Phoenix Medical Malpractice Lawyers
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Phoenix Medical Malpractice Lawyers
At Phillips Law Group, our lawyers represent medical malpractice victims against doctors,hospitals, dentists and other health care professionals whose negligence led to injuries, illness or the death of a loved one. Even though most medical care providers are highly qualified and competent, medical errors kill or permanently disable roughly 98,000 Americans every year. In order for our experienced attorneys to consider a medical malpractice claim, a person must have suffered serious and permanent injury directly caused by substandard care, treatment, or evaluation by a doctor, hospital, or other health care provider. Examples of substandard care include, but are not limited to:
- Leaving a sponge inside a person after surgery
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Giving a person the wrong prescription drug
- Birth trauma, brain trauma
- Failure to diagnose cancer
- Unnecessary operations
- Defective orthopedic implants
…and difficulty with cosmetic implants.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, our Phoenix medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you free of charge. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no legal fees unless we are successful obtaining compensation for your claim. We will aggressively pursue the fair compensation you deserve – our attorneys achieved a $3 million settlement in a medical malpractice claim in 2011.
Our Phoenix office is just a few minutes from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical and health care providers can be sued for injuries caused by their negligence under the theory of medical malpractice, also referred to as medical negligence. Medical malpractice occurs when treatment falls below the standard of care generally accepted and established by the appropriate medical community.
In a medical malpractice case, our Phoenix medical malpractice lawyers must prove that the medical provider did not meet the applicable standard of care in your or your loved one’s particular case in order to recover monetary damages. Doctors, dentists and other medical specialists, including hospitals and surgical physicians, have an obligation to conduct themselves professionally and not harm their patients. When they make mistakes, patients in their care can be seriously injured. Unfortunately, such errors are often avoidable and result from medical professionals who are inadequately trained or who are just too busy to be thorough.
A bad or undesired result does not automatically mean medical malpractice occurred. In order for a doctor or hospital to be liable for medical malpractice, our lawyers must show their medical services fell below the standard of care and therefore, they were negligent when providing their medical services. Examples of negligence include administering too much anesthesia, performing a procedure improperly or failing to do something which was medically necessary. Other common instances of medical malpractice include wrong-site surgery, objects left inside patients, medication errors, and failure to diagnose a time-sensitive illness before it is too late.
Medical MalpracticeCases Handled by Our Lawyers
At Philips Law Group, we have experience with a variety of medical malpractice cases. We are prepared to handle everything from misdiagnosis and postoperative negligence to anesthesia errors:
- Cerebral palsy ”“ Cerebral palsy is a permanent movement disorder that occurs due to abnormal brain development, often before the birth of the child. Treatment is long-term and includes physical therapy, medications and surgeries. If the flow of oxygen to the baby’s brain is obstructed during pregnancy or labor, it could be due to medical malpractice and the doctors involved in the delivery of the child could be held liable for medical malpractice.
- Failure to diagnose cancer ”“ If a patient seeks medical treatment to address a lump or another unidentified medical issue, and the doctor fails to perform necessary medical tests, cancer could go undiagnosed. This could also happen if the radiologist or pathologist misinterprets test results. This puts the patient’s life at great risk because cancer will not be treated unless it is diagnosed. Generally, the earlier cancer treatment begins, the better chance there is of stopping it from spreading and saving the patient’s life.
- Hospital malpractice ”“ Hospitals are responsible for their staffs, so if a nurse, medical technician or other support staffer harms patients, the hospital can be held liable for their negligence. Hospital staff members also need to follow protocols for keeping the hospital clean and preventing the spread of germs or bacteria that could cause infections. If a patient develops an infection due to unsanitary tools or facilities, it could be a form of hospital malpractice.
- Injuries to babies at birth ”“ The birth of a child should be the most joyous moment in parents’ lives. If the doctor fails to properly monitor the baby, carry out a C-section, misuses tools like forceps or vacuums, or fails to identify dangers to the mother or baby, the mother or infant could suffer severe harm.
- Failure to diagnose fracture ”“ Fractured bones may lead to long-lasting and severe health issues. It is important to identify these issues early on. Fractured bones often occur from slip and falls, car accidents, whiplash, or physical activities like sports. When a physician fails to administer tests to determine if there is a fracture, it is a form of negligence.
- Internal medicine ”“ Prescription medications can help patients manage a variety of conditions and make their lives a little easier. However, if patients take the wrong medication, wrong dosage, or one that causes harmful interactions with other medications they are taking, the results can be deadly or cause severe injury. Physicians have a duty to prescribe appropriate medication with the proper dosage to avoid causing injury to their patients.
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomies ”“ This is a medical procedure that involves the removal of the gallbladder. Common injuries from this procedure include excessive bleeding, bowel perforation and bile duct injuries.
- Performing tests incorrectly ”“ Tests help doctors identify health issues. When tests are performed incorrectly it prevents the doctor from properly diagnosing the medical condition that could be fatal to the patient or cause long-term injury.
- Surgical procedures ”“ Medical malpractice often occurs during surgery such as when the surgeon operates on the wrong body part, injures a nerve, leaves a piece of surgical equipment inside a patient, or administers too much or too little medication.
Other forms of medical malpractice our attorneys handle include:
- Neonatal resuscitation
- Stroke management
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from medical malpractice, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled Phoenix medical malpractice attorney to assist you with your case. Our attorneys have tackled many cases and we are confident that we have to skillset need to investigate your situation and pursue the compensation that is rightfully yours. Do not hesitate to contact us right away for your free case evaluation.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
When a health care provider fails to provide his or her patients with proper care and causes them to suffer further injuries, that provider should be held liable for the damages that result from those injuries. However, medical malpractice cases are complex and require strong evidence to prove that the medical provider acted negligently and caused you to suffer damages. Our lawyers must be able to prove the following four elements:
A Doctor-Patient Relationship
A doctor-patient relationship is typically established when a physician or other health care provider agrees to tend to the patient’s medical needs by making a diagnosis and/or providing treatment. Once this agreement is made, the physician or health care provider is responsible for the patient’s medical care and could be held liable if he or she is negligent in providing that care.
Health care providers who can be held responsible for a patient’s medical malpractice include:
- Medical technicians
- Dentists and oral surgeons
The Health Care Provider Acted Negligently
The next step in proving negligence is to establish that your health care provider acted recklessly or negligently while treating or diagnosing your medical condition. When the medical care you receive does not fit within the accepted standard of care for the situation, the medical provider has breached his or her duty of care.
Our lawyers will help you establish that your medical provider failed to act in a manner similar to the way another competent and skilled medical professional would have acted if he or she was in a similar type of situation. Our lawyers will work to obtain the evidence needed to prove your claim and consult with medical experts to help us establish that your medical provider failed to meet the standard of care.
The Doctor’s Negligence Caused Your Injury
The next element your lawyer will need to prove is that the health care provider’s negligent actions caused you to suffer further injury. It is important to establish that your injury is not pre-existing or caused by another factor. One way of looking at it is: you must prove you would not have been hurt unless the medical provider acted in a negligent manner.
The Negligent Medical Treatment Caused You to Suffer Damages
The final element to building a strong medical malpractice case is showing that the health care provider’s negligence caused you to suffer financial and emotional damages. This includes:
- Lost income from inability to work
- Additional medical bills
- Pain and suffering
Speak to one of our qualified Phoenix medical malpractice lawyers at Philips Law Group to understand your legal rights. We understand that tackling these kinds of cases can be difficult without a thorough knowledge of the law. We are here to help. We will investigate and help you build a strong case as we aggressively pursue the compensation you need so that you can begin moving forward with your life.
We Provide Experts to Prove Your Medical Malpractice Case
Medical negligence cases are sometimes complex. For this reason, our medical malpractice lawyers in Phoenix often consult with other law firms and expert witnesses to provide our clients with the best legal representation possible.
Arizona law requires medical malpractice victims or their attorneys to certify, via a written statement, whether expert opinion testimony is required to prove medical malpractice occurred. If this testimony is necessary, our medical malpractice attorneys serving Phoenix and elsewhere, will serve an expert opinion affidavit, which is a document that explains the relevant medical standards and how the defending party failed to perform the procedure up to those reasonable standards.
At Phillips Law Group, we can help find the medical experts who can make such a determination. While clients remain liable for costs under Arizona law, we can front these costs to obtain qualified expert witnesses.
Please do not take a chance with your serious medical malpractice case. Call an experienced attorney – call Phillips Law Group. Based in Phoenix, and serving Tucson and communities throughout Arizona, our Phoenix medical malpractice attorneys have the experience and the resources to properly handle your medical malpractice case.
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More Information on Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Hospital malpractice is a form of medical malpractice. Itoccurs when a doctor, nurse or other hospital staff member causes harm by committing an act of negligence when caring for a patient. Our lawyers in the Phoenix and Tucson area have represented hundreds of hospital patients who did not receive proper or timely medical care during their hospitalization and were thereby hurt by medical or nursing negligence.
For more information on hospital malpractice, or if you wish to consult with our Phoenix medical malpractice lawyers directly, please feel free to contact us by calling 1-800-706-3000 .
Like all medical facilities, hospitals have a duty to use reasonable care when hiring and supervising employees, including doctors, nurses, interns, technicians and aides. When a hospital staff member fails to act in a manner that is similar to how a reasonable staff member would act under the same circumstances, medical malpractice or negligence is likely to occur. As with other professions, all heath care workers have a responsibility to conduct their practice of medicine in compliance with hospital protocol and state regulations.
Unfortunately, bad things can happen to good people. When a patient experiences an injury or disability after receiving medical treatment in a hospital, there is a possibility he or she has been a victim of hospital malpractice. There are no guarantees that a physician can make a person’s medical condition better or cure it. However, to determine whether you have a hospital malpractice case, you need to consult with a lawyer.
Our medical malpractice lawyers in Phoenix and other Arizona areas, are highly experienced in the prosecution of hospital malpractice. We will conduct an interview with you and potential witnesses of your medical care and treatment, and then we will decide whether investigation into a claim of hospital malpractice is warranted.
If you suspect you may be the victim of hospital malpractice, please contact our medical malpractice lawyers at the Phoenix office. We will discuss your hospital negligence case at no cost to you.
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Delay in Cancer Diagnosis
A delay in the diagnosis of cancer is a form of medical malpractice. Recent statistics suggest breast cancer is the most common type of cancer to be misdiagnosed or not diagnosed in a timely manner. Statistics relating to breast cancer and its delayed diagnosis include:
- Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in the U.S.
- Delays in the diagnosis of breast cancer are the number one cause of all medical malpractice lawsuits in the U.S.
- One out of every nine women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for all women and the leading cause of death in women ages 40-55.
- About 85 percent of women whose breast cancer is detected before it has spread to the axillary nodes will survive at least five years.
Once the diagnosis of cancer is made, a physician will identify the type of cancer by analyzing the microscopic appearance of the cells. The doctor will then classify the cancer according to how advanced it is. This is called staging. Cancer treatments vary widely depending upon the type of cancer and its stage.
The incidence of medical malpractice related to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is alarming. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in the United States and the second leading cause of death for all women. Nonetheless, too many women “fall through the cracks” when physicians negligently fail to diagnose their condition early on. The unacceptable result of this negligence is often the loss of treatment options and/or death.
Any undue delay in diagnosing or treating breast cancer can have devastating consequences and result in a medical malpractice claim. The probability that breast cancer will recur in a patient is directly related to the stage of the malignancy when initially diagnosed. If breast cancer is detected and addressed before the cancer has spread to any lymph nodes, the chances of survival are significantly better than otherwise.
Unfortunately, too often obvious warning signs are ignored and/or precautionary measures are not taken. If the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is delayed by the negligence of a health care provider, you may be the victim of medical malpractice and entitled to compensation for the harm caused by the delay. If a doctor misinterprets a test result or x-ray and fails to make an appropriate diagnosis, the proper treatment may never be prescribed, resulting in further injury or even death.
The following are among the more common forms of medical malpractice by physicians in diagnosing and/or treating breast cancer:
- Failing to perform a breast examination (during a physical or while treating a patient for certain other reasons) which would have identified a clinically-obvious tumor
- Failing to identify a palpable lump during a breast examination
- Mistaking a tumor for a breast infection
- Mistaking a tumor as benign and failing to recommend biopsy or removal
- Disregarding history of sharp pain in breast
- Disregarding signs of retraction
- Relying upon negative aspiration biopsy
- Failing to determine the cause of nipple discharge
- Relying upon mammography in lieu of physical breast examination
- Failing to order a mammogram
- Misinterpreting a mammogram
- Failing to react to mammogram findings
- Failing to order additional radiological tests
- Failing to order a biopsy
- Failing to order an ultrasound when indicated
- Failing to follow-up with the patient
Please keep in mind the foregoing are merely examples, and are by no means an exhaustive list of failures that may result in a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer. Anyone who believes a physician’s failure to make a timely diagnosis of breast cancer may have resulted in loss of treatment options and/or death should contact our medical malpractice attorneys in Phoenix as soon as possible in order to preserve and protect their legal rights.
Delay in cancer diagnosis is a form of medical malpractice. As a result, it is necessary to obtain an experienced expert witnesses to proceed with your case. Our medical malpractice attorneys serving the Phoenix and Tucson areas have the experience and the resources to pursue these types of cases and we are available to help you.
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When to File a Medical Malpractice Case
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to medical malpractice and are currently suffering damages that have hampered your financial state, it is important that you seek legal advice right away. In Arizona, medical malpractice cases must be filed within two years after the medical procedure takes place. This is known as the statute of limitations set by the state. Claims filed after the two-year limit will be dismissed and you will be barred from receiving compensation for the damages you incurred.
One exception to the two-year time-limit is the “discovery rule.” The purpose of the discovery rule is to give victims of medical malpractice more time to file a lawsuit when they did not know they were a victim of medical malpractice. Sometimes, medical malpractice victims are unaware they suffered an injury when malpractice occurred. For example, if a surgical tool was left inside you, you may not know about it right after the surgery. It may take days, weeks or longer to learn what has happened or suffer medical problems because of this form of malpractice. In cases like this, you have two years from the date you discover you suffered an injury to file a claim for compensation. However, you will have the burden of proving that you did not discover and could not have been reasonably expected to discover the injury before you say you did.
When the victim is a minor, the statute of limitations does not start running until the person turns 18 years of age. In other words, they must file a lawsuit before their 20th birthday.
Speak to a qualified lawyer at Philips Law Group right away so that we can work to ensure your case is filed before time runs out.
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Compensation Awarded for Medical Malpractice Cases in Arizona
Victims of medical malpractice often face significant expenses to correct or recover from the medical error. At Philips Law Group, we believe that victims of medical malpractice cases should not have to foot the bill for these damages, which may include the following:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Medical equipment
We will also work thoroughly to pursue noneconomic damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You may also be entitled to pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to financially punish the defending party, in this case, medical professional, for his or her negligent, reckless or careless acts. This will help deter other medical professionals from behaving in a similar manner in future scenarios.
Some states place a cap on the amount of damages you can receive. However, here in Arizona, our constitution strictly prohibits such caps in civil cases. This means that our attorneys can fight for every penny you deserve.
Shared Fault Rule
In some medical malpractice cases, the at-fault party may argue that the victim may be at-fault for his or her own injuries. One example of this could be failing to follow the doctor’s orders of taking two prescribed pills a day. If you are found to be partially at-fault, you still have the right to obtain compensation, but the amount you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you by a jury ”“ if you are 20 percent at fault, your award is reduced by 20 percent; if you are 30 percent at fault, the award is reduced by 30 percent. This is known as the “pure comparative negligence” rule.
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What You Should Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice
If you suspect that you are a victim of a medical malpractice, follow these steps below to help defend your rights and begin pursuing justice:
Find Another Doctor
Your health should be your first priority. If you believe you are a victim of a medical error, seek the guidance of another doctor to quickly correct the error. Your new doctor will need your medical records and may perform several tests to properly assess the error before treating it.
Request All of Your Medical Records
Get copies of your medical records. These records are vital to your case as they contain information about your condition, your medical history and medications prescribed. These documents can help another doctor spot discrepancies that may have caused the medical error. It is important to request these medical records before filing a lawsuit to prevent your doctor from illegally altering your medical chart to avoid liability.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal that details the stages of your recovery can be a crucial piece of evidence for your case. You should describe the symptoms you are experiencing after the medical error took place. You can include a rate chart of the amount of pain you experience, foods you cannot tolerate after the procedure, and daily activities that you can no longer partake in.
Avoid Posting on Social Media
It is important that you keep your social media accounts low-key until the case is resolved, as anything you post can be held against you. For example, if you pursue damages for pain and suffering, but your social media account shows that you are out and possibly enjoying activities, it may look like you are exaggerating your injury.
Contact Phillips Law Group
Medical malpractice cases can be extremely difficult to manage, especially if you have other things on your plate like taking care of your family or working. That is why it is in your best interest to hire a knowledgeable lawyer to have on your side. Our lawyers will investigate and gather all the information necessary to build a strong case. We will work hard to pursue the compensation you need to move forward with your life.
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Our Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can HelpDetermine if You Have a Case
We can help you find out if you have a meritorious medical malpractice case against a medical care provider. When a patient has a bad result or is left with a greater disability than before the medical treatment, there is a possibility that medical negligence caused the bad result and disability.
To determine whether or not you have a case, you need to consult with our medical malpractice lawyers serving the Phoenix and Tucson areas in Arizona. We will supervise a focused interview with you, provide answers to you concerning general matters, and then decide whether further investigation is warranted by obtaining your medical and hospital records.
Upon receiving your medical and hospital records, our experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys and legal team will read and analyze the information recorded in your medical records. Even though the events relating to the medical negligence are often not recorded in a patient’s records, a review of the records is still mandatory. After we have finished our review, and if we believe it is appropriate, we will then consult with a physician who has extensive knowledge of your illness or condition in an effort to determine whether medical malpractice occurred and whether your injuries could have been prevented.
If it is determined that you or your loved one is the victim of medical negligence, our Phoenix and Tucson-area medical malpractice attorneys will work hard to obtain the full amount of compensation you are entitled to under the law.
Medical malpractice involves a very small percentage of doctors and hospitals. However, doctors are human beings, and they can make mistakes and be careless. In cases where negligence caused serious injury, we can help victims recover monetary compensation. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, our Phoenix medical malpractice lawyers want to help.
Have a question about a potential a case?