Medical Malpractice Attorney in Phoenix
When you seek medical treatment, you’re hoping that an injury or illness will get better – not worse. When medical malpractice results in harm, you may be left struggling with the effects of both your original condition and a malpractice-induced condition. It can be even more difficult to trust doctors, and it may feel impossible to determine exactly what happened.
While medical malpractice cases can be complex, they are not impossible to understand. Attorneys with experience in medical negligence understand how to gather and explain the evidence in a way that makes clear who was at fault and exactly how much you’ve lost. Having a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney on your side can make it easier to win the compensation you need.
Medical Errors and Malpractice: Understanding the Problem
For many years, it was unclear exactly how widespread medical errors were. In 2016, a study by patient safety experts at Johns Hopkins shed sobering light on the question.
The study estimated that over 250,000 deaths each year, or about 10 percent of all annual deaths, are caused by medical errors. This number makes medical errors the third most common cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.
The Johns Hopkins study examined all medical errors, not just medical malpractice. What’s the difference?
Simply put, while a medical error is any mistake made in any part of medical care, not all medical errors rise to the level of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient receives care below the “standard of care” that an ordinary, reasonably prudent medical professional would have provided in the same circumstances.
Common medical malpractice claims in Arizona include:
- Medication errors, including injuries caused by receiving the wrong medication or the wrong dose, or not being prescribed necessary medication
- Surgery errors, including operations on the wrong body part, items left inside the body, anesthesia errors, and similar problems
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, which may include either an incorrect diagnosis, excessive time to reach a diagnosis, or both
- Birth injuries to mother, child, or both during pregnancy, labor, or delivery.
While these are among the most common claims, any substandard medical care that results in injury may support a medical malpractice claim. Speaking to a lawyer can help you understand your legal options, the potential obstacles in your case, and how a Phoenix attorney can help.
Three Steps to Take Today If You Suspect Medical Malpractice
If you’ve been injured as a result of medical care, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your legal rights as soon as possible. Arizona’s two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases sets a deadline: If your case is not filed within two years of the injury, you will lose your chance to seek compensation in court.
To put yourself on the road to recovery, take the following steps as soon as possible:
- Seek medical care for your injuries.
It can be intimidating to seek help from another doctor after you suspect one has already caused you harm. By having your symptoms diagnosed and treated, however, you create a record that explains both the extent of the damage and its potential causes. You also help yourself heal by receiving treatment and advice.
If you’ve already begun medical treatment for your injuries, keep your follow-up appointments. Follow your doctor’s instructions, including instructions for medications, medical devices like crutches or wound dressings, and any rehabilitation. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and to call your doctor’s office if you’re uncertain what to do.
- Start collecting documentation.
Choose one location, like a file folder or a desk drawer, and keep all the paperwork related to your injury in this location. For instance, copies of medical records, medical bills or receipts, doctor’s notes, and other paperwork should go in this location.
Also, take some time to write down everything you can remember about your situation. Start with the original reason you sought medical treatment. Write down names, places, dates, times, and what happened as you remember them. Every time you make a note, put the current date beside it. Your notes will help you and your lawyer piece together what happened. They may also provide valuable clues regarding where to look for information about your case.
- Speak to an attorney.
Medical malpractice cases can be complex. They involve not only the legal complexities of any personal injury claim, but also questions of medical science. Your lawyer will take on the work of investigating your claim, negotiating with insurance companies as needed, and building the strongest possible case for your full and fair compensation.
At the Folger Law Firm, our Phoenix medical malpractice lawyers focus on representing each of our clients with dignity and compassion. We understand how devastating a medical malpractice injury can be, and we’re here to help. Call our office today at 602-774-0033 or use our online contact form to request a free and confidential consultation.
Contact Folger Law today to receive the legal help you need.