If you or someone you know has been injured, disabled, or was fatally injured as a result of a physician’s negligence, it is vital to consult with an experienced and reputable medical malpractice lawyer. The laws are very specific and often overwhelming to navigate. New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. are committed to helping their clients claim all entitled compensation available to them.
When deciding whether to file a medical malpractice claim, it's important to find out how much time you have to legally bring the claim. All civil claims, including medical malpractice cases, have time limits as to when they must be filed. These limits, called “statutes of limitations,” require you to file your claim within a certain time period from when the injury occurred, or risk waiving your rights to recover money for your injuries.
A research disclosed more than 50,000 deaths per year are a result of misdiagnosis because they were not treated at the right time. These conditions of wrongful diagnosis can be easily avoided with proper tests and right diagnosis by doctors at the right time. But still,these wrongful diagnoses are being conducted in different areas of the United States.
The manner in which medical malpractice is addressed in countries around the world varies widely. For example, many countries do not permit jury trials. In these locations, judges or administrators may make the final decision. Moreover, malpractice awards, even when they are given, are often much lower than amounts received in the United States, giving rise to the argument that injured patients may not be fully compensated for their losses in overseas jurisdictions. Plus, there are logistical difficulties. A foreign lawsuit necessitates retention of a foreign attorney and physical presence in the foreign country for legal proceedings. Importantly, many foreign countries do not permit attorneys to take cases on a contingency fee basis.
Make sure it’s not too late to sue. Each state has a statute of limitations on different types of offenses. These specify the length of time during which you can take action after the incident occurred. Emotional distress falls under the category of a personal injury tort. The statute of limitations for personal injury tort ranges from 1 to 6 years, depending on your state's law. After you are injured, you need to immediately look up your state's statute of limitations. Regardless of the statute of limitations, it's best to file your case sooner rather than later.
I’d advise instead to try mediation, a grossly underused method that is effective, less stressful and a hell of a lot cheaper than going to court. Mediation is a relatively new concept in the NHS and takes the form of an independent, voluntary and confidential meeting in which a trained neutral sits with patients and NHS staff to allow both sides to outline their position, and see if common ground can be established and if issues can be narrowed and an agreement reached.
Second, you should never be paying money to any lawyer upfront to bring your malpractice suit. A lawyer should never ask you for money to pay for the costs of your case. If he does, find a new lawyer pronto! Law firms experienced in malpractice litigation will never ask their clients to pay for the expenses of their case. It is a cost of doing business for malpractice law firms to pay for the costs of hiring medical experts, obtaining medical records, paying for depositions, and the like. Lawyers who ask you to pay for the costs of your case before the case is resolved have no business in malpractice litigation and you should take such a request as an urgent warning to find a new lawyer.
The most common kind of damage awards in medical malpractice lawsuits are compensatory. This is money paid for actual injury or loss. This includes medical and hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses, physical therapy, ambulance expenses, prescription drugs, nursing home care, domestic services,medical equipment, lost employment income, increased living expenses, and loss of future income. The latter is much more difficult to assess. If the doctor injured Bill Gates, the doctor will pay much more in compensation for lost earnings than if the injury was to someone who is poor or retired.
This is often the most difficult part of medical negligence cases and even lawyers have trouble getting their heads around it sometimes. You may be able to prove that a doctor did the wrong thing, but you also have to prove that what happened next was the result of that wrong thing and you have to prove that it would not have happened if the wrong thing had not been done. Deciding whether or not this is the case involves both factual and legal issues and is sometimes very hard to do. You really need a lawyer who is highly experienced in medical negligence cases to look at this for you.
Many people don’t bring a meritorious lawsuit against their doctor because of fear concerning family and friends. Only you can decide for yourself whether bringing a lawsuit against your physician is the right thing for you to do. Only you know the pain and suffering that you have endured – nobody else. Only you know the extent of your lost wages, medical bills, and injury.
As to what constitutes severe emotional distress, the courts here require that it rise above the level of temporary fright, regret or disappointment. Rather, the plaintiff must be able to show that they suffer from a severe and disabling emotional or mental disorder that mental health professionals generally recognize and diagnose, such as chronic depression, neurosis, psychosis or phobia.
The law protects you against any doctor providing you with substandard care. It is possible to sue a doctor who works in an NHS hospital, a private practice or a GP's surgery. Also the law understands that if a doctor has been negligent towards you, you may not always be able to make a claim for yourself. It is possible to sue a doctor for negligence on behalf of yourself, your child, an elderly relative, an individual who has passed away or another loved one who is unable to make the claim themselves.
Successful lawsuits require proof that physicians failed to meet the “standard of care” other reasonable doctors would have and that the failure caused injury.That’s hard, Knutsen says, especially since it’s easier for doctors to find — and pay for — physician experts.“What was the cause of this person’s misfortune? Could it be the cardiac arrest or disease they showed up at the hospital with? Was it a pre-existing condition? Was it someone else’s fault?” he asks.
For example, a man goes to the hospital for a routine hernia repair but still has pain and a burning sensation at the the incision site, long after it has healed. He’s unable to eat and suffers from severe abdominal pain, but no amount of medicine or antibiotics helps. A year later, the man is in such pain that he goes to the emergency room, he tells the emergency room doctor about the pain, the futility of the antibiotics, and how this all occurred shortly after his hernia surgery. The doctor orders an x-ray which shows that a piece of surgical gauze was left in the man’s abdomen from his hernia surgery. When it was removed, it was black with mold, which is why the antibiotics didn’t work.
Our most vulnerable people, including those who have experienced extreme states such as ‘catatonia’, hearing voices, delusions, etc are being institutionalized, forcibly shocked and medicated, and routinely stripped of their civil liberties; Meanwhile, we continue to argue how many angels can fit on the tip of a needle and focus our limited resources on the worried well.
I think one of the reasons people end up being channelled into the clutches of ambulance-chasing lawyers is the often bewildering NHS complaints system, at times a frustratingly slow and impersonal process. But in almost all cases, you can air grievances, and resolve disputes, quickly, with the minimum amount of fuss, without paying a penny – and here’s how...
Expert witnesses, copies of medical records, deposition and witness fees, medical exams -- all of these things cost money. And if you lose your case, you could very well be on the hook for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in expenses - depending on your legal fee agreement. Is your case important enough to you that you feel the potential financial benefit outweighs the risk?