Gavel and mallet next to a stethoscope to represent medical malpractice

Medical Malpractice vs. Bad Outcome: Know the Difference

By Greg Kohn

A bad outcome does not mean our doctor or medical provider is guilty of medical malpractice. A bad outcome can occur in a medical situation even when all precautions are followed and doctors do everything they can to help their patients. Sometimes, there is nothing anyone can do to cure a disease or stop a person’s death.

However, medical mistakes and negligence happen. The provider may be guilty of medical malpractice when preventable medical mistakes occur. In those cases, a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney can help you file a legal claim seeking compensation for your damages.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Malpractice is also known as professional negligence. A professional commits malpractice when they breach their legal duty of care owed to a client, customer, or patient.

Generally, malpractice is defined as a duty to act within the acceptable professional standards for a specific situation. In medical negligence claims, malpractice occurs when the medical provider’s conduct falls short of the accepted or established medical standard.

What Are the Elements of Medical Malpractice Claims in New Jersey?

You must prove the legal elements of a malpractice claim to hold a medical provider financially liable for your injuries and damages. The elements of a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey are:

  • The doctor or health care provider must owe you a legal duty of care because of your professional relationship with them.
  • The medical provider failed to provide a reasonable standard of care. The standard of care may differ depending on the facts of the case. Generally, you must have a medical expert attest to the medical standard that should have been used and how your provider’s conduct deviates from the standard.
  • The medical provider’s failure to provide a reasonable standard of care caused your injury. In other words, a doctor’s failure to diagnose a condition, prescribing an incorrect dose of medication, or a mistake during labor and delivery was the direct and proximate cause of your injury.
  • You must have sustained injuries, harm, and losses because of the medical provider’s conduct.

It is important to note that a doctor can make a medical error or act negligently without committing malpractice. The doctor’s actions must have caused the patient to be injured and suffer damages for the conduct to rise to the level of medical malpractice. If you were not harmed by a doctor’s mistake, the court might find that you are not entitled to compensation for damages.

However, most medical errors result in some type of harm and damage to the patient. It is worth speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a medical malpractice claim under New Jersey laws.

What Damages Can I Receive for a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Claim?

New Jersey tort laws provide compensatory damages for victims of negligence and other torts, including medical malpractice. Injured victims can usually receive compensation for their non-economic and economic damages including:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Disabilities and impairments
  • Long-term personal and/or nursing care
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Reduced earning capacity

The value of your damages in a medical malpractice case depends on numerous factors, including the severity of your injuries and losses. Our experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers will review your case and discuss the types of damages you could receive for your claim.

Learn More About Medical Malpractice Cases in New Jersey

You could receive compensation for your damages if you were injured because of medical negligence. Contact Nagel Rice LLP to schedule a consultation with our New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys. We’ll review your case and answer your questions during a confidential conference.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.