Preventable medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, right after heart disease and cancer.
Generally, doctors are very smart, dedicated to their patients, hardworking, and have a deep down commitment to helping others. However, they are human and humans make mistakes. In the field of medicine, unlike law or other professions, a simple mistake can have life-or-death consequences.
During the course of a professional career in which thousands of patients are treated every year, even the best of doctors will often make mistakes that may cause patients to suffer harm. Knowing this, doctors purchase insurance to protect themselves financially from any lawsuits, and also to ensure that their patients have financial compensation available to them should these mistakes ever occur.
Medical malpractice is the term used to describe a lawsuit against a hospital, doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other medical professional whose conduct has been alleged to be negligent.
Some common medical malpractice cases involve the following:
- Drug dispensing errors or medication errors – over-prescribing/over-medicating; prescribing the wrong medication; prescribing the wrong dosage; failure to consider side effects or allergies; failure to disclose side effects
- Surgical errors – failing to conduct an accurate pre-surgical evaluation; performing improper surgical techniques; leaving a foreign object inside a patient’s body; performing a surgical procedure on the wrong site or side of the body; performing the wrong surgical procedure; perforating or puncturing an organ, or other structure; using unsanitary surgical instruments; failing to take all necessary steps to prevent infection, nerve damage and other complications; and operating on the wrong body part
- Nursing mistakes – failing to monitor or observe patients; improper feeding of patients, improper administration of medications; failure to change bandages or dressings; failing to document or take vital signs; and failure to check medical equipment
- Failure to diagnose cancer or other diseases – breast cancer; colon cancer; lung cancer; skin cancer; prostate cancer; thyroid cancer; leukemia; lymphoma; uterine cancer; testicular cancer; stomach cancer; rectal cancer; bladder cancer; kidney cancer; pneumonia; leukemia; streptococcus; and other bacterial illnesses
- Birth injuries – Cerebral palsy (CP) and Erb’s palsy; nerve damage; brain damage; perinatal hypoxia or asphyxia; spinal injuries; bone fractures; complications of meconium aspiration syndrome; bleeding in the brain; organ damage; hepatic rupture; and intra-abdominal trauma
- Anesthesia malpractice – improper or delayed administration of anesthesia; incorrect dosage or medication; allergic reactions according to the patient’s history; over-sedation; anesthesia awareness; infection or complications from defective anesthesia equipment; and improper monitoring during surgery
- Cerebral palsy delayed C-Section – failing or delaying in calling for an emergency C-section despite fetal distress warning signs can lead to birth injuries like cerebral palsy. The reason for this is because oftentimes complications in labor and delivery can result in oxygen, blood, and nutrient deprivation in the baby. The lack of oxygen, also known as hypoxia, and lack of blood flow, also known as ischemia, are two of the main causes of cerebral palsy.
- Emergency room negligence
- Erb’s palsy or Erb-Duchenne palsy
- Neurosurgical malpractice
- Nursing home malpractice
- Orthopedic malpractice
- Obstetric malpractice – Cerebral palsy (CP) and Erb’s palsy; Nerve damage; brain damage; perinatal hypoxia or asphyxia; spinal injuries; bone fractures; complications of meconium aspiration syndrome; bleeding in the brain; organ damage; hepatic rupture; intra-abdominal trauma
- Ophthalmologic malpractice
- Wrongful birth
- Pre-natal or neo-natal malpractice
- Radiologic malpractice – improper interpretation of x-rays, MRI’s, and CT scans; poor quality radiological images; misreading images or tissue samples
- Breast cancer misdiagnosis
- Delayed disease diagnose
- Pediatric malpractice
- Failure to refer to a specialist
Statute of Limitations
With some very few exceptions, in New Jersey, there is a strict two (2) year statute of limitations for bringing a medical malpractice case, which begins at the time of the preventable medical error. New York has a strict two and half (2.5) year statute of limitations.
You Need an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Not all problems after medical care are the result of medical malpractice and only a medical expert can render an opinion to determine if litigation is warranted. The medical malpractice lawyers at Mintz & Geftic are experienced in handling some of the most challenging medical malpractice or medical negligence cases,. We will coordinate having the appropriate physician review the medical records to determine whether there was medical malpractice. Due to the strict statute of limitations, it is critical to contact a New Jersey medical malpratice lawyer as soon as possible.
In 2015, Jeffrey E. Strauss, of counsel to Mintz & Geftic, LLC and Strauss Law Offices, LLC, who, through a relentless and lengthy hard fought legal battle, secured a $15 million settlement in a medical malpractice suit on behalf of an 11-year-old girl from Irvington, New Jersey. An Essex County, New Jersey Superior Court Judge approved the settlement on December 18, 2015, just 10 days before the trial was scheduled to begin.
The young girl, who was born with a congenital cardiac abnormality, was left brain-damaged after suffering from a stroke as a baby in November 2005. The suit, filed in 2010, alleged that the hospital and her cardiologist deviated from the accepted standards of care by not following up about an appointment for a corrective surgery in early 2005, which could have treated the congenital abnormality and prevented the stroke.
The child is now severely disabled, blind and using a wheelchair. The settlement will fund annuities for the girl and her mother along with a special needs trust for the girl.
This settlement was featured in the New Jersey Law Journal (note site requires subscription). Full write-ups can also be found at NJ.com, courthousenews.com and a number of other publications.
For other recent verdicts and settlements, click here
Elizabeth, New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers
We give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, call us today at 908-352-2323 or send us email by clicking here to evaluate your case.
Our Elizabeth, New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey, and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.
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