Your Rights and Options when Medical Errors Cause Serious Disabilities in New Jersey
Doctors make mistakes. Only humans, doctors get tired, overworked, and burnt out. Their job can be stressful. Knowing this, medical professionals must manage their health habits and determine how to personally ensure they give their patients top-quality care by creating systems in the workplace that improve their medical practice workload and safety. Otherwise, the patient bears the brunt of errors that can change their lives irrevocably. Because of medical errors, individuals can leave a medical facility worse than when they entered, their lives utterly altered from disabling injuries.
It is confusing not to know what to do when you or a loved one has been wounded as a result of a health care provider’s negligence or carelessness. You expected them to solve your medical issues, and now things look even worse. Treatment for severe injuries frequently results in lost pay, expensive medical bills, and even extensive treatment. Finding an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can work with you and your loved ones to recover your losses and preserve your future is critical.
Our attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group have assisted many other clients in New Jersey who have been permanently affected by medical malpractice, including those suffering from a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities resulting from negligence. Allow us to assist you in securing the compensation you need to protect your future and ensure you have access to all of the rehabilitation possibilities that may improve your life long-term. Contact us online or call us at (973)-435-4551 to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Disabilities Resulting from Medical Malpractice in Childbirth
Common disabilities caused by medical malpractice begin at birth. Obstetricians who do not respond quickly enough to a distressed fetus or make the wrong decisions about whether to let long labor continue or perform a C-Section may risk the health and life of an oxygen-deprived baby. Each labor contraction compresses the baby’s body, so if they become wedged in the mother’s pelvis with head, arm, or shoulder pinched or overstretched, they may not only be temporarily deprived of oxygen repeatedly for hours, but also neurologically damaged. If not delivered soon enough, a fetus in distress may be born with brain damage, broken bones, or paralysis. Oxygen deprivation may result in hypoxic brain injuries and cerebral palsy, a neuromuscular brain disorder characterized by muscle weakness or stiffness and cognitive deficits. Sadly, a child born with cerebral palsy lives with the condition in some form for the rest of their lives. Oxygen deprivation at birth is not the only type of serious birth injury or medical error that can lead to permanent disabilities, however.
Permanent Disabilities Caused by Anesthesiologists
Anesthesiologists make mistakes too. When a surgical patient receives the wrong dose of anesthesia, the wrong type of anesthesia, or incomplete monitoring for choking, a patient can suffer brain damage and permanent disability. In addition, safe anesthetic practices begin before surgery. A critical step for the safety of a patient undergoing surgery is preoperative preparation. An anesthesiologist who overlooks a patient’s history or does not make it clear to a patient that they must not eat or drink before surgery may cause an allergic reaction to the administered anesthetic or for choking while sedated.
An anesthesiologist’s job is to ensure the patient is pain-free, can breathe, and is injury-free from the effects of the anesthesia. A patient under anesthesia cannot speak up about nerve damage created by staying in one position for hours or how they cannot breathe or have an adverse reaction. An anesthesiologist must have eyes on monitors, the patient, and oxygen levels. Otherwise, a patient can suffer from low oxygen levels, nerve damage, stroke, paralysis, or brain damage. Negligent insertion or removal of a breathing tube can lead to damaged or paralyzed vocal cords or esophagus, depriving a patient of speech temporarily or permanently. All of these may be preventable errors that result in the person being permanently disabled in one or more of their body systems.
Paralysis as a Result of Improper Surgical Procedures and Associated Risks
Paralysis is another tragic consequence of medical malpractice, and not only by anesthesiologists. Surgeons performing back surgery can accidentally nick or cut a spinal nerve and cause temporary or permanent paralysis to arms, legs, or torso, depending on the nerve damage and location. Cosmetic surgeons performing a facelift might likewise unintentionally sever a nerve and cause facial paralysis, and for some, irreparably. And while facial paralysis is a known risk of facial cosmetic surgery, cosmetic surgeons who fail to make that risk clear to the patient before the procedure may be liable for their injuries. They may be responsible for their corrective surgery or paralysis consequences, especially when a person admits that they would not have had the surgery had they known the risks of facial paralysis. Other surgical negligence results in amputation and loss of a limb, brain damage and permanent cognitive deficits, organ failure, and other complications that last a lifetime.
Common Disabilities Due to Negligence with Medication
Other common disabilities arising from medical malpractice are organ damage due to medication errors, whether improper dosing, administration, or medication is the cause. For example, oncologists who incorrectly prepare or dose chemotherapy for a patient may be responsible for destroying a patient’s liver or other organs if not for their death. Also, someone who is given too much radiation for breast cancer can end with a damaged heart and risk heart failure for the rest of their life. For children, the wrong medication can be deadly, leading to anaphylaxis and suffocation that may cost a child their life.
Unique to women, untreated infections or sexually transmitted diseases can cause chronic pelvic inflammation, ectopic pregnancies, infertility, or persistent infections. They can also lead to severe, long-term injuries for a child whose mother’s infection was not appropriately diagnosed and treated during pregnancy.
The Challenges of Proving Medical Negligence Causing Your Disability
Not every mistake amounts to medical negligence. Avoidable errors are more likely to account for negligence that justifies a medical malpractice claim. Thus, when a doctor performs surgery on little sleep, runs an office with poor communication or documenting habits, or takes on patients they lack the necessary knowledge and skill to treat, their actions may be the source of another’s injury.
According to a recognized standard of care for medical treatment, a medical professional must practice medicine as all medical professionals with similar training and education practice. To legally prove that a medical professional has fallen below that standard, a person filing a lawsuit must prove that the provider owed them a duty to practice medicine up to those accepted standards in the specific field of medicine, and that they did not fulfill their duty. Then, they must demonstrate that because of that breach of duty, the person was injured. Those injuries must also have led to provable damages, including things like medical expenses, loss of income, necessary future care and rehabilitation, and the victim’s physical and psychological damage resulting from their injuries.
In essence, medical malpractice actions are complex and technical. Medical experts, essential to the success of the medical malpractice lawsuit, speak in medical terminology unfamiliar to the average, untrained person. Further, cases must comply with filing cut-off dates and other rules, as each state, including New Jersey, has its own laws and regulations. For most, the legal training and knowledge necessary to effectively handle a medical malpractice lawsuit are beyond them. This is why those seeking to be fully compensated hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Count on Dedicated Legal Guidance if Medical Malpractice Left You with Disabilities in NJ
If a medical professional caused your disability, you should speak to a medical malpractice attorney. Suppose you have unpaid medical bills, ongoing care, therapeutic needs, lost wages, and suffering. In that case, you can ease your financial stress with a sum the court may award you as compensatory damages for your losses, as well as your pain. If you have continuing physical, occupational, or speech therapy needs from specialists, you can be compensated for your future losses too.
All changes you have had to make due to your injury, such as retrofitting your home to accommodate your physical or intellectual limitations, may be paid for by the responsible party or parties. You may need retraining to work in a new profession with vocational rehabilitation. So much of your success depends on the facts of your case and the quality of your representation.
Contact a highly regarded medical malpractice lawyer at our New Jersey firm to assist you in favorably resolving your medical malpractice claim. You can get in touch with us for a free consultation by calling 973-435-4551 or filling out the online form today.