Hospital Negligence Lawyers
You Need a Skilled New Jersey Hospital Negligence Lawyer to Hold Your Doctor Accountable
You never expected to leave the hospital feeling worse than when you got there. If you’re one of the thousands of New Jersey patients who suffered negligence at the hands of your doctors and caregivers while in the hospital, though, that’s your terrible new reality. Your symptoms are worse than ever, or you have developed serious new medical problems. What recourse do you have against a doctor or hospital staff member when your treatment has done more harm than good?
Barry Sugarman of Sugarman Law has been advocating on behalf of New Jersey hospital negligence victims for nearly three decades. He works tirelessly to discovering how doctors, nurses and other medical professionals went wrong in cases of medical malpractice and to hold negligent hospitals accountable.
Sugarman Law serves clients throughout the entire state of New Jersey, including in Somerset County, Camden County, and Hudson County. If you have a question regarding the results of your hospital visit, contact Sugarman Law for a free initial consultation today.
What Is Hospital Negligence?
In the legal arena, we say that hospital negligence occurs when medical professionals fail to adhere to generally accepted professional standards.
What this means is that the medical community has developed a set of professional standards. Doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners must abide by these standards in treating patients. Those standards can vary based upon the specific illness or injury that is being treated, which is why medical professionals are required to complete such extensive training before they are allowed to treat patients.
When the doctor or hospital staff deviates from the accepted standard of care, they can cause an underlying condition to worsen or can even create new injuries that were never present before.
Causes of Hospital Negligence
Hospital negligence can occur in any number of ways. Some of the deviations from the standard of care that most commonly result in medical errors at hospitals include:
- Inaccurate reading of test results or patient charts
- Failure to promptly treat a patient (unacceptable wait times)
- Improper prescription or administration of medications
- Failure to properly move an immobile patient
- Use of unsanitary equipment or devices
- Errors during surgeries, including leaving equipment or tools in the patient or failure to anticipate common complications
- Incorrect use of anesthesia
- Failure to thoroughly review the patient’s medical records to discover any allergies or other conditions
- Failure to conduct proper screening of a patient prior to surgery or other procedure
- Failure to anticipate complications or properly monitor a pregnant woman during labor
If you sustained harm because of one of these failings or another failure to meet the standard of care, you may be entitled to compensation. The next step is speaking to an attorney who can investigate your medical care and begin filing a medical malpractice claim against the hospital for you.
What Will a Lawyer Do for a Hospital Negligence Lawsuit?
For a lawyer to show that a doctor, nurse or other hospital staff member was negligent, there are several important elements we must establish. In each of the hospital negligence claims Barry Sugarman handles, he works to show that:
- The hospital owed you a duty of care, which can almost always be established by the simple fact that you received care in the hospital
- The hospital breached this duty by failing to adhere to acceptable medical standards of care
- This breach caused you to suffer additional harm
- It was the hospital’s negligence that actually caused your injury or illness
Hospital Negligence Can Lead to Serious Medical Complications
Any one of these mistakes caused by hospital negligence can lead to severe and long-lasting complications and even death. Serious complications that can result from hospital negligence include:
- Infections. Infections are one of the most common side effects of a hospital visit, and they can even be life-threatening. Infections can result from unhygienic practices, failure to maintain sterile conditions or even the overuse of antibiotics.
- Dehydration. Although dehydration may seem like a minor problem, when a patient becomes dehydrated because of hospital negligence, serious side effects such as seizures, kidney failure, swelling of the brain and even death can result.
- Bedsores and ulcers. When patients are recovering from surgery, stroke or another condition that requires the patient to remain immobile for long periods of time, the hospital staff has a duty to turn or move those patients so that they do not develop potentially dangerous bed sores or ulcers.
- Fractures. Hospital workers have a duty to help protect patients from falls, which can cause fractures and other severe complications. In some serious cases, fractures and other injuries sustained in falls can even require surgical treatment.
- Birth injuries. Some injuries that are sustained at birth can cause a lifetime of medical complications to a newborn child. Birth injuries can result due to hospital negligence may result from mishandling equipment, failing to properly monitor the mother or child or failing to perform a necessary C-section.
- Death or coma. Negligence that involves the improper prescription or administration of medications, or even anesthesia, can result in seizures, allergic reactions, and even coma or death.
Hospital negligence frequently results in the need for continuing medical treatment that would have been unnecessary had your medical team adhered to generally accepted medical standards. In some of the most tragic instances, patients pay for doctors’ mistakes with their lives.
What to Do If You Were the Victim of Hospital Negligence
Many patients don’t even realize, at first, that a doctor or hospital staff member’s negligence was the cause of their suffering. All you know is that you expected to leave the hospital on the road to recovery, but instead, you’re worse off than ever. As you struggle to understand what happened – what went so badly wrong – you may begin to wonder if it’s possible that the doctor or hospital made a mistake.
In the wake of a serious medical event, you may feel powerless – but you’re not. You have the right to discover the answers to your questions and to hold the people who did this to you accountable. With an experienced hospital negligence lawyer on your side, you can recover financial compensation from the hospital that will help you work toward recovery.
It’s important for all victims of hospital negligence to take the right steps. The hospital won’t decide one day to come forward and admit the mistake. If you want justice, there are three things you need to do – the sooner, the better.
- Obtain medical records. Your medical records will contain important information about your diagnosis, treatment and any complications that arose during your hospital stay. This can provide evidence that the hospital staff acted negligently.
- Call a hospital negligence lawyer. Hospital negligence and medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated and very specific rules apply. In most cases, a general practice or family lawyer will be poorly equipped to help you with a hospital negligence case, so you need a lawyer who has specialized experience in this area.
- Act quickly. New Jersey imposes a two-year statute of limitations on filing a hospital negligence lawsuit. This may seem like a long time, but it often takes time to gather the evidence necessary to build a case against a large hospital. Avoid waiting any longer than absolutely necessary to speak to an attorney. If a long period of time is allowed to elapse between treatment and investigation, evidence can be destroyed or disappear.
Sugarman Law can help guide you through every step of your hospital negligence case. We’re here for you from investigation to resolution.
Why You Need Barry Sugarman in Your Corner in a Hospital Negligence Action
Hospital negligence cases are usually complicated by the fact that everyday people are not educated about the practices that are accepted in the medical community. You trust the doctors and hospitals to act on your behalf.
At Sugarman Law, Barry Sugarman will take on the heavy lifting in your case to gather the evidence needed to prove that you were the victim of hospital negligence. We have the knowledge and the resources to handle even the most complicated hospital negligence cases.
When you retain us to represent you, we will:
- Analyze your medical records. Specifically, we will look at the information about your diagnosis and search for any evidence that you were mistreated based on that diagnosis.
- Consult with medical experts. Based on your initial diagnosis, a medical expert can provide valuable testimony as to the treatment that you should have received, any foreseeable complications, the treatment that you actually received and the potential cause of any resulting illness or injuries.
- Interview hospital staff members. Our thorough investigation will include interviewing all hospital staff members on your team to determine the level of care you received and whose negligence may have caused your condition. Interviewing hospital staff members can also be useful in order to determine common hospital practices.
- Examine the hospital’s safety record. If the hospital has frequently been accused of medical negligence, its training practices, hiring practices or other policies and procedures may be insufficient and could have contributed to hospital negligence.
- Negotiate on your behalf. Hospital negligence cases almost always require negotiating with the team of defense lawyers and insurance adjusters that large hospitals employ in order to minimize their liability in a hospital negligence lawsuit. Barry Sugarman has nearly thirty years of experience going up against large hospitals and is not intimidated by the tactics they frequently use to escape liability.
- File all necessary paperwork. Medical malpractice cases require substantial paperwork. Barry Sugarman will draft and file the required affidavits and claims paperwork required before proceeding with your case. In cases where a full and fair settlement agreement cannot be reached, so that trial becomes necessary, Barry Sugarman will draft and file the complaint on your behalf.
Before a lawsuit for medical malpractice or hospital negligence can proceed in New Jersey, a series of steps must take place:
- After the complaint is filed, the hospital will file its response.
- Within 60 days of that filing, a hospital negligence lawyer must provide the hospital with an “affidavit of merit,” which includes the testimony of a medical expert who can verify that, in his or her opinion, the defendant hospital failed to adhere to acceptable medical standards.
Hospital Negligence Lawyer Barry Sugarman Is Committed to Recovering Compensation for Victims in New Jersey
The amount of compensation available in your case will be based upon the severity and permanency of your injuries, as well as a number of other factors, including your earning capacity. Barry Sugarman will fight to recover compensation for all economic damages, which include:
- All of your medical and rehabilitative expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Psychological counseling
- Corrective surgeries
- In-home health care
- Modifications to the home
- Medical devices or medications required because of the negligence
These economic damages can be recovered without limit, so long as they are verifiable or reasonably can be anticipated. Non-economic damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life, can also be recovered from the hospital depending upon the facts of your case.
In medical malpractice cases, punitive damages may also be available in extreme cases. These damages are designed to punish the hospital or negligent medical provider for especially egregious actions. New Jersey law caps punitive damages at the greater of $350,000 or five times the amount of compensatory damages awarded in your case.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With an Experienced Hospital Negligence Lawyer Today
At Sugarman Law, we put clients first in our fight to hold doctors and hospitals financially responsible for their negligent actions. If you believe you have been the victim of hospital negligence, call Barry Sugarman and his dedicated team of hospital negligence lawyers toll-free at 1-866-657-5660 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also fill out this online form, and we will respond promptly. Sugarman Law has two convenient offices located at 80 East Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876 and 8000 Sagemore Drive, Marlton, NJ 08053.
Frequently Asked Questions:
FAQ: My condition worsened after I was treated in a New Jersey hospital. How do I know if I have been the victim of hospital negligence?
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for someone without a background in medicine to know whether their condition became worse because of hospital negligence or simply because the existing condition did not respond as hoped. Not all bad medical results occur because of medical provider negligence. It can require the eye of an experienced medical expert (a doctor) to determine the cause of your worsened condition. At Sugarman Law, we have dedicated our careers to evaluating hospital negligence and medical malpractice cases, and we work with the best medical experts in the field to determine whether the doctors or hospital staff in your case failed to adhere to generally accepted medical standards.
FAQ: Who can be held financially accountable for my injuries that were caused by hospital negligence?
In a hospital negligence case, the hospital itself can be held financially responsible for the negligent actions of its employees. This can include nurses, medical technicians, pharmacists and even doctors or surgeons in some cases. In many cases, the doctor or surgeon on your case may not have actually been a hospital employee. Doctors and surgeons often enter into contracts with hospitals to act as independent contractors, meaning that the hospital may not be responsible for their negligent actions. Barry Sugarman can help evaluate your case to determine who can be held responsible for your injuries.
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