institution breaches, or violates, the standard of care. For medical malpractice to occur, this breach must result in harm to the patient. The breach of the standard of care is often referred to as medical negligence. The standard of care is what amounts to generally accepted procedures and practices that all similar medical providers in a similar area of the world would use when treating a patient with a particular medical need. Other variables for the standard of care include, but are not limited to, the patient’s overall health, age, and state of mind.

To prove medical malpractice in New Jersey, you and your attorney must show the injury or loss of life was the direct result of the medical provider’s breach. This can require the use of expert witnesses. Your attorney may refer you to medical experts and would provide those experts with the pertinent medical documentation directly for review. Sadly, it is up to the victim themselves (and their attorney) to prove something bad happened.

Statute of Limitations on New Jersey Medical Malpractice Claims

Do not hesitate to report your medical malpractice claim! This cannot be emphasized enough. Do. Not. Wait. New Jersey strictly enforces a two year window to file a lawsuit against a medical provider for medical malpractice. The countdown begins the moment doctor breaches the standard of care. If it has been more than two years since your doctor breached the standard of care, contact an attorney immediately as some exceptions to the rule do exist.

Damage Caps in New Jersey

Damage Caps limit the amount a victim is allowed to recover from a medical provider for medical malpractice. Types of recoverable damages can include compensatory (medical bills and medical expenses like durable goods), non-economic (pain and suffering), and punitive (an award granted should the medical provider prove to have acted in a sensationally negligent manner). In New Jersey, there is no cap on compensatory and non-economic damages. Punitive damages, on the other hand, is capped at either five times the compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever amount is higher.

References
FORBES “10 Things You Want To Know About Medical Malpractice” By Demetrius Cheeks
www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/05/16/10-things-you-want-to-know-about-medical-malpractice/#49717c182323 “29 Statistics on Medical Malpractice Payouts and Lawsuits” by Molly Gamble http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/legal-regulatory-issues/29-statistics-on-medical-malpractice-payouts-and-lawsuits.html Data is from Diederich Healthcare’s “2013 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis,” which is based on data from the National Practitioner Data Bank. http://www.diederichhealthcare.com
How Can We Help?
Contact Malamut & Associates today to schedule a consultation for us to discuss your specific situation.

CONTACT US

We offer free consultations in person at our Cherry Hill, NJ office, or we can come to you. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that you will not pay any attorney fees at all unless we secure recovery compensation on your behalf. If we are not the appropriate firm to help you, we will offer counsel as to your best options. A representative of the firm can be reached at (856)424-1808, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We look forward to meeting you.