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New Jersey Medical Malpractice Statute Of Limitations

Jeff Varcadipane

February 26, 2024

According to the American Medical Association, one in three clinicians is sued at least once during their career. Many of these medical professionals are sued because of medical malpractice. So, if you’ve experienced medical malpractice firsthand, don’t believe there is nothing you can do about it.

Although medical malpractice lawsuits are complex, with an experienced attorney like the ones at Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, on your side, you can obtain compensation and justice for your injuries. Yet, to ensure you have a chance at this, you need to know more about New Jersey’s statute of limitations. Failing to file within the right timeframe could lead to your case being thrown out of court and your rights to compensation being voided.

Thus, if you believe you have a valid case, continue reading to learn more about New Jersey’s statute of limitations.

What Is New Jersey’s Medical Malpractice Statute Of Limitations?

In New Jersey, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years. This means that, in most cases, you have two years from the time your injury occurred to file a medical malpractice claim.

However, New Jersey has a “discovery rule” that could come into play. According to this discovery rule, the statute of limitations in medical malpractice claims is paused until a patient discovers the medical mistake that led to their injuries.

For example, if a patient only learns three years after an operation that they were sewn up with a scalpel remaining in their body, they can still file a claim. This rule also comes into effect when doctors have misdiagnosed individuals, and they only find out years after the fact.

In addition, there are exceptions to New Jersey’s two-year rule regarding children who have suffered injuries because of medical malpractice. For example, if a child was injured at birth because of medical malpractice, a lawsuit needs to be filed before the child’s 13th birthday. For minors whom a healthcare professional has injured, a claim must be filed within two years of the child’s 18th birthday.

Why Is There A Time Limit On Filing A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit In NJ?

New Jersey and other states enact a time limit on medical malpractice lawsuits to protect victims and healthcare professionals. When too much time passes after an injury has been sustained, people may destroy evidence and files. See more about the statute of limitations in different states here.

In addition, witnesses die, and memories fade. This makes a claim resolution impossible since proving or defending against a malpractice lawsuit is challenging. So, with a statute of limitations in place, matters are kept fair for all parties.

What Is A Medical Malpractice Case?

Before we look into who can sue and what the statute of limitations is in New Jersey, it’s a good idea to briefly acquaint yourself with what a medical malpractice case is and what it involves.

Firstly, medical malpractice cases involve a medical professional failing to meet their duty of care through recklessness, negligence, or malicious intent. A medical malpractice case can often be filed if injuries are involved. For example, a medical malpractice case is valid in each of the below situations:

  • A labor and delivery nurse delivered a baby unsafely, leading to berthing injuries.
  • A doctor failed to complete the necessary tests even though a patient displayed symptoms.
  • A pharmacist incorrectly fulfilled a patient’s script, leading to adverse reactions or injuries.
  • A nurse failed to monitor the vitals of a newborn, and the baby died.
  • A doctor performed a surgery and left foreign objects inside the patient.

These are only a few examples of medical malpractice claims. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that the outcome of their medical situation was due to a medical mistake, so if you have suspicions, it’s best to speak with one of our NJ attorneys.

Who Are You Allowed To Sue For Medical Malpractice In New Jersey?

According to New Jersey law, any licensed healthcare provider can be sued for medical malpractice. This means you could sue a negligent or reckless nurse, doctor, therapist, pharmacist, or medical technician. In addition, in special cases, you might even be able to bring a lawsuit against a hospital, nursing home, or urgent care provider.

Are There Damage Caps In New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

Unlike other states, New Jersey hasn’t placed any significant caps on economic and emotional damages that can be awarded during medical malpractice cases. However, this state does have a cap on punitive damages, which are limited to about five times the amount of regular damages or $350,000.

Contact A New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorney Today!

Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex to navigate alone, so hiring a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney from Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, is important. Our lawyers will work alongside you to extensively investigate your case while analyzing the legal protocols and laws that apply to you.

We have the skills needed to improve your chances of winning fair compensation through a settlement or trial. Simply contact our firm here, and we will speak with you to arrange a legal consultation.

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