While many hospitals in New Jersey strive to reduce the rate of these errors, negligence in the provision of medical care can result in a patient being injured by treatment that fails to meet the standard of care. When this happens, the hospital may be liable for medical malpractice.
When medical malpractice occurs, damages are typically sorted into three categories. “Economic” damages cover things like medical costs, lost wages, transportation costs, and other expenses directly related to addressing the problem. “Non-economic” damages include compensation for the pain and suffering the injured person experienced as a result of the injury. Finally, “punitive” damages are awarded in cases where particularly grievous negligence, or reckless or intentional, harm occurred.
Currently, damages for economic losses and pain and suffering are not “capped,” or limited, in New Jersey. In other words, if a jury awards you a particular amount for pain and suffering due to negligence on the part of a hospital, the law does not limit how much of that award you receive. However, New Jersey’s comparative negligence rules might reduce the award, depending on how much of the fault was found to be yours instead of the hospital’s.
Although the New Jersey legislature considered a bill to limit pain and suffering damages in 2013, the bill did not pass. Currently, New Jersey law only limits punitive damages in medical malpractice cases—and these types of damages are not awarded in every case. Economic damages and damages for pain and suffering are far more common in medical malpractice cases, including claims against hospitals.
If you’ve been injured by negligence or malpractice in a hospital setting, an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer can help fight for the compensation you need, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.