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Medical Malpractice Information Center

In order to establish and prove a medical malpractice claims attorneys and their staff must be experienced in reviewing and understanding medical records; the first step in any medical malpractice claim.  Contact us to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney who can give you an understandable explanation of the options and rights you have regarding your medical malpractice claim.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers – Phoenix, Arizona

Our attorneys have literally decades of  combined legal experience on behalf of clients in medical malpractice claims.  We have obtained settlements and judgments in the millions in the medical malpractice claims we have accepted.  If you or a relative has been damaged as a result of the negligence of a doctor or a hospital and its employees, contact a malpractice attorney at Beale, Micheaels, Slack & Shughart today.

To learn more about our history of success in medical malpractice cases, visit our case results.  There you will find several jury awards and settlements in medical malpractice cases in the six and seven figure range.

Medical Malpractice – An Overview

Medical malpractice claims rely on two main components:  (1) a doctor or other medical provider engages in an act or omission which is negligent and doesn't meet the standard of care for that type of health care professional and (2) that negligence results in damage or harm to a patient. Examples of negligence by a medical doctor or other professional includes  errors in diagnosis, treatment or illness management.  If a medical professional's negligence results in injury or damage to a patient, a case could arise –  against the doctor if his or her actions deviated from generally accepted standards of practice for doctors of the same specialty and against the hospital for improper care, such as problems with medication, nursing or sanitation.

The laws in Arizona regarding medical malpractice protect patients' rights to compensation if they are injured as the result of medical negligence.  But medical malpractice cases are often costly and complex.  In theory a patient can seek compensation for any injury caused by neglience, regardless of how serious the injury is.  Unfortunately, sometimes the time and money required to prosecute a medical malpractice claim make it unrealistic unless the injuries and damages warrant the expenditures of time and money required.  Sometimes even when there is negligence, if the negligence does not lead to the actual damage, a claim may not be viable.  If you have a claim against a doctor or hospital, it is important to consult with an attorney at Beale, Micheaels, Slack & Shughart, P.C. who can help you determine whether your claim is worth pursuing.

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Understanding Informed Consent

Informed consent by a patient for a certain procedure or treatment can be complex and require specific interpretation.  The specific definition of informed consent can vary, but it generally means that the health care professional has provided the patient with all the information needed, including risks of the treatment, so that the patient can make an informed decision on whether to undergo the treatment.   It may be considered negligence if a health care provider fails to obtain informed consent, and in that case the patient may have a medical malpractice claim for his or her damages.

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Responsible Parties in Medical Malpractice Actions

Medical malpractice is not limited to medical doctors.   It also applies to nurses, nursing assistants, dentists, osteopathic physicians, hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.

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Proving Your Case – Causation

A medical malpractice claim must prove four major areas to succeed:  The plaintiff or person bringing the claim has the burden of proving these:  (1) the defendant doctor or hospital had a duty to the plaintiff, (2) that the defendant failed to meet the standard of care owed to the plaintiff, (3) that the medical error or mistake actually caused the plaintiff's injury and (4) that the doctor or other medical professional's negligence damaged the plaintiff.   Proving that the error actually caused the injury to the plaintiff can be difficult.. A normal patient may not know what caused the injuries or condition because these types of cases require specific medical knowledge and training to understand.  That's why it's important to speak with an attorney with the medical experience and resources to determine the answers to these questions.

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Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

The plaintiff must not only prove neglience and a causal connection between negligence and the injury, but the plaintiff must also prove the extent and severity of the injuries caused by the malpractice.  Thus, damages are a critical element of a medical malpractice case.  Damages in a medical malpractice case include compensatory damages (for the pain, medical treatment and other damage the plaintiff has suffered because of the negligence and punitive damages which are to punish the health care provider in especially egregious cases.

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Medical Malpractice Resource Links

National Patient Safety Foundation
The NPSF website features information about patient safety.

U.S. Agency for Health Care Research & Quality
Provides information and links about patient safety, tips for patients and other general health information.

Patient Safety
Information about the delivery of safe, high-quality patient care, provided by Joint Commission International.

Medical Liability/Medical Malpractice Laws
A chart summarizing state medical malpractice laws, provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Medical Malpractice News
Medical malpractice news provided by the American Association for Justice.

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