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Bergen County Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Physician drug addiction and the threat of medical negligence

Drug and alcohol addiction is a significant problem in the United States. Nearly anyone with a family history of addiction knows just how destructive alcohol and drugs can be. They also understand how difficult it is for the addicted person to seek help, to accept help and to recover.

Alcoholism and drug addiction nearly always create problems at work for the addicted person. But those problems and their consequences are exponentially higher when the addicted person is a physician. Untreated addiction is a significant cause of medical negligence, and the outcomes for patients can be devastating.

I may need to pursue a medical malpractice suit. How do I begin?

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to what you believe was negligent medical care, you may have no idea what the next steps are or what legal options are available to you. Most patients are initially unprepared to even consider a medical malpractice lawsuit because they never thought something like this would happen to them.

All of these reactions are normal, particularly when the medical outcome included serious injury or a loved one’s death. In these cases, you should first tend to whatever is immediately urgent, which could include follow-up medical care, taking time to heal or making arrangements for time off of work. When things have settled down a bit, you can then turn your attention to your legal matters.

Hurt on a cruise ship? Court delivers important med-mal ruling

When most of us think of medical care, we only think of the hospitals and clinics near our home. But what happens when you need medical care while on vacation? How about on a cruise ship out on the open sea?

Cruise ships generally have at least one medical staff member on board, and it is typically understood that treatment resources outside of a hospital setting might be limited. Nonetheless, patients who suffer illness or injury on a cruise ship have a right to expect that they will receive quality medical care or that they will be transported in a timely fashion to a hospital on land.

Daughter of Joan Rivers seeks answers with wrongful death lawsuit

When a patient dies or suffers a negative medical outcome, their families often find that physicians and hospitals are less than forthcoming about the details. In many cases, this is because they want to shield themselves from liability in case the patient or her family decides to pursue a medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuit.

The irony with this approach, however, is that a lack of answers may be why such a lawsuit is pursued in the first place. If doctors and hospitals won’t disclose details on their own, a lawsuit becomes necessary. This appears to be among the reasons why the daughter of comedienne Joan Rivers is pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the physicians and clinic that treated her mother just before she died.

'Tort reform' laws have not lowered health care costs for patients

Since the early 2000s, most states in the U.S. have enacted laws broadly referred to as “tort reform.” Such laws have especially impacted medical malpractice lawsuits by making it harder for plaintiffs to prove medical negligence and/or by putting caps on the amount of money juries can award plaintiffs for non-economic damages.

The fact that these laws were called “reforms” implies that the old system was somehow broken and that new laws would result in better health care at lower costs. According to a recent study, health care costs may be going down, but not for patients.

New Jersey Supreme Court delivers important med mal ruling

In any profession, understanding and learning from past mistakes is crucial to preventing future errors. Health care is no exception. For this and other reasons, the New Jersey legislature passed a law called the Patient Safety Act in 2004.

The goal of the act was to give doctors and hospitals the opportunity to conduct their own thorough, internal investigations into errors without worrying that the results of their investigations could be used against them in a later medical malpractice lawsuit. While this is beneficial for health care providers and perhaps for future patients, it may be detrimental to patients who were the victims of the errors being investigated.

Medical malpractice lawsuit shows medicine errors can be fatal

Prescription and hospital-administered medicine errors are a significant problem in the United States. Because prescriptions and doctors’ instructions get passed down to nurses, pharmacists and others, there are opportunities for errors to be made nearly anywhere along the chain of command.

That being said, some medicine errors are as simple as a nurse administering a drug based on the assumption that a patient should have it. A mistake like this proved fatal at a Pennsylvania hospital in 2007. And last month, the victim’s widow was awarded approximately $1.5 million by a jury in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Expert medical testimony is crucial in medical malpractice cases

Few would dispute the fact that medicine is among the most complex professions one can enter into. We trust and respect doctors not just for the important work that they do, but also for the years of training and study that it took to learn their craft.

But there are times when doctors make serious errors that lead to harm or even death. Because the average person has only a rudimentary understanding of the field of medicine, we don't always know if the negative outcome was the result of error. And if so, whether that error was one that any physician might make. Therefore, in cases of alleged medical malpractice, who better to judge a doctor's actions than another medical professional in that specialty?

An overview on cerebral palsy, its causes and consequences

Giving birth is unique among medical procedures in a number of ways. On one hand, both the mother and her medical team know that the baby is coming and have nine months to prepare for giving birth. On the other hand, there are many things that can go wrong during delivery, even if the pregnancy itself was not complicated.

How quickly and effectively doctors and medical staff respond to problems can mean the difference between a healthy delivery and birth injuries. In today’s post, we’ll discuss a common type of birth injury with lifelong consequences: cerebral palsy.

Plaintiffs win medical malpractice suit alleging retained object

It is one of life's ironies that the simplest and most preventable mistakes are sometimes the most devastating. In medicine, for instance, the most skilled surgeon can cause serious harm to a patient by being careless about collecting tools at the end of a procedure.

When surgical sponges and other tools are left inside of a patient, the consequences can be highly injurious and even fatal. The problem of retained foreign objects is more prevalent than most people realize. It is a surgical error that has affected a significant number of patients here in New Jersey and around the country.

$7.4 Billion Medicaid Recovery

Breslin and Breslin, PA, Donald A. Caminiti, Esq., was one of six law firms selected by the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey to act as special counsel to represent it in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recover Medicaid and other health related costs incurred by the state resulting from tobacco related illnesses.