Many medical malpractice cases stem from the fact that a doctor fails to timely diagnose an illness, disease or condition. The delay in diagnosis often results in a delay in treatment. For example, a doctor may fail to diagnose a serious infection and therefore, fail to give a patient medication such as an antibiotic. This may result in the infection spreading and causing serious injury or even death. Similarly, a doctor may diagnose the patient with an infection but treat him or her with the wrong kind of medication or the wrong dosage. This too can cause the patient to become seriously ill or even die.
Malpractice is when the delay in treatment causes injury. A doctor's failure to provide the correct treatment or failure to provide timely treatment is an obvious mistake. However, in order for a malpractice suit to succeed, there must be a link between the doctor's delay in providing treatment and a serious/permanent injury. In other words, it is not enough for a doctor to miss something; a plaintiff has to prove that he/she suffered harm as a result of the doctor making this mistake.
Medical Malpractice and Expert Opinions. In New Jersey, a medical malpractice cannot go very far without an expert doctor/nurse supplying an Affidavit of Merit. There may be times where the malpractice seems obvious and the connection between a doctor's failure to treat and the injury is difficult to miss. However, New Jersey law requires that very early in the case, the Plaintiff must get an Affidavit of Merit from an expert in the same field as the doctor or other medical professional being sued. This Affidavit serves to show that the claim against the medical professional isn't a frivolous one.
Later on in the case, an expert must provide a report and sometimes give testimony in a deposition or in court. The expert must discuss why he believes that the injury caused to the plaintiff was a result of the medical professional's deviation from the standard of care accepted in that field.
How we can help. Getting the right expert to provide an Affidavit of Merit and later an expert report can be a complicated process. Under the current law in New Jersey, a case can be thrown out if the expert signing the Affidavit does not have the right qualifications. At Lawrence & Gerges, we are experienced in medical malpractice cases and understand the nuances involved in obtaining the right expert opinion in order to advance a malpractice case. We provide free consultations and if we believe in your case, we will not ask you to pay anything unless and until we get money for you. Contact us for a free case review or to schedule an appointment at our Springfield, NJ or Montclair, NJ Offices.