In many states, an injured worker has the right to choose who will be his or her treating physician. That’s not the case in New Jersey, though. Instead, your employer can choose who will examine you and often who will treat you. That begs the obvious question—if the doctor is handpicked by your employer, can you trust that you’ll get a fair shake? The good news—most often the answer is “yes.”

The Doctor’s Professional Obligations

Your treating physician, as a medical professional, has certain ethical obligations. One of the most fundamental is the priority of the doctor-patient relationship. What does this mean? First of all, it means that the doctor’s primary duty is to you, the injured party—not to your employer. If your physician violates that trust in any way, by failing to acknowledge the severity of your injury, or by providing any false information that benefits your employer, he or she can be subject to professional discipline, including the loss of the right to practice. Because of the potential for sanctions, most medical professionals take their responsibilities seriously.

So what can you do if you suspect that your company-selected doctor is wrongfully dismissing your injury claims? You do have the right to seek a second opinion. However, unless you choose a doctor who is approved by your employer, the costs of that visit will probably not be covered and your employer may ignore any finding. If you do choose an approved physician, who makes a different diagnosis than the first doctor, you’ll likely have to go to a third doctor to have the matter resolved. The matter can get complicated in a hurry. That’s why it’s really in your best interests to hire competent legal counsel early in the workers’ compensation process.

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At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

When you are expecting a child, you can read all the books you want, but you still have to depend on your doctor to ensure that you take all the right steps to ensure the health and safety of your unborn child. With proper testing and screening, your doctor can tell you if your child will likely be born with a birth defect, such as Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida or Sickle Cell Anemia. If your doctor fails to use reasonable care to either conduct appropriate screening, or negligently interprets test results, you may have a claim for “wrongful birth” of a special needs child.

There are a number of different types of screening tests you can have administered. Some are invasive, but many are not. If circumstances warrant, you may be a candidate for what is known as amniocentesis, or for chorionic villi sampling. With amniocentesis, the placenta must be punctured to obtain a sample of your amniotic fluid, which encapsulates the fetus. With chorionic villi sampling, medical professionals will take a sample of your chorionic tissue for screening.

The less invasive procedures include:

  • ultrasounds;
  • genetic tests;
  • nuchal translucency tests; and
  • maternal blood serum screening.

As a general rule, you should expect to have prenatal screening throughout the course of your pregnancy, starting in the first trimester. Some of the least invasive types of procedures can be conducted fairly early in your pregnancy, but can provide critical information about the potential viability of your pregnancy, or may be cause to engage in more complex testing and monitoring over the course of gestation.

If your child is born with what should have been a detectable birth defect, you may have a claim against the doctor for misreading test results or for failing to order necessary tests. You may also have a claim against a lab, if there was an error in administering the test.

Contact Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we have more than 70 years of combined experience representing people across New Jersey with medical malpractice and personal injury matters. For a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call us at 856-200-8989.

Doctor taking notesWhen properly diagnosed and treated, jaundice (also known as Hyperbilirubinemia) is essentially harmless. It’s a fairly common condition in newborns, with some studies finding that as many as one in four infants have some level of jaundice. It’s caused by an overabundance of a protein—bilirubin—in the blood of a new baby, and is usually effectively treated with ultraviolet light. However, if not properly treated, it may build up to such a level that the protein stays in the brain cell of the infant, causing permanent brain damage (a condition known as “kernicterus”).

Studies show that all babies are at risk of jaundice immediately after birth. A premature birth may increase the risk of higher bilirubin levels, and research has shown that baby boys are more susceptible to the condition.

Though jaundice physically manifests in a yellow tint to the child’s skin (the condition is often referred to as “yellow jaundice”), all new babies should, as a matter of course, have bilirubin levels tested before leaving the hospital. It’s a simple blood test, usually done with a prick to the infant’s foot. If bilirubin levels are unacceptably high, the child should receive treatment at the hospital. It’s also customary to send a child home with portable UV lights, and have a home health care worker stop by and check the child’s levels on a daily basis.

If your child has been diagnosed with jaundice and is discharged to go home, he or she should have a scheduled follow-up with your treating physician, ideally within two days of leaving the hospital. It can also be beneficial to your child to be exposed to as much natural light as possible, so placing your child’s crib with exposure from natural sunlight (by a window) can be helpful. Many doctors will also recommend that you suspend breastfeeding until your child’s bilirubin levels have returned to acceptable levels.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.