Consequences of Failing to Refer a Patient to a Specialist in New Jersey

Personal Injury Lawyer, NJ Attorney Edward C. Lutz


If you or a loved one have come to harm because you did not receive proper medical care, please read on, then contact an experienced Morris County medical malpractice attorney to learn more about the consequences of failing to refer a patient to a specialist in New Jersey.

What is the purpose of referring a patient to a specialist in New Jersey?

A referral provides information about you and your condition so that the person you are being referred to does not have to ask so many questions, they are aware of relevant background information and they know exactly what they are being asked to do. Additionally, medical specialists generally do not see patients without current referrals, and being a previous patient of a medical specialist does not necessarily mean you can make ongoing appointments either. An effective referral system ensures a close relationship between all levels of the health care system and helps to ensure people receive the best possible care closest to home. It also assists in making cost-effective use of hospitals and primary health care services.

How failing to refer to a specialist can harm patients

When a doctor fails to refer a patient to another, more knowledgeable doctor, some serious harm to the patient can potentially occur. Some of the results of a failure to refer include:

  • A worsening condition or illness that may become irreversible
  • A misdiagnosis of a condition or illness due to a physician’s insufficient knowledge
  • A delayed or missed diagnosis caused by the failure to refer the patient for more comprehensive or conclusive diagnostic testing or lab work

The failure to refer a patient to a specialist or other medical professional can result in devastating consequences – even fatalities – and the patient ( or the patient’s family, in cases of death) may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering that resulted from the harm that was sustained.

Do you have a case for failing to refer a patient to a specialist in New Jersey?

First, you will have to establish that you were, in fact, the doctor’s patient and that he or she, therefore, owed you a duty of care. From here, you will have to prove that the physician in question diverted from the accepted standard of care, breaching his or her duty of care, that your medical condition worsened, and that you suffered significant damages as a result. This is not always easy, which is why you need a skilled Morris County personal injury attorney who has been helping victims of negligence for years.


If you have been the victim of the negligence of another in an accident, please contact my office as quickly as possible following the subject accident. It is important to consult with us early on so that we may begin the process of fighting for your rights in regard to any potential claim that you may have. The process is complicated and requires the expertise of a qualified New Jersey personal injury attorney. Contact Lutz Injury Law today.

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