Arizona Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Claim

Arizona Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Claim
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When patients visit their family practitioner, a specialist or a hospital emergency room, they typically assume that medical professionals will conduct proper diagnostic screening and provide appropriate medical treatment. Although it may be comforting to believe that medical professional are infallible, a staggering number of people die each year because of medical malpractice by doctors, nurses, hospitals and other health care providers.

A study published in the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that medical malpractice claims the lives of between 210,000 and 440,000 people annually in the U.S. This estimate makes medical errors and omissions the third leading cause of death behind only heart disease and cancer according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Journal of Patient Safety

These sobering statistics serve as a grim reminder that health care professionals can fail to provide the appropriate standard of care in a number of ways, such as:

  • Failing to provide a timely diagnosis of cancer
  • Surgical errors/blood loss
  • Misdiagnosis that leads to suicide
  • Mistakes in administering anesthesia
  • Inadequate anti-infection procedures
  • Missed diagnosis of a heart attack
  • Medication errors (failure to screen for drug allergies, improper dosage)
  • Improper use of medical equipment/defective medical equipment
  • Failure to properly respond to a medical emergency
  • Lack of consultation with a specialist or superior when a doctor has insufficient knowledge

These are just a handful of the types of medical errors that can cause or accelerate the death of a patient and leave surviving family members without the love, guidance and support of a loved one. These devastating emotional consequences of a fatal health care error often are compounded by staggering medical bills and the loss of financial support of the decedent.

While medical malpractice all too often causes unnecessary fatalities, the fact that a patient dies does not necessarily mean that a medical professional has been negligent. The family and/or estate of the patient must establish that the doctor, hospital or other health care provider did not provide the standard of care that would be provided by similar health care providers in Arizona. The care provided must be evaluated based on the specific circumstances under which diagnostic screening and treatment was provided. Common scenarios include failing to properly diagnose an illness, administering the wrong treatment and lack of a proper response to a medical emergency.

ARIZONA WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUITS BASED ON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE PRESENT A NUMBER OF CHALLENGES THAT INCLUDE:

  • Use of medical experts to identify the standard of care and a breach of that standard
  • Making technical medical information and evidence understandable for a jury
  • Overcoming the positive bias of juries toward the competence of physicians
  • Higher litigation costs and more risk of a defense verdict than other types of negligence cases
  • Proving causation when a patient dies of a medical condition that is often fatal without medical negligence

These are just a few of the unique challenges that confront surviving family members pursuing a wrongful death action based on negligence by a health care professional. This specialized and highly technical area of personal injury litigation requires use of an experienced medical malpractice attorney with experience, expertise and access to top medical experts.

If you have lost a loved one because of a mistake by a health care provider or substandard hospital care, we invite you to talk to one of our experienced Phoenix wrongful death medical malpractice attorneys. The Phoenix wrongful death lawyers from our firm provide the compassionate, caring representation that you need from a team of experienced trial lawyers. We are always prepared for trial if it becomes necessary to obtain the case result our client needs. Our lawyers are highly recognized for their experience. Attorney Bill Friedl is on the Arizona State Bar Advocates’ Panel, and Attorney Tommy Richardson is on the Maricopa County Judicial Selection Committee. Contact our firm today to retain an attorney who can maximize your wrongful death compensation!

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About the author

Thomas Richardson

Tommy Richardson, owner and president of the AV-Rated law firm of Friedl Richardson Trial Lawyers in Phoenix, focuses exclusively on personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Since 2009, Tommy has sat on the Board of Governors for Arizona Trial Lawyers and in 2011 was appointed by Governor Jan Brewer and confirmed by the Arizona Senate to the Maricopa Judicial Selection Committee. Tommy represents plaintiffs in trial work in Maricopa, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, Mohave, Yuma, Apache, Gila, Cochise, La Paz, Coconino and Navajo counties. Tommy is the co-chair of the seminar committee for the Arizona Association for Justice/Arizona Trial Lawyers and is involved in the American Association for Justice and American Trial Lawyers.