Patients file medical malpractice claims when suffering negative results from a health care or medical provider error. For instance, when a surgeon removes the wrong leg or leaves a surgical sponge inside the patient, he or she may want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The surgeon’s clear negligence, a radiologist’s error, nursing home or birth and delivery issues, and a doctor or nurse practitioner’s misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis are all reasons to file a medical malpractice legal claim in the State of Arizona.
The average medical malpractice award to patients last year was more than $300,000. Not all medical negligence results in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The state court must consider basic elements, including standard of care, relationship, consent, statute of limitations,
Standard of Care
Medical malpractice law enables a patient’s ability to hold a medical professional or provider responsible for mistakes. If a mistake results in the patient’s loss of income because he or she cannot work, or a serious injury permanently disables the patient, medical malpractice law may provide a financial remedy.
Not all mistakes result in medical malpractice lawsuits. Primary care and specialists are held by the “standard of care,” usually considered how an average physician would have managed the patient’s care in a similar situation. A primary care physician’s treatment procedure or process is likely to differ from that of an emergency room physician.
The patient-physician relationship is considered in a medical malpractice claim. This test is usually easily met, as the patient is usually required to submit medical history information and sign physician and/or hospital paperwork. This patient relationship obligates the physician to provide the standard of care.
The patient’s consent may be required for medical or surgical intervention. Even when the patient consents to treatment, unforeseen injuries or death may occur. In these instances, it is best to contact a medical malpractice lawyer to discuss the potential case.
Statute of Limitations
Each state limits or regulates malpractice claim procedure, patient rights, and provider duties. For example, the statute of limitations refers to the length of time the patient has to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is important to file a medical malpractice claim in a timely manner.
Arizona’s state of limitations for medical negligence and malpractice lawsuits is described in Arizona Revised Statutes section 12-542. The law says that legal action which alleges the health care facility or practitioner’s malpractice must be brought within “two years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward.”
For many reasons, it is essential to contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible after a patient injury. Call now for a free consultation about your potential medical malpractice legal claim.