What Makes a Medical Malpractice Case?
August 15, 2019
Overview of Medical Malpractice
If a patient undergoes a medical procedure and, thereafter, suffers complications or notices that he or she is injured in some other fashion, the patient may have a viable medical malpractice claim against the physician who performed the procedure. However, just because a patient suffers complications after a medical procedure does not mean that the medical malpractice claim he or she brings against the treating physician will be successful. In order to have the best chances of advancing and winning a medical malpractice case, it is imperative that patients bringing these types of lawsuits do the following to help their case.
Consult with and Retain an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Perhaps the first thing injured patients or their families should do when thinking of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is to consult with and hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney to handle your case. Because they have experience in handling these sorts of cases on a daily basis, medical malpractice attorneys can assess the likelihood that your case will be successful and can develop a litigation strategy that will likely yield the most favorable outcome. This litigation strategy entails gathering key pieces of evidence needed to prove your medical malpractice claim as well as negotiating with defense counsel to determine if the case can be settled out of court or if it needs to go to trial. If the case goes to trial, an experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to cohesively and persuasively present evidence on your behalf to prove your case.
Obtain a Good Medical Expert
In all medical malpractice cases that proceed to trial, medical expert testimony is used to either prove or disprove the case. In fact, the success of medical malpractice cases oftentimes turns on whether or not the jury or judge deciding the case finds the plaintiff’s medical expert witness to be more credible than the defense’s competing medical expert witness. For this reason, it is crucial that injured patients bringing medical malpractice claims obtain the services of an experienced medical expert, who can clearly communicate and convince a jury or judge that the patient’s treating physician deviated from the recognized standard of care in treating the patient, how this deviation occurred, and how the deviation resulted in the patient’s injuries. Using the testimony of an experienced medical expert, particularly one who practices medicine in the same or similar field as your treating physician that caused your injuries, can help establish all of the elements you need to prevail on your medical malpractice claim.
In New Jersey, an injured patient bringing a medical malpractice claim must prove the following elements to succeed on his or her claim:
- That the treating physician owed the patient a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances
- That the treating physician deviated from this standard of care in some way
- This deviation caused the patient’s injuries
- Damages resulted
Be Able to Show you Suffered Actual Damages
In addition to presenting credible medical expert witness testimony regarding your claim, being able to present evidence showing that you suffered actual damage because the treating physician committed errors when treating you is crucial in proving your medical malpractice case. This is because, even if you prove the other elements of the case, failure to prove that you suffered actual damages will result in you recovering nominal or no monetary damages for your injuries.
One way to prove that you suffered actual damage is to collect and present the medical bills you incurred as a result of having to undergo additional medical treatment because your treating physician committed errors when initially treating you. Another way to prove actual damages is to present documentary evidence of any lost wages you incurred because you had to take time off of work to recover from injuries the treating physician caused you. Still, another way to prove you suffered actual damage is to provide your own compelling testimony regarding the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of being injured by your treating physician.
Contact a Morristown Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Morristown medical malpractice attorneys at Hoyt & Hoyt, P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Morris Township, Dover, Rockaway, and New Brunswick. Call us today at (973) 292-2299 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 67 East Park Place, 5th Floor, Morristown, NJ 07960, and we also have an office located in New Brunswick, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.