I want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for my child – What is the statute of limitations in NJ?
The New Jersey statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is generally two years from the date upon which medical negligence occurred, or the point at which the patient recognized, or reasonably should have recognized, that malpractice occurred. While this overarching principle generally applies to cases of medical malpractice resulting in patient injuries, the rules are highly nuanced, with significant variability based on specific circumstances, such as the plaintiff’s age at the time. For example, medical malpractice lawsuits involving children, a subcategory of law known as pediatric malpractice, entail distinct deadlines for filing a claim. In New Jersey, pediatric malpractice lawsuits may be filed within two years of the child’s eighteenth birthday. This provides additional time for the child to become an adult and choose to pursue compensation for their injuries resulting from negligence by a medical professional, hospital, or healthcare facility.
Due to the complexity of time limitations for filing pediatric malpractice lawsuits in New Jersey, it is highly advisable to seek legal counsel from an experienced pediatric malpractice lawyer who can assess the circumstances of your child’s case and discuss your options for recovering damages. Medical malpractice affecting children can be devastating, not only for the child, but for his or her loved ones. Beyond the immediate effects of negligent pediatric care, the child may be forced to cope with long-term health consequences and the associated costs of continued medical care, treatments and therapies, and necessary future accommodations. Finding out if your child was, indeed, a victim of medical malpractice is important. So too is gaining a thorough understanding of their rights with regard to filing a lawsuit and the statute of limitations that applies to their specific case. Contact our New Jersey Pediatric Malpractice Attorneys for answers to your questions and tailored legal guidance for you and your family today. You can reach us anytime online or by calling 866-708-8617 for a free consultation.
Time Limits for Pediatric Malpractice Claims in NJ
New Jersey recognizes that victims of medical malpractice can suffer injuries at all ages and stages of life. For children, recognizing that malpractice occurred and is responsible for their injuries cannot be reasonably expected in childhood and adolescence. Moreover, the child his or herself can and should not be held to the same standard as legal adults when considering whether or not to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. With all of this in mind, the deadline for filing a pediatric malpractice claim is extended in New Jersey to two years from the date upon which the child turns 18. In other words, the child is given the opportunity to become a legal adult and given 2 years from this date to file a malpractice lawsuit.
Notably, this does not preclude parents from filing a pediatric malpractice lawsuit on their child’s behalf. It does, however, provide the child with the opportunity to file a malpractice lawsuit on behalf of themselves upon reaching adulthood in the case of parents’ decision not to take legal action. It is equally important to note that the statute of limitations for birth injuries in New Jersey is distinct from pediatric malpractice deadlines. In fact, the guardians of birth injury victims are given only until the child’s thirteenth birthday to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Yet another nuance within pediatric malpractice laws in New Jersey involves state employees and medical facilities. In such cases, the time limit for filing a claim may be shortened. Understanding the applicability of statute of limitations requirements to your child’s specific case is imperative in order to ensure that they do not miss the opportunity to recover compensation. This underscores the necessity for consulting with a knowledgeable NJ pediatric malpractice lawyer as soon as possible if you suspect that medical negligence occurred.
What are Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Involving Minors?
For children, medical malpractice is said to occur when a medical professional or facility fails to uphold an acceptable standard of care, ultimately leading to injuries for the patient. Pediatric patients are particularly vulnerable to malpractice and related injuries and complications, as they often lack the fundamental tools to recognize and describe their symptoms. With this in mind, it is incumbent upon healthcare providers to remain acutely aware of potential health problems that may be affecting their young patients, thoroughly investigate to identify root causes, and take immediate and appropriate action to rectify or manage the given condition. Far too often, a child presents to the treating physician with a stomach ache, headache, or sore throat that is swiftly written off as a minor ailment common among children. Unfortunately, conditions like appendicitis, meningitis, or pneumonia may be lurking beneath the surface, and if these or other serious conditions go undiagnosed, they may progress, ultimately causing further complications and even becoming life-threatening.
While misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and failure to treat reign supreme among medical malpractice causes for lawsuits, additional types of negligence may also provide grounds for a claim. For instance, errors with medication due to miscalculations with the child’s weight or size, adverse drug interactions with existing medications, allergic reactions, wrong medication prescriptions, or mistakes with administration may all lead to serious harm for pediatric patients. Other mistakes before, during, and after surgery also threaten to permanently damage the health and well-being of children in hospitals and surgical centers. Undiagnosed infections due to inadequate, incomplete, or failed testing methods or follow up may also beg the question: should I sue for medical malpractice on behalf of my child? Under New Jersey law, pediatric malpractice lawsuits may provide critical resources that young victims need for previous, current, and future treatments and therapies, medical devices and assistive living technologies, the costs of additional accommodations in schooling and the home, and pain and suffering.
Want to File a Pediatric Malpractice Lawsuit in NJ, How much Time do I Have?
If your child was injured due to negligence by a healthcare provider in New Jersey, he or she may be entitled to compensation. With the variability among pediatric malpractice cases, the complexity of litigation in this area, and the unique deadlines that apply to these claims, it is strongly encouraged to consult with a New Jersey pediatric malpractice attorney who can advise you of your potential options for recovering damages. Our attorneys are here to assist you with seeking justice on your child’s behalf and advocating for their interests. Contact us at 866-708-8617 to discuss your child’s case today. Consultations are free and available around the clock to best serve your needs.