Phoenix Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Doctors, nurses, and medical professionals in general are some of the people we trust most in the world, even though we don’t really know them. We trust them because of their education, experience, and skill sets. Unfortunately, even the most experienced and skilled medical professional can make an error, whether on purpose or accidentally. When it comes to the health of the patient, medical error can have severe and even fatal consequences. This is why medical professionals are held to a legal standard of care to actively prevent causing harm to their patients. If medical professionals fail to meet that legal standard of duty, they can be held liable for the harm they’ve caused.
At Feller & Wendt, we understand our clients are going through a difficult time as they recover from physical and emotional injuries as a result of medical negligence. Our clients deserve a dedicated legal team that aggressively pursues their right to fair compensation. Work with a firm ready to fight for you and hold the liable party accountable today by contacting Feller & Wendt.
The Elements of Medical Malpractice in Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona medical malpractice claims are based on the legal theory of negligence, which requires proving that a medical professional failed to follow the accepted standard of reasonable care to avoid harming their patient. Arizona requires proof that the medical professional failed to act in the same manner as a reasonable provider with the same experience in a similar situation would have, which directly caused the patient’s injuries.
The key elements for proving negligence in a medical malpractice case include the following:
A clear doctor-patient relationship must exist to have a valid medical malpractice claim. This relationship is generally established the moment you have your first appointment with the medical professional. The practitioner must have agreed to treat you and explained the methods they will use during the treatment process. This relationship establishes the medical professional’s obligation to provide appropriate treatment and care.
Breach of Duty
Once it’s established the practitioner owed you a duty of reasonable care, the next step is to prove that they breached their duty to provide quality care and treatment. A breach of duty means that the treatment provided fell below the standard of care expected in a similar medical situation. In other words, the medical professional failed to act or provide the level of care that another professional with the same training and experience would have in the same or similar circumstances.
Following the establishment of a breach of duty, the next element to prove is that the medical professional’s breach caused your injury or worsened an existing condition. Proving causation can be difficult as the medical professional and their insurance provider will fight to prove that something other than their insurer’s actions caused their injuries. They may claim that you did not follow the doctor’s instructions correctly or that something other than the medical provider’s actions caused your injuries. Their goal is to protect their profit margins and their clients.
This is why it’s critical to have an experienced Phoenix medical malpractice lawyer at your side who can dispute false claims and work to gather evidence that proves your injuries or worsening condition would not have occurred if you had visited another professional or received appropriate care.
The final element to prove medical malpractice is to prove that you suffered some form of harm or loss as a result of the medical professional’s breach of duty. This means proving that the medical professional’s negligence harmed you physically, emotionally, psychologically, or financially. Once the harm you’ve suffered is established, then you can begin to demonstrate why you need compensation for things such as medical bills, physical pain, mental anguish, loss of income, and more.
Arizona’s Statute of Limitations and the Discovery Rule in Medical Malpractice Cases
A statute of limitations is a law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years from the day of the incident that caused the patient harm. In other words, the facts justifying the lawsuit occurred when the injured patient (the plaintiff) sustained an injury as a result of the medical professional’s (the defendant) alleged medical negligence.
However, not all harm caused by medical negligence is immediately apparent. This is why Arizona has the discovery rule. Under the discovery rule, the two-year statute of limitations begins when the patients realize or should have realized (with the exercise of reasonable diligence) that their injuries were caused by medical negligence.
It’s not always clear when a patient who’s experiencing some harm after medical care that the harm is a result of a medical provider’s negligence. However, it’s important to contact a Phoenix medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you notice the harm and believe it’s connected to your medical treatment. Failing to file a medical malpractice lawsuit before two years have passed means losing your right to pursue compensation, except in rare circumstances. A statute of limitations may be extended in the following cases:
- The plaintiff is a minor (under age 18)
- The plaintiff doesn’t have the mental capacity to file the lawsuit
- The defendant’s healthcare provider is outside of the state
It will be up to a judge to look at the circumstances of your case closely and determine whether or not you can pursue a lawsuit after the deadline. Avoid the risk of losing your right to pursue legal action by contacting a Phoenix medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you have any suspicion that you’ve been harmed because of medical negligence.
Work With an Experienced Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Suffering harm at the hands of a professional you trusted to prioritize your health and best interest is an incredibly frustrating and emotional situation. Someone who was meant to make you better instead inflicted harm. At Feller & Wendt, we believe in holding negligent medical professionals accountable for their actions. Our clients deserve someone who aggressively protects them and pursues fair compensation when their medical providers fail to exercise the legal duty to prevent harming them.
Feller & Wendt is committed to our clients and will go the extra mile to ensure their best interests and rights are protected. Regardless of how complicated a case may seem, our Phoenix medical malpractice attorneys are determined to secure the best possible outcome for our clients. Contact our firm today at (408) 702-2277 or complete our contact form for more information.