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Proving Medical Malpractice: Key Elements of a Strong Case in New Jersey

According to the Medical Malpractice Center, each year there are 15,000 to 19,000 malpractice suits filed against doctors in the US. These statistics are alarming, showcasing the need for increased awareness of the process of filing these suits and receiving fair compensation.

Medical malpractice is when a healthcare provider deviates from the accepted standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient. The standard of care refers to the level and type of care that a reasonably competent healthcare professional with a similar background and in the same medical community would provide under similar circumstances.

Medical malpractice can have major consequences, leaving patients with long-term health issues or financial burdens. In New Jersey, proving medical malpractice requires a clear understanding of the legal framework. To help you get started, our medical malpractice attorneys have listed and explained the four key elements necessary to build a strong case.

1. Duty of Care

The first key element involves establishing that the healthcare provider owes a duty of care to the patient. This duty is established through the patient-doctor relationship, where the healthcare provider agrees to diagnose and treat the patient.

It’s a straightforward and basic element of the case, as medical professionals inherently have a duty to their patients.

2. Breach of Duty

Once you establish a duty of care, the next step is to prove that the healthcare provider breached this duty by failing to meet the standard of care. This can include errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management. At this stage, you may require expert testimony, as medical experts can illustrate how the provider’s actions deviated from the accepted standard of care.

3. Causation

The third and one of the most important elements of the case is causation which links the healthcare provider’s breach of duty directly to the patient’s injury or harm. You must show that the harm would not have occurred if the provider had adhered to the standard of care. This can be challenging, as it requires a thorough examination of medical records, expert analysis, and sometimes, a demonstration that the harm was not due to an underlying medical condition or other factors.

4. Damages

The final element involves proving that the patient suffered actual damages as a result of the malpractice. Damages can be economic, such as medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs, or non-economic, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Providing comprehensive documentation of these damages is essential to support the claim.

A woman in a suit sitting in an officeWhen it comes to filing a medical malpractice claim, legal representation can make all the difference. An experienced medical malpractice attorney Wayne, NJ, can help gather evidence, consult with medical experts, and build a compelling case.

At Donnelly & Warner, our attorneys understand New Jersey’s medical malpractice laws, including statutes of limitations and filing requirements, ensuring that your claim is timely and properly presented. We provide comprehensive legal services in Wayne, NJ, to reduce the emotional, physical, and financial burden from your shoulders.

Contact us now for a free legal consultation.