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What do you do if you suspect medical malpractice?

According to statistics, medical malpractice cases accounted for over $3 billion in payouts to injured parties in 2012. For many patients, however, it can be difficult to understand whether medical malpractice occurred, and residents of New Jersey may wonder what to do if they suspect they were injured due to a medical provider error or negligence.

In an article detailing things individuals should know about medical malpractice, Forbes discusses how to determine if medical negligence may have occurred and what steps patients can take. First, it's important to realize that a bad outcome to treatment doesn't mean negligence occurred. There are certain risks associated with almost every medical treatment, and sometimes treatments simply don't work optimally.

Medical malpractice occurs when a provider's actions or inaction causes damage or injury to a patient and that action or inaction was an error on the provider's part or a willful neglect of patient safety. Because it can be difficult for a patient to tell whether medical malpractice occurred, contacting an experienced professional for assistance is a good first step when facing damages or injury.

Cases involving alleged medical malpractice usually begin with detailed review of records. Investigation into the matter may also include depositions of medical staff or other key witnesses. All of this information is used by an attorney to help a client decide what action should be taken next.

Because statutes of limitation vary for each state, seeking assistance as soon as possible reduces the risk that patients miss the window for litigation. Once litigation begins, the steps to increase chances of success will depend on the details of the case and the response of any defendants. Many times, cases are settled even before reaching court.

Source: Forbes, "10 Things You Want To Know About Medical Malpractice" Oct. 30, 2014

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