The purpose of medical practice is to save lives, promote health, and help people through illness and injuries. We go to our doctors trusting in their competence and commitment to our health and well-being. Sadly, that faith is not always well-founded.
ACCORDING TO THE DIEDERICH 2013 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE PAYOUT ANALYSIS, $3.6 BILLION WAS DISTRIBUTED IN 12,142 PAYOUTS FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN 2012.
|MALPRACTICE RESULTED IN DEATH FOR||MAJOR PERMANENT INJURY FOR||QUADRIPLEGIA, BRAIN DAMAGE, LIFELONG CARE FOR|
IN ARIZONA ALONE, $60 TO $80 MILLION WAS PAID OUT IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS. A STUDY PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNAL OF PATIENT SAFETY IN SEPTEMBER 2013 REPORTS THAT BASED ON AN UPDATED ESTIMATE DEVELOPED FROM STUDIES PUBLISHED 2008 THROUGH 2011, A LOWER LIMIT OF 210,000 DEATHS PER YEAR WERE ASSOCIATED WITH PREVENTABLE HARM IN HOSPITALS, WITH A HIGHER POSSIBLE LIMIT OF 400,000. THE STUDY CALLS IT AN EPIDEMIC OF PATIENT HARM.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured through medical malpractice, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation for your losses. Not sure if you need a personal injury lawyer for your situation? Check out our page on Do I Need a Lawyer? To find out more information on when an injury is a cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Talk to A Sun City Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, your legal needs are our top priority. Our seasoned medical malpractice attorneys can negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf, or aggressively protect your rights in a courtroom if necessary. Medical negligence cases can be technical and complex, and time limits apply to file claims. The sooner we begin our investigation into your case, the better, so we can obtain and preserve evidence and make sure that filing deadlines can be met. Call our office or contact our firm online today for a free case consultation.
Medical Malpractice Claims in Arizona
Malpractice occurs when medical professionals act or fails to act in a way that does not meet the legal standard of care, and, as a result, injures a patient. The standard of care is the way in which practitioners with similar qualifications would have managed the patient’s care under similar circumstances. Doctors, nurses, dentists, physicians’ assistants, pharmacists, and other medical professionals may be at fault for a patient’s injuries. An injured patient may bring a lawsuit against the hospital, practice, clinic, nursing home, or institution that employed the negligent medical professional, as well.
In order to recover compensation in a medical malpractice claim, an injured patient must prove that:
- A relationship giving rise to a duty of care existed between the patient and the medical professional;
- The medical professional breached that duty of care; and
- The patient suffered injuries as a result of the medical professional’s breach of the duty of care.
Medical Malpractice Compensation in Arizona: Actual Damages and Punitive Damages
Actual damages in Arizona include:
- Cost of additional treatment
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future wages
- Pain and suffering
When malpractice results from reckless or willful behavior by the physician, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are additional damages intended to punish the defendant for wrongdoing.
Types of Medical Negligence
The Diederich analysis found that the highest percentage of malpractice claims were the result of failure to diagnose. The study broke down the types of malpractice in 2012 as follows:
|35 percent – Diagnosis Related. Cancer, appendicitis, strokes, heart attacks, and pulmonary embolisms, among other conditions, are commonly misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late, resulting in many preventable deaths every year.|
|24 percent – Surgery Related. Unfortunately, surgical errors are not uncommon. According to a study published in JAMA Surgery, surgical errors include the wrong side, the wrong site, the wrong procedure, or the wrong patient. Within a 13-year period, the National Practitioner Data Bank recorded 5,940 such errors.|
|18 percent – Treatment Related. When patients are misdiagnosed, they may be given a wrong treatment that not only fails to properly treat the actual condition, but also causes the patient additional harm.|
|11 percent – Obstetrics Related. Medical errors can cause serious injuries to the mother and the child during labor and delivery. When medical professionals fail to monitor the child and act quickly in an emergency, permanent injury can result for the child.|
|Four percent – Medication Related. Medication errors are a common medical mistake that cause injuries and deaths every year.|
|Four percent – Monitoring Related. Proper monitoring is vital for patients under anesthesia, unborn babies during labor and delivery, and many other medical situations. Lack of proper monitoring can result in injury and death for patients.|
|Three percent – Anesthesia Related. Anesthesiologists may give the patient too much anesthesia, fail to monitor the patient’s vital signs, or intubate a patient improperly. Three percent – Other.|