What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Arizona?
Each state has its own set of medical malpractice laws. The following is an overview of medical malpractice laws in Arizona. If you have questions or concerns about a specific case, contact an experienced Arizona medical malpractice attorney.
What is Medical Malpractice in Arizona?
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers harm, injury, or death because a medical professional or provider deviates from the accepted standard of care for their profession.
Who is Liable for Medical Malpractice in Arizona?
A medical malpractice claim can be brought against any licensed health care professional in Arizona, including, but not limited to:
- Employees of health care providers, acting within their scope of employment; and
- Blood banks, blood centers, and plasma collection centers.
What Must Be Proven in an Arizona Medical Malpractice Case?
A case for medical malpractice in Arizona must prove the existence of four elements. These are the following:
- A doctor-patient relationship. The practitioner must agree to treat you and explain the method they will use during treatment;
- A breach of duty. The treating practitioner must breach their duty to provide quality treatment and care;
- Causation. The breach of duty caused the patient’s injury or worsened their condition; and
- Damages. The patient suffered actual damages or loss as a result of the doctor’s breach of duty, whether physical, financial, emotional, or psychological.
What is Comparative Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Even after all of the elements of medical malpractice are proven, a medical professional may not be entirely liable for a patient’s injuries. Arizona uses the rule of comparative negligence to determine liability in personal injury cases, including medical malpractice claims. This means the court will examine and compare the liability of all parties to determine whose actions contributed to the injury.
Each party to a claim is assigned a percentage of fault. Parties found partially at fault for their injuries will receive a compensation award reduced by their percentage of fault.
What is the Statute of Limitations for an Arizona Medical Malpractice Claim?
To receive any compensation award, a medical malpractice claim must be made in a timely fashion. There is a two-year statute of limitations in Arizona for medical malpractice. It starts counting down from the date of the procedure that injured or worsened the patient’s condition.
There are exceptions to this rule that may extend or decrease the time the patient has to bring a claim. For instance, the statute of limitations might be extended if the injury or condition was not immediately apparent.
If a victim of medical malpractice is a minor under the age of eighteen, the statute of limitations will begin on the day the victim turns eighteen years old.
What Damages are Available in an Arizona Medical Malpractice Case?
In a successful medical malpractice case, there are two types of damages available. These are actual damages and punitive damages.
Actual damages include:
- The cost of additional treatment;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future income; and
- Pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are awarded when medical malpractice results from reckless or intentional behavior on the part of the health care professional.
Unlike many states, Arizona does not cap damages on medical malpractice cases.
An Experienced Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered medical malpractice at the hands of a licensed medical professional and would like to learn more about damages, comparative liability, or any other matter, contact the legal team at Knapp & Roberts. Our medical malpractice attorneys can evaluate your case and advise you of the next steps to take in your claim.
At Knapp & Roberts, your initial consultation is confidential and at no charge to you. We understand the devastation caused by medical malpractice and want to help you recover compensation for your injuries so you can move forward with your life. Contact us 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.