Medical Malpractice Attorney In Phoenix
One of the more common claims that clients call about is medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is frequently misunderstood by clients (and some attorneys). As a result, clients who present their cases are often shocked that the attorneys don’t think there is a case, or don’t immediately understand the case, or inform them that their case is not what they think it is.
As attorneys, we know that when a client presents a medical malpractice case, they have been dealing with the effects of a medical situation where they believe a doctor messed up and are frequently frustrated by no response from the treating doctors. While attorneys who evaluate these cases understand that clients are frustrated, they must focus on elements described below.
In the context of a medical malpractice case, it is generally understood that a medical professional who undertakes to treat a patient has a duty to care for the patient and provide care that comports with the “standard of care.” Arizona law defines the standard of care as: “… [the] degree of care, skill and learning expected of a reasonable, prudent health care provider in the profession or class to which he belongs within the state acting in the same or similar circumstances” A.R.S. § 12-563. If you are not provided with appropriate care that comports with the mentioned standard, you may as well contact an Arizona civil rights attorney.
What this means is that in order to determine whether a doctor committed malpractice, Phoenix medical malpractice attorney has to know what another qualified medical provider would do in the same or similar circumstances. To know this, attorneys usually end up consulting with specialty medical providers to learn 1) what should be done in that medical situation; and 2) whether the treating doctor actually did anything wrong.
One can imagine that these cases can get complicated quickly – and that is just analyzing whether a treating doctor breached the standard of care.
These cases also get expensive quickly – because consulting doctors require payment before they review records and charge by the hour for their work.
If that weren’t enough, the Arizona Revised Statutes require that at the time a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed, Phoenix medical malpractice attorney certifies whether an expert opinion is required. If so, the attorney must present a preliminary expert opinion affidavit with the initial disclosure statement. The Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure also require immediate disclosure of medical records.
All of this upfront work and cost usually means that Phoenix personal injury lawyer will not entertain medical malpractice cases. The Law Office of Scott Griffiths evaluates medical malpractice cases regularly. Please contact our office to set up a free consultation.
What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?
In order to assess a case, attorneys start with a couple of definitions. First, malpractice is generally defined as negligence related to professional care or services. Second, negligence is defined as a breach of a duty to conform to a certain standard of care which is the cause of damages.
Common Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
The most common medical malpractice claims include failure to diagnose medical conditions; prescriptions and side effects related to combining medications; surgical and anesthesia mistakes. Unsurprisingly, these are the types of cases that can quickly lead to permanent lifelong damages or even death. At the end of this article, the Law Office of Scott Griffiths offers some tips to family members who think that a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice.
MISSED OR DELAYED DIAGNOSIS OF MEDICAL CONDITIONS
It is tough to know how many times physicians misdiagnose or fail to diagnose medical conditions. Some studies suggest that 10-15% of diagnoses are incorrect. That percentage is likely much higher for many reasons. One such reason is that many patients present with multiple medical conditions and a significant medical condition is hidden by other symptoms. Another reason is that as a medical situation gets worse for a patient, doctors focus on treating new symptoms and conditions and in the rush to save lives, nobody bothers to review the medical record for missed diagnoses.
While the topic of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis could fill many websites, it is important to know that many missed diagnoses include the dangerous symptoms of cancer, infections, and vascular events. When these symptoms are missed, or are not adequately explored, patients may end up disabled or die as a result. Family members often want answers and they want someone to account for the death of a loved one.
In one case, our client presented to her medical office’s physician’s assistant (PA) with a number of symptoms that included a lack of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, and excessive vaginal bleeding. The PA spent valuable time testing for stomach bacterial infections and failed to request PAP smears or a colposcopy that would have (and ultimately did) show that she had cancer in her cervix. When a medical doctor finally got involved, he quickly ordered these exams and properly diagnosed her with Stage 4 cervical cancer. Unfortunately, our client passed away and the medical malpractice case turned into a wrongful death case. In the case, all of the expert witnesses, including the defense witnesses, agreed that there was a high likelihood that our client had cervical cancer at the time she first met the PA. We were able to help the family answer questions and get some level of accountability from the medical office.
If you believe that delayed medical diagnosis has occurred, don’t wait. See our tips below and call Scott Griffiths – the #1 Phoenix medical malpractice attorney to set up a free consultation on your case.
SIDE EFFECTS OF PRESCRIPTIONS / OVER PRESCRIPTION
Doctors who prescribe medications to patients should have an awareness of all other medications that a patient is taking. Further, doctors who prescribe medications should also have an awareness of all known medical conditions that the patient has. Doctors who fail to know these things may end up prescribing medications that are contraindicated (or conflict) with other medications. In addition, doctors may end up making known medical conditions or symptoms worse.
In busy medical offices and hospitals, there are protocols in place to ensure that patients are protected from mistakes related to medications. Despite these protocols, medical professionals administer the incorrect medication to patients or they give the incorrect dosage. In some cases, the medications are mixed up or mislabeled and a patient ends up with the wrong medication. In other cases, doctors prescribe medications that a patient is allergic to ro interacts negatively with other medications. In each circumstance, you or a loved one may suffer significant harm.
If you or a loved one has encountered medication mishaps, contact the Law Office of Scott Griffiths and get the help of the #1 Phoenix medical malpractice attorney. You and your family will get the help to sort out the situation and hold negligent medical offices accountable for their medication-related mishaps.
SURGICAL OR ANESTHESIA MISTAKES
Nothing may be more of a nightmare than to be awake, but paralyzed during surgery.
Commonly Asked Questions:
I think I have grounds for a lawsuit but I'm not 100 percent sure. What should I do?
A. Schedule a free consultation with #1 Phoenix medical malpractice attorney team, and we’ll give you our recommendation.
Will I have to pay upfront to start the process?
A. All initial consultations are free. Before we determine the payment structure we must first review your case. We have multiple payment options,
Is there a limit on how much I could sue for?
A. Arizona does not have a recovery cap or limit for medical malpractice damages resulting in personal injury or death. You can find this in Article 2, § 31 of the Arizona Constitution.
Compensation You Can Pursue With Your Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice can be very troubling and emotionally painful for all parties involved. We hear you. We see you. We want to help you. There are so many details that need to be analyzed in a medical malpractice lawsuit, and we don’t expect to answer all of your questions on this one page. However, we can provide some understanding of the compensation you might be entitled too depending on your specific situation.
There are generally three categories of damages accessible in medical malpractice cases. They are general damages, special damages, and punitive damages. We will share a quick overview of each.
General damages refer to compensation that is “court-granted” for losses or injuries that resulted from the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of another person.
Special damages is awarded compensation when there are financial losses involved that are a direct result of the injury or malpractice. An example of a financial loss could be the loss of earnings, medical expenses, or repair and replacement costs.
Punitive damages are typically awarded by the court when “especially harmful behavior” is involved. Punitive damages are usually considered a punishment by the court to the defendant and serve as an example to dissuade that kind of behavior.
What You Should Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice
The safest thing you could do when you suspect medical malpractice is consult a legal professional. The reason we recommend contacting a licensed attorney is because there are numerous details that must be analyzed properly in order to help you receive the full extent of potential compensation.
Most reputable law firms will offer a free consultation to assess your specific situation and provide you with enough information on how to act quickly and legally. At our office, we do not charge you at all if we are unable to help you receive compensation and we promise to do everything in our power to help. We care about your wellbeing and encourage you to speak with us.