Glendale Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical doctors and other health care providers are held to an expected standard of care when it comes to treating patients. When a physician or other professional in the medical community neglects to perform their duty according to that standard of care, patients are the ones who suffer, or die, as a result.
If you have experienced an injury caused by medical malpractice, or you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. The Glendale medical malpractice attorneys at Phillips Law Group have decades of experience representing Arizona residents and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation, including a $3 million dollar settlement for a client who suffered brain damage due to negligent medical treatment.
Fill out our online form 24/7 at no cost to you or contact our legal team to schedule a free, no obligation consultation for help with your claim. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees to worry about. We do not get paid unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.
Why Does Medical Malpractice Happen?
There are any number of circumstances that may lead to an incident of medical malpractice, but the most common reasons for this type of substandard medical care may include:
- Fatigue – Long hours and high patient numbers combined with insufficient staffing can lead to burnout of medical staff. Without sleep, health care providers can become inattentive to their patients, have poor problem-solving skills, and slowed reaction times that can be consequential.
- Poor communication – There are often multiple steps and many medical staff members involved, leaving more room for medical errors to occur because of communication issues. Record keeping could be compromised, leading to patient mix-ups, or a misinterpretation of medical history.
- Operating while intoxicated – Medical procedures are often complex, requiring doctors and medical staff to perform at their best at all times. A medical professional under the influence of drugs or alcohol is more likely to make mistakes during the diagnosis or the procedure.
- Disorganization – Whether this happens because of an individual or an organization, it can mean important notes about medication, treatment or allergies never make it into a patient’s medical record. A disorganized hospital team could mix up two patients, resulting in the wrong procedure being performed on the wrong patient, or a careless doctor prescribing the wrong medication.
What is the Difference Between Medical Negligence and Medical Malpractice?
Medical negligence refers to an accidental error or action committed by a medical professional that leads to the injury or harm of a patient. In a case of medical negligence, the doctor or medical staff did not have knowledge about the incident and there was no intent to cause harm to the patient. For example, if a surgical sponge is left inside a patient during an operation, and it leads to a serious infection.
An instance of medical malpractice involves a level of intent, because in that instance, the doctor or health care provider knows that if he or she fails to take a specific action it could result in harm to a patient. However, that does not mean a physician actually intended to harm a patient.
One example of this is where an attending physician opts to use a cheaper, less effective diagnostic test over one that is more expensive, simply because it is not covered by a patient’s health insurance. If that decision turns into a missed diagnosis, like cancer, a qualified medical malpractice attorney may be able to prove a case of medical malpractice was knowingly committed by that physician.
Proving Medical Malpractice
The burden of proving medical malpractice is a complicated legal process, which is why we recommend hiring a Glendale medical malpractice attorney. Our lawyers at Phillips Law Group are well-versed in Arizona’s medical malpractice laws, and if we represent you, we are committed to protecting your rights and obtaining fair compensation for the harm you received under a doctor’s care.
In order to establish that the injury you sustained was the result of medical malpractice, you and your attorney must prove the following elements of negligence:
- Existing doctor-patient relationship – You must provide evidence such as medical records that a doctor-patient relationship existed. The doctor agreed to provide medical care and you agreed to be treated. Once that agreement was made, he or she was legally obligated to provide this care.
- Doctor was negligent – You must show that the doctor or health care provider was negligent. He or she failed to provide the standard of care that another competent peer would have provided under the same circumstances. The doctor’s care must simply be reasonably skillful and careful.
- Doctor’s negligence resulted in the injury – You must show that it is more likely than not that the doctor’s carelessness directly caused you harm. A medical expert can help establish this element.
- Injury lead to certain damages – You must show that you suffered damages as a result of the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, physician pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
To learn more about your potential case, it is generally a wise decision to contact a medical malpractice lawyer from our firm today. We can review the details of your claim and evaluate if you may have a case.
Need legal help? Call us now at 1-800-706-3000 for a free consultation.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur at any time throughout a planned medical treatment. Our firm over the years has handled many different medical malpractice cases. Below are several of the most common types of medical malpractice errors to help you determine if you have a case:
Failure to Treat
A patient may receive harmful treatment if a doctor or health care provider fails to:
- Obtain a full medical history of a patient, including any allergies to medication or current treatment a patient is receiving elsewhere
- Listen to the patient’s description of his or her condition
Failure to Properly Diagnose
The incorrect diagnosis of a serious illness or medical condition may prevent a patient from receiving life-saving treatment in time. Some examples of serious diagnostic errors include:
- Cancer diagnosis
- Stroke or heart attack symptoms
- Identifying a pulmonary embolism
- Failing to diagnose a fracture
Failure to properly diagnose a patient within an acceptable timeframe may allow a medical condition or disease to continue to worsen, reducing the likelihood for a patient to recover. In serious cases, such as appendicitis or internal bleeding, a patient may not survive.
While all surgeries carry a degree of risk, a surgical error is considered to be a preventable substandard level of care. Some examples of surgical errors include:
- Performing the wrong procedure
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Damaging an organ or other body tissue during a surgical intervention
- Leaving a piece of medical equipment inside the patient
- Making an incision error
- Using surgical equipment that was not properly sterilized
Medication often provides lifesaving treatment and aids a patient in recovering from an illness, infection or other medical condition. However, if a patient’s medication is incorrectly prescribed, or it interacts with other medication the patient is already taking, it can have a devastating effect on a patient’s life.
A hospital or other medical care institution may be held responsible if any member of staff fails to follow protocols for keeping instruments and other hospital areas clean and free of germs or bacteria that could lead to an infection in a patient.
If the attending physician present at the birth of a baby does not properly monitor both mother and child’s progress, either patient could suffer severe harm. Additionally, infants can be injured by the misuse of certain medical tools, like forceps.
Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
A health care provider is required to obtain a patient’s written consent for any recommended treatment, medication, surgery or any other medical intervention. Prior to obtaining the patient’s signature, he or she is first required to fully inform the patient regarding all potential benefits, side effects or other risks that may result in harm to the patient.
What Compensation May I Be Eligible For?
Our licensed Glendale medical malpractice attorneys can explain all the damages that you may be eligible to receive during a free consultation. Our goal is to provide our clients with accurate and helpful information so that they can make an informed decision about whether to take legal action.
Every medical malpractice case is different, so ultimately both the amount and kind of damages you may receive are also unique. Generally, victims of medical malpractice may be able to recover compensation for:
These are damages that you can easily place a numerical value on, such as past and future medical bills, rehabilitation or therapy services, prescription medications, lost wages and loss of earning capacity.
These damages apply to losses that are intangible, and therefore, are more difficult to monetize. These could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
Punitive damages are rare in medical malpractice cases. These damages are designed to punish the defendant and deter others from acting in the same way. In Arizona, you must be able to prove that the defendant meant to cause harm and his or her conduct was reckless or malicious.
Unlike many states, Arizona does not place caps on the amount of damages awarded in a medical malpractice case. However, in addition to filing a lawsuit, state law does require a written preliminary opinion of a medical expert. It can be challenging to find an acceptable expert for this purpose, but if we represent you, our lawyers at Phillips Law Group are prepared to help guide you throughout the legal process and will try to seek maximum compensation for the injuries and other losses you have endured.
We look forward to helping you. Call 1-800-706-3000 to get started.
Contact a Glendale Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Medical malpractice claims are lengthy and complex, and there are strict deadlines for filing. This is why we encourage you to contact a member of our legal team today. Our lawyers have been presented with many awards for excellence over the years, including founding partner Jeffrey Phillips being distinctly named as one of the Best Attorneys of America.
Schedule your free consultation now. Your appointment will be completely free of charge, and it is your opportunity to ask questions about what you may expect from a medical malpractice claim. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not have to pay any upfront fees for us to represent you. At Phillips Law Group, we only get paid if we help recover compensation on your behalf.
Our office is conveniently located in Phoenix, just 30 minutes southeast of historic downtown Glendale.
Call us today at 1-800-706-3000 or chat with us online 24/7.