Claiming medical malpractice is one thing; proving it is another

If an Arizona physician tells you that a particular elective surgical procedure you're considering poses certain risks, such as significant scarring, recurrence of the initial problem or some other adverse effect, and you elect to have the surgery anyway, is the physician guilty of medical malpractice if the situation he or she warned you about actually occurs? While there is no cut-and-dry answer to that question, it's unlikely that the court would hold a doctor liable if he or she adhered to all existing regulations.

Medical malpractice occurs when a professional health care provider fails to perform at accepted levels of standard. In worst-case situations, your very life may be at risk. If you survive a medical error or negligence, it doesn't necessarily mean you will walk away unscathed. Medical malpractice is a serious problem in Arizona and most other states. A key factor in pursuing justice in such circumstances is knowing your rights ahead of time and also how to determine if a doctor, nurse or other professional has committed malpractice.

Get the facts, then take action

You may not particularly like every health care provider with whom you come in contact during examinations or treatment. Personality conflicts do not give you the right to sue someone, however. If you believe you have suffered injury because of medical negligence, there are definitely steps you can take to address the matter in court. The following list includes helpful information that may apply to your situation:

  • Health care providers are not legally accountable for every negative outcome that occurs when you seek medical treatment or care. If you file a medical negligence claim, you must provide evidence to substantiate your claim.
  • The court typically checks to see if certain factors are present whenever someone files a medical malpractice lawsuit. Such factors include failure to provide appropriate care, negligence-caused injury and damages resulting from injury.
  • When listing damages that resulted from medical negligence, you might include problems such as emotional trauma, physical disability, loss of income or chronic pain.
  • You must also be able to show the court that the defendant or defendants owed a duty to you and that a failure to fulfill that duty occurred. You must also show that the breach of duty directly caused the injury that resulted in damages.

If you suffer injury during or after surgery or some other medical procedure, or a doctor fails to properly diagnose your condition and you suffer infection or illness because of that, the last thing you want to have to worry about is navigating court proceedings. It's understandable, however, that you'd consider filing a medical malpractice claim, especially if you were completely unprepared to meet the expenses associated with your injury.

Where to turn for support

The good news is there's no reason to act alone when pursuing a medical negligence claim. There are experienced personal injury attorneys who can guide you every step of the way and act on your behalf in court so that you can stay focused on your own recovery. 

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