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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Aug 13, 2015

Experiencing a critical injury or illness is difficult enough, even when you’ve been given the best care possible. The problems you have can be compounded when the doctor or nurses make a mistake and your condition worsens as a result. Although it can be tough to tell the difference between a legitimate malpractice case and a treatment that was simply unsuccessful, the state of Arizona has guidelines to help determine the difference.

To prove a valid malpractice case, you must show the following:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed. You must show that you had a physician-patient relationship with the doctor you are suing — this means you sought out the doctor for the condition and the doctor agreed to treat you.
  • The doctor was negligent. An ineffective treatment doesn’t automatically mean malpractice. To sue for malpractice, you must be able to show that the treatment provided by the doctor caused you harm, and that a competent doctor would not have caused you harm. The doctor’s care is not required to be the best possible, but simply “reasonably skillful and careful.” During this part of the lawsuit is when testimony from a medical expert is required to discuss the appropriate medical standard of care and show how the doctor deviated from that standard.
  • The doctor’s negligence caused the injury. Another part of the case is showing that the poor treatment actually caused harm. You must show that it is “more likely than not” that the doctor’s incompetence directly caused the injury. Usually, the medical expert must attest to this, as well.
  • The injury led to specific damages. Damages can include physical pain, medical anguish, additional medical bills and lost work and earning capacity. Even if the doctor was incompetent, the patient must suffer some type of harm as a result to have a valid malpractice case.

Bringing a malpractice case to court is often a long and complex process. Your Phoenix injury attorney will discuss all of these topics and more at your first consultation. If you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice, make an appointment today to discuss your case.