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Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Phoenix

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In recent years, researchers from John Hopkins University School of Medicine have uncovered that medical malpractice is likely one of the top three causes of preventable death in the country. It was estimated that a quarter of a million Americans lose their lives to medical errors each year, making it technically more dangerous than respiratory disease. The number of severe injuries caused by medical errors is assumed to be even more.

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Medical Malplractice attorney in arizona

Medical malpractice as a concept is fairly easy to grasp. A medical provider like a doctor, nurse, or surgeon makes a mistake and it ends in the harm of the patient they were supposed to help. However, medical malpractice as defined by the law is much more complicated.

For a medical error to constitute medical malpractice, four elements must be present:

  • Duty of care: The medical professional (defendant) must have owed a duty of care to the patient (plaintiff), which is most commonly established in a doctor-patient relationship.
  • Dereliction of duty: The defendant must have acted outside of their duty of care in a way that another medical professional in the same situation reasonably would not have done. In other words, the defendant must have done something wrong or unacceptable that could have been avoided with more care.
  • Direct causation: The different, incorrect, or absent type of treatment must be the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury, illness, or worsened medical condition.
  • Damages: The harm must have caused the plaintiff to suffer some sort of damage, which can be economic or non-economic.

If all four of these elements are present in your case, then it could be that medical malpractice has occurred. Let us investigate matters further and lend our professional insight.

Common Forms of Medical Malpractice

As mentioned, all sorts of medical practitioners can commit a serious error that harms a patient. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, pharmacists, front desk clerks, and more all need to be careful when interacting with patients. As such, medical malpractice can take many forms.

Common types of medical malpractice are:

  • Misdiagnosis: Doctors must accurately diagnose their patients’ symptoms within a reasonable amount of time. If the symptoms haven’t been identified, then additional diagnostic tools should be used, or another medical professional should be reached for a second opinion.
  • Birth injuries: When a medical provider makes an error while a patient is in labor, it can result in severe and permanent injury to the newborn. For example, pulling on an infant the wrong way during birth can cause shoulder dystocia.
  • Surgery errors: Some of the most devastating and dangerous forms of medical malpractice are surgery errors. Surgeons have been known to operate on the wrong body part or patient, leave tools inside a patient, and so forth.
  • Anesthesia errors: Anesthesiologists can cause serious harm or risk the life of a patient if they do not administer anesthesia correctly. Too much anesthesia can be fatal, and not enough can cause the patient to feel intense pain during a medical procedure.
  • Medication errors: Prescribing a patient the wrong medication or incorrect dose of the right medication can lead to unpredictable and dangerous side effects.