Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice is a pervasive problem here in Arizona. We often hear horrible stories, from devastating surgical errors to birth injuries. But we often don’t give them a second thought—until it happens to our family.
The consequences of medical malpractice can follow you for a lifetime. If you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries. For more information, visit our Medical Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions page.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
The term “medical malpractice” refers broadly to a health professional who fails in his or her duty to provide reasonable care to a patient. Doctors aren’t the only ones capable of committing malpractice; any member of a healthcare team, from a pharmacist to a nurse, can be guilty of negligence.
Medical malpractice claims hinge on proving that a medical professional failed in fulfilling his or her obligation to provide reasonable care. In the legal realm, the term “reasonable care” refers to a situation in which a similar professional would have acted with more care given the same circumstances.
For example, imagine you’re a patient who felt a lump under your skin. You see your primary care physician, who dismisses it as a swollen lymph node. The lump grows over time, and months later you’re diagnosed with cancer. In this situation, most other doctors would have ordered tests to rule out the possibility of cancer, so your doctor acted negligently.
Proving Medical Malpractice: Four Essential Elements
Providing sufficient evidence for medical malpractice requires these basic elements:
- You must prove that a doctor/patient relationship existed. You must have hired a doctor in a formal capacity to qualify for a settlement. In other words, a casual conversation at a cocktail party is not sufficient grounds for a suit.
- That doctor was negligent in your care. Medical malpractice claims, like most personal injury claims, rely on the idea that your provider committed negligence (or failed in his or her duty of care). Being unhappy with the quality of your treatment isn’t enough to recover damages.
- Provider negligence was responsible for your injuries. You must prove that your provider’s actions directly lead to your predicament. Since doctors often deal with those who are already sick or injured, proving this requires the help of a skilled attorney.
- That injury led to damages. You must provide specific evidence of damages as a result of your care. For example, your injury may lead to economic damages, like medical bills and lost wages due to missed work. You may also suffer general damages, which cover intangible losses like emotional suffering and physical pain.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice in Arizona
There are countless varieties of medical malpractice, since each case is unique. These are some of the most common:
- Failure to diagnose refers to a situation in which another doctor would have discovered a disease or condition in the same or similar circumstances.
- Improper treatment is any circumstance in which another healthcare professional would have provided a more effective course of care.
- Failure to appropriately warn about the risks refers to a situation in which a physician neglects to outline a procedure or inform you of possible negative outcomes before you consent to it.
Your Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Arizona—And Why We’re Different
Medical malpractice cases are a little different from other types of personal injury claims because they rely on expert testimony. Juries may decide on fault based on the evidence presented to them at face value—hence, medical cases require that professionals explain what they would have done differently.
At Cullan and Cullan we’re doctors and lawyers, so we know medical malpractice better than other firms out there. We have the medical expertise to know when another professional has committed malpractice and the legal experience to hold him or her responsible for those actions. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation today.