You have an absolute right to get your records. Get them, and if the hospital demands that you sign a HIPAA form, sign it. There is no downside to doing so. Once you have the records, though, you will want to bring them to a medical malpractice attorney for analysis. Trying to determine "what went wrong" by yourself could be frustrating and even misleading. In New York, and I'm fairly certain in New Jersey, we need to file a certificate of medical malpractice, saying that a physician has reviewed the record and can certify the case. Trying to do this by yourself is difficult, also, because you are too close to the situation to view the events objectively. The standard for determining if malpractice has occurred is "whether there has been a departure from the standard of care." Your attorney and an expert physician are in a much better position to analyze this than you are.
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You should turn to a medical malpractice lawyer now. You may be up against the NJ statute of limitations. Also, the attorney can get the records and have them analyzed. The quest for answers is a consistent theme among our medical malpractice cases and is one of the benefits of the whole process.
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You always have a right to see and get a copy of your medical records. However, time is of the essence in your situation - there is a 2 year statute of limitations on medical negligence claims, which is the deadline that you have to file a claim, and based on some of your facts, it appears that might be a critical issue. There are some exceptions, but you should see an attorney immediately to evaluate that issue.
Each case is fact senstive, so all answers should be viewed as general advice only, and should never replace a thorough and in depth consultation with an experienced attorney. Further, an answer should not be seen as establishing an attorney-client relationship.
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