Medical Malpractice Litigation Process in NJ

The first step in the New Jersey litigation process for medical malpractice is establishing if indeed there is a case that is worthwhile pursuing. Contact your Newark malpractice attorneys to assess the validity of your case. Once validity is established, the medical malpractice litigation process in New Jersey begins.

Step by step litigation process for medical malpractice in New Jersey

The plaintiff files a complaint with the Court, and the defendant receives the summons. The Complaint explains the harm to the plaintiff, and describes what the defendant did or failed to do. The Complaint provides details as to why the defendant should be found legally responsible for the damages caused to the plaintiff. The defendant is then given a specific amount of time to file with the court his or her Answer to the Complaint. The Answer responds to the plaintiff’s Compaint. This part of the lawsuit usually takes about one month.

Legal discovery is a process during which all parties learn about the allegations and defenses of the parties. The plaintiff, the defendant as well as other witnesses may be personally questioned at a hearing. This is known as a deposition. The attorney for the plaintiff will most likely take the physician’s deposition. Also, written questions, known as interrogatories, may be sent to any party in the lawsuit. This part of the suit can take between a few months and a few years, depending on the complexity of the case.

The parties may decide to settle the dispute at any point in the litigation process. The decision to settle a case is a very complicated one, and should not be attempted without a malpractice attorney.

Because of the large number of cases being filed and the small number of judges available to hear them, it can sometimes take years before a case comes to trial. Most malpractice cases are decided by a jury. If a jury finds a defendant negligent, it must also determine the extent of the damages. The average medical malpractice trial may take a couple of weeks.

A losing party may appeal the verdict if legal errors occurred during the trial. The appeal is filed with the Appellate Court. The Appellate Court may reverse the verdict or order a new trial. The verdict by the Appellate Court may be appealed to the Supreme Court by the losing party. However, the Supreme Court sometimes has the power to refuse to hear an appeal. The appeal process usually takes a few years to complete.

For complete guidance through all the steps in the New Jersey medical malpractice litigation process contact the Newark malpractice attorneys of the Kirsch Gelband & Stone law firm at (973) 623-0100 or use the email contact form.

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