New Jersey Lawyers Explain the Recent Court Decision
An injured patient who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit has had back pain for two decades. In 2005, the person he sued, an anesthesiologist, suggested that the patient have spinal surgery. The problem is that the anesthesiologist’s medical malpractice insurance omits spinal surgery from his coverage. The patient was unaware of the anesthesiologist’s lack of insurance, and after the surgery, he continued to have back pain due to an injured nerve.
What Are the NJ Laws Regarding Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage?
New Jersey requires insurance for practicing physicians. The following are the dollar amounts for medical malpractice insurance coverage:
- $1 million per occurrence
- $3 million per policy year
- $500,000 letter of credit is available if coverage is not available
In this specific case above, the defendant did not have any of these coverages.
How Might the NJ Supreme Court Affect Medical Malpractice Cases?
On October 20, 2014, the New Jersey Supreme Court held oral arguments that could affect cases regarding medical malpractice. In short, the debate is over whether doctors in New Jersey must disclose the fact that they do not have medical malpractice insurance, or if they do not have it for the specific surgery that they are about to perform. Additionally, the hospital or other health center that allows an uninsured surgeon to perform surgery could become liable if the doctor is not insured.
Currently, it is unclear when the court will come to a conclusion about open disclosure on medical malpractice insurance.
Is there a Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
According to New Jersey state law, the victim of a malpractice injury has up to two years to file a claim against the negligent hospital or medical professional. However, it is encouraged that patients do not wait as waiting could weaken their case for maximum compensation. There are a few exceptions to this two-year period; however, potential claimants should consult a lawyer to see if they apply for any of the exceptions. The only way to know when the statute of limitations has run in a specific situation is to speak to a licensed attorney for legal advice.
Need an Atlantic City Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Our personal injury attorneys can help you settle your case through arbitration or litigation. We understand the pain and suffering you are going through and have the experience to seek compensation for both economic damages and non-economic damages. If you are ready for some peace of mind so that you can go on with your life after a surgical injury, then contact us today.