Medical malpractice is rampant. In fact, the third leading cause of death in the United States is medical error, a truly frightening statistic. Every year, approximately 250,000Americans die as a result of mistakes with their treatment. Only heart disease and cancer kill more people annually. Arizona residentsare also victims of medical error as well as preventable harm, but getting the statistics on these deaths is difficult since hospitals and doctors certainly don’t advertise these issues. Individuals have to struggle to find medical help that is safe and effective. Unfortunately, thousands of families are affected by these medical wrongful deaths each year, nationwide and in Arizona specifically. Those who are victims of fatal medical error can find some relief through a wrongful death suit. Even if the offending party is not legally guilty of a crime, they can be held accountable for their negligence.
Arizona Medical Malpractice Law
Medical malpractice applies to injury and death caused by mistakes made by errors in treatment by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel. Each state has its own rules that apply to these legal cases. Arizona is no exception, although its lawsare similar to those found in many other states. Arizona does have a two-year statute of limitations on legal action, but it can be extended under certain circumstances. Medical experts who testify in these matters must practice in the same specialty as the defendant, and they cannot be a “professional expert,” a doctor who makes a living testifying in malpractice cases instead of through treating patients.
Arizona also does not cap damages, so the defendant can be on the hook for an enormous sum of money if found to be responsible for malpractice. Some other states have imposed limits on these financial awards, which puts families and other loved ones at a serious disadvantage in the legal process.
In a malpractice wrongful death case, both the physician and the hospital can be sued for damages. Figuring out who is to blame or how much they are to blame requires a skilled lawyer, judge and sometimes jury. A number of factors must be considered to properly apportion responsibility.
When a physicianis sued for wrongful death, the plaintiff must establish several things. First, the defendant’s negligence must be proven, in general, by showing that they failed to provide the proper “standard of care.” The patient should have received the type of medical treatment that the medical community deems the standard level. Each state has its own medical malpractice rules that apply.
Next the legal team must establish what the plaintiff lost by the death of the patient. This means putting a price tag on not just lost wages but medical expenses, funeral costs and, sometimes, pain and suffering.
The hospitalitself can be held liable for a patient’s death if a member of the staff, including doctors and nurses, causes a death by way of a medical mistake or simple negligence. For instance, the staff could give a patient the wrong dose of a medication or ignore obvious signs of distress, such as a high blood pressure reading. The hospital can also be held responsible if its training, management, equipment or other operational factors are found lacking.
Some doctors and nurses work at a hospital as independent contractors. They have privileges at the facility but have their own private practice or also work at other hospitals. In that case, the hospital may escape liability if they can prove that the institution had nothing to do with the medical personnel’s error. This issue is especially complex and takes a truly experienced personal injury attorney to navigate.
Almost any individual or entity that offers medical servicescan be sued for medical malpractice and wrongful death. That list includes pharmaceutical companies, home health care operations, and medical testing facilities. Some states have taken steps to limit the number of cases filed against the medical industry, making it harder to receive compensation for medical mistakes or negligence. In Arizona, residents still have a reasonable chance at receiving compensation for their devastating loss.
Experienced Legal Help
Experienced legal help is necessary to get a favorable verdict or settlement in wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. In general, only attorneys with years of experience in the area and a proven track record can successfully handle the complex issues in these medical cases. Doctors and medical facilities have access to the best in legal representation, which means some law firms avoid these cases because they see them as too difficult. Fortunately, those in Arizona have access to highly competent personal injury attorneys who can get a just settlement for their clients.
Schmidt Law Group
The Schmidt Law Group offers Arizona citizens the degree of expertise that is needed to tackle these tough medical wrongful death cases. Alone, families have little chance of receiving the compensation they deserve. While money can never make up for the loss of a loved one, it can help the family move on and live without experiencing constant financial worry. The skilled attorneys at The Schmidt Law Group understand the complexities of Arizona wrongful death law and use this knowledge to get the best outcome possible. In addition, they improve health care for all Arizona citizens by holding the medical community accountable for its mistakes. A successful wrongful death case provides financial security and validation for the deceased. It can also ensure that spouses, parents and children do not have to suffer financially as well as emotionally and psychologically. Those who have lost a loved one due to medical error or negligence should call 602-282-0047 or fill out a free case evaluation as soon as possible. The Schmidt Law Group always works for the good of their clients.