We give doctors and nurses the highest degree of trust, assuming they are competent and certified professionals who will make their very efforts to provide good quality medical care. Upholding a high standard of medical care is especially important for the elderly residents of nursing homes, who are exceptionally vulnerable to illnesses, infections, bone fractures, and other injuries due to their advanced age. Unfortunately, many New Jersey nursing homes and medical providers fail to render competent care, resulting in serious personal injury or wrongful death to innocent victims.
If your elderly loved one was injured, became seriously ill, or passed away after receiving substandard medical treatment, you may have a strong medical malpractice claim, and may be able to recover compensation for your pain, suffering, and financial losses. Camden County nursing home abuse attorney Brent Wieand can help. Brent is dedicated to compassionate and personalized legal representation, and will fight aggressively for maximum compensation on you and your loved one’s behalf.
To arrange for a free and completely confidential case evaluation, call Brent right away at (215) 666-7777. Let’s start exploring your family’s legal options together.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
There are many myths and misconceptions about what does and does not constitute medical malpractice. While each individual case is unique, the most successful malpractice claims tend to share four common components. Let’s take a closer look at each of these components, and what they might mean for your case.
First, there must have been a formal contractual relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. This relationship is typically referred to as the “duty of care.” In this context, doctors have a duty of care to their patients.
Second, the defendant must have somehow broken or violated their duty of care. This departure from the care standard is often called “breach of duty.” The breach must be “material” in nature, which simply means major or significant. If a breach of the standard of care occurred, but was insignificant or did not result in any harm, then you cannot prevail in a malpractice claim.
Third, this breach of duty must have resulted in harm to the patient. This means that the injury, illness, or death must have been a result of the healthcare provider’s conduct. If a patient happens to experience sickness or injury after undergoing a procedure, but the procedure was competently performed without any errors, then it cannot be said that the harm was actually caused by the healthcare provider. This legal term for this concept is “proximate cause.”
Finally, the breach of duty must have also resulted in “damages.” In a legal context, damages means harm suffered by the plaintiff. Some typical examples of damages include physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial loss. In malpractice cases, financial loss generally stems from a combination of having to pay for medical care, and losing income by missing time from work.
Don’t worry if you still aren’t completely sure whether you have a potential claim or not — that’s what personal injury lawyers are here for. During your free consultation, attorney Brent Wieand will listen to your experience and explain the legal avenues which you may be able to pursue.
Types of Negligence: Infection, Amputation, and Medication Errors
Doctors can be negligent in many different ways, and some claims even involve a combination of multiple negligence issues. In the context of nursing home patients and senior care, many cases of doctor negligence involve one or more of the following issues:
For younger people, amputations are usually the result of physical accidents. But for senior citizens, amputations are usually performed on purpose as a health-saving measure after diabetes or bedsores have become extremely advanced. Even though such amputations are intentional, the malpractice component is that foot amputations generally should not become necessary with proper monitoring of diabetes, bedsores and other circulatory impairments.
- Dosage Errors
There are a few different types of dosage errors doctors and prescribers can make. In some cases, doctors mix up multiple prescriptions. In other cases, prescriptions are filled for inappropriately large and dangerous quantities. In other cases, “troublesome” patients are intentionally sedated or overmedicated. In other cases still, the doctor may fail to check for lethal drug interactions or known complications.
Infections can be incredibly dangerous, as evidenced by instructions to take antibiotics until the course of treatment is completely finished. For senior citizens, who often have one or more underlying illnesses, weakened immune systems, and diminished bone and muscle density, infections are an even greater concern. Certain types of infections, such as “sepsis” or blood infection, can cause death in a matter of days.
Believe it or not, not all nursing home neglect claims involve medical errors. In some cases, patients are given competent medical care, but are victimized by physical abuse, sexual abuse or financial exploitation.
If your elderly loved one was injured or killed after receiving negligent medical care in New Jersey, your family may be able to recover significant compensation to help with your suffering, pain, and financial losses. Medical malpractice lawyer Brent Wieand can help. To start discussing your claim in a free and private case evaluation, call Brent at (215) 666-7777 today. You will never be charged with any fees unless Brent recovers compensation for you.
Disclosure: Attorney Brent Wieand’s office is located in Philadelphia, PA. We happily serve clients throughout all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.