What to Consider Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Published on June 10, 2022
Medical errors happen more often than we as patients would like to think. When you suffer injuries at the hands of a caregiver, surgeon, or medical facility, you may wonder if your situation meets the criteria needed for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
There are some key points to consider before pursuing any type of lawsuit against your medical provider. Some are purely legal determinations, while others are more personal.
Evaluating the Validity of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
To succeed in any medical malpractice lawsuit, you or your attorney must prove the elements of medical malpractice.
These are as follows:
Was there a doctor/patient relationship? In other words, did the doctor or provider owe you a duty of care?;
Did your provider breach that duty of care? Did they act contrary to the standard of care for a professional in the same specialty?;
Did that breach of care cause your injury?; and
Did you suffer actual damages as a result of that breach of care? Damages include medical costs, pain and suffering, and other compensable losses. If your doctor made a mistake, but you suffered no harm, you may not have a claim.
To meet your burden of proof and win your medical malpractice lawsuit, you need medical records to thoroughly back up your claim, as well as medical experts who will testify that your injuries are a direct result of your medical provider’s negligence or error.
State Time Limits to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Medical malpractice lawsuits are governed by time limits called statutes of limitations. In Arizona, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of when you know or should have known the malpractice occurred.
These lawsuits are complex and time-consuming. Therefore, it is vital you speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as you suspect medical negligence or error caused your injuries.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against the Proper Party or Individual
While you might assume you would sue your doctor or surgeon for medical malpractice, the hospital or surgical facility may be responsible for medical errors that happen at their facility. The opposite may also be true where a doctor only has privileges at a hospital and is not an employee.
While there are exceptions to these scenarios, it is crucial you identify and pursue the correct party in any medical malpractice lawsuit. Your medical malpractice attorney will know the proper party to sue and if there are any exceptions in your case.
Personal Costs of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Medical malpractice lawsuits come with personal costs. There are no guarantees that you will win your case and be awarded compensation.
Lawsuits can be lengthy and cause you and your family physical and emotional stress. Court appearances can take you away from work and your children.
Before undertaking any medical malpractice lawsuit, review all of your options with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area.
Contact an Experienced Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorney
To discuss a potential medical malpractice lawsuit with an experienced legal firm, contact Knapp & Roberts. Our medical malpractice attorneys will listen to you, review your information, and carefully evaluate your case.
Knapp & Roberts will provide you with the answers you need to take any available legal steps towards financial recovery. Your consultation is confidential and at no cost to you, so call our Phoenix office today.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.