In this article, you will learn…
- Who is typically liable for medical malpractice,
- What injuries make for a valuable case, and
- What damages are recoverable in medical malpractice claims.
Who Typically Is Liable For My Medical Malpractice Claim?
In a medical malpractice claim, typically the provider at issue is liable. You’re also going to hold the hospital or whatever practice they work for vicariously liable for their employee’s actions. A lot of times a hospital will be self-insured or have some sort of excess policy that will actually pay for the individual provider’s actions.
You can hold a hospital directly responsible for situations where they don’t have policies in place. They should have had policies in place or they hired an individual who should have never been hired, which would be a negligent hiring claim.
How Serious Should My Injuries Be In Order To Be Successful In A Medical Malpractice Claim In New Jersey Or Pennsylvania?
If you’re injured, your medical malpractice claim has value in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If there was a breach in the professional standard of care, you can show that breach, and that breach caused or approximately caused your injury, then your case has value.
There are going to be different levels of value, of course. A case for someone who has a blemish or an injury that goes away in a month or a year is going to have less value than a case involving a far more significant injury. A significant injury would be one with permanency, and those cases carry the largest value.
If the permanency aspect of the injury means that your fingers are crooked but you can still use your hand, that case is going to have less value than if the permanency looks more like you now being in a wheelchair and unable to walk for the rest of your life.
So, yes, every case does hold value if you were injured, but that value is going to vary based on the severity of your injury.
If The Consent Form I Filled Out Prior To The Procedure Is Considered Valid, Can I Recover Any Damages In A Medical Malpractice Claim Against My Medical Care Provider In New Jersey Or Pennsylvania?
If you signed a consent form that indicated you understood what the procedure entailed, that the provider explained the procedure to you in a way you understand, and you signed that form stating that you understood what you were signing, it’s going to be very difficult for you to recover damages in a medical malpractice claim. You’re going to be fighting an uphill battle to prevail on a lack of consent claim.
However, if you were just signing papers and no one ever talk to you about what was going to happen and you really weren’t made to understand the risks and the severity of the risks, and if you feel that you would have never signed the consent paper if you had been spoken to, then you’ll have a better chance of prevailing. The burden is going to be higher, because you did sign the consent because it is now a he said, she said situation where the provider at issue is going to say you knew the risks and that’s why you signed the form. They can say that, in their general practice, they always sit down and explain the procedure, ask questions, and make sure that they understand the risks. There’s no reason it didn’t happen this time.
Those are the challenges that come with those cases, and if you can show it, it’s really a battery claim. The issue with battery is that it’s intentional conduct. The risk of that is that insurance companies typically don’t provide coverage for intentional acts, so an attorney is going to have to give thought to who the target is going to be. Who’s responsible and, if there’s no insurance coverage, are you going to realize the recovery on your client’s behalf?
What Damages Are Recoverable In New Jersey Or Pennsylvania For Medical Malpractice Claim?
The damages that are recoverable for medical malpractice claims can include…
- Compensatory damages,
- Noneconomic damages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Lost wages, and
- Punitive damages.
What damages are recoverable depends on the conduct and if it arises to recklessness.
For more information on Liability For Medical Malpractice In NJ & PA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (609) 400-3091 today.