What To Expect In A Medical Malpractice Case

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What to Expect in Your New Jersey Medical Malpractice Case

Skilled and compassionate injury attorneys representing victims of malpractice

If you or a loved one are a victim of malpractice, or are currently involved in a malpractice case, you may have many questions about the process. Although every case of medical negligence is different, we have collected some general information about what you may expect from your claim.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP in New Jersey have combined decades of experience, and are committed to helping patients when they suffer harm due to the carelessness of medical professionals. Contact us today for assistance with your case.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, health care professional, hospital, or other medical provider fails to meet the accepted standard of care in their medical community and causes harm to their patient – whether that harm be injury or wrongful death. This could be any improper action (or failure to act) on the part of the medical professional.

Standard of care means what a reasonable doctor would do with the same patient under the same or similar circumstances.

How do I know if malpractice occurred?

Your medical malpractice attorney can speak with you to determine whether or not you may have a claim. Typically, your lawyer will consult with medical experts in the same field of expertise as the doctor whom you’re looking to bring a claim against. Our legal team is experienced and connected to professionals in the medical industry who can take an honest look at your case.

Someone in my family died a few days after surgery. Is this malpractice?

It’s not necessarily malpractice when there is a negative outcome after a surgical procedure. Unfortunately, sometimes there are complications over which surgeons and medical professionals simply have no control. Patients typically sign a consent form before a procedure indicating they understand possible complications. However, there can be times when death during or following surgery is caused by negligence or malpractice. Your attorney can talk to you about your particular situation.

What if I think I’m a victim of medical malpractice?

If you believe you’ve been harmed due to medical malpractice, it’s in your best interest to speak to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. There are statutes of limitations on the time you have to bring a claim in NJ – typically two years – so you must act quickly to protect your rights. It’s also a good idea to collect as many of your medical records as you can to bring to your legal consultation.

Do I really need a malpractice attorney?

Unequivocally yes. Technically, there is nothing legally preventing anyone from trying to negotiate a malpractice settlement alone. However, it is rarely in anyone’s best interest to do so. Malpractice cases are complex, requiring an extensive knowledge of both legal and medical concepts and terms.

Insurance adjustors are also skilled at eliciting statements from patients to decrease the value of the case, and will investigate deeply to find anything they can use to discredit you. Many victims of malpractice are unaware that they are not required to sign any authorizations or give any recorded statements to insurance companies. By doing so, you could inadvertently give up your rights to compensation. We strongly recommend legal representation before even talking to any insurance company about a medical malpractice case.

What will a skilled New Jersey malpractice attorney cost?

You shouldn’t have to worry about paying up front, out-of-pocket fees. Most medical malpractice attorneys work on what’s called a contingency fee arrangement, which means that no payment is due until there is a settlement or jury award on your case. Payment is then collected from the award.

Medical malpractice lawyers who work under a contingency arrangement don’t get paid if they don’t win or settle the case. The contingency fee system protects people who otherwise wouldn’t have the financial resources to pursue legal action for their injuries.

If I signed a consent form before my procedure, does that mean I can’t recover damages in a malpractice claim against my doctor?

A consent form doesn’t necessarily release a medical professional from liability for negligence. If you are able to prove that your doctor failed to provide the proper standard of care before, during, or after your procedure and it caused you harm, you may still have a malpractice claim.

How do you prove a medical malpractice case?

Your malpractice attorney must prove four elements for a successful claim:

  • The standard of care that was owed by the physician.
  • That the physician violated the duty of care.
  • That the patient suffered an injury making him or her eligible for compensation.
  • The injury was caused by the failure to provide adequate standard of care.

What damages can I claim in my malpractice case?

There are two types of damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice case – compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages include:

  • Medical expenses, past and future.
  • Loss of income, past and future.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Loss of companionship and/or loss of family income (in cases of wrongful death).

New Jersey has no cap on compensatory damages for medical malpractice cases.

Punitive damages are less common, but are intended to punish the defendant for extremely reckless conduct or intent to cause harm. Their purpose is to make an example out of the defendant and deter similar behavior.

Will my case settle out of court?

The only answer to this question is “sometimes.” With most medical malpractice insurance policies, doctors have the right to decide whether or not to settle. However, when doctors settle a malpractice lawsuit, no matter how high or low the number, it’s reported to a national database, and many doctors want to avoid tarnishing their reputations. In those cases, it’s necessary to go to trial.

How long do medical malpractice cases take to resolve?

Again, it depends on the circumstances of the case. However, if it’s a case that can be settled out of court, it’s possible it can be resolved in less than a year. Typical malpractice cases, however, can take up to two years or more. The time it may take for a case depends on factors like the availability of expert witnesses, how backed up the courts are, and other variables.

Contact our trusted NJ medical malpractice attorneys today

Medical malpractice and negligence claims can be complex. The lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP in New Jersey are highly experienced in this area of law and are ready to take on your case. We can provide honest and reliable guidance for you or your loved ones. Call us at 732-777-0100 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River.

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"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
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~ Client

"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

I have to say he is a great person.

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:42:12+00:00

~ Client

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

Mr. Zaslow is truly the best.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

~ C.C.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:44:24+00:00

~ C.C.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:48:36+00:00

~ Client

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

Very very pleased with the service and professionalism.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

~ M.M.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:51:39+00:00

~ M.M.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

This is a 5 star firm.

"Great firm took me right in and sat with me and understood my case, unlike other attorneys I had seen. This is a 5 star firm."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:04:32+00:00

~ Client

"Great firm took me right in and sat with me and understood my case, unlike other attorneys I had seen. This is a 5 star firm."

I would highly recommend his firm.

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:07:23+00:00

~ Client

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."
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