Medical negligence is a very complex area of law in Arizona. Often, a bad outcome of a medical procedure does not constitute medical negligence under Arizona law. It is necessary to prove not only that you were injured by your doctor’s failed treatment or missed diagnosis, but you must also prove that your doctor’s acts or omissions fell below the minimum standard of care in proximately causing your injuries.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Under Arizona law, a medical malpractice action “means an action for injury or death against a licensed health care provider based upon such provider’s alleged negligence, misconduct, errors or omissions[.]” A.R.S. § 12-561(2).
The standard jury instruction for medical negligence in Arizona states in relevant part:
Medical negligence is the failure to comply with the applicable standard of care. To comply with the applicable standard of care, a health care provider must exercise that degree of care, skill, and learning that would be expected under similar circumstances of a reasonably prudent health care provider within this state.
Fault is medical negligence that was a cause of injury to the patient. Negligence causes an injury if it helps produce the injury, and if the injury would not have happened without the negligence.
For medical negligence cases, Arizona has adopted a statewide standard of care for all health care providers. The statute states:
Both of the following shall be necessary elements of proof that injury resulted from the failure of a health care provider to follow the accepted standard of care:
- The health care provider failed to exercise that degree of care, skill and learning expected of a reasonable, prudent health care provider in the profession or class to which he belongs within the state acting in the same or similar circumstances.
- Such failure was a proximate cause of the injury.
A.R.S. § 12-563.
Furthermore, you cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Arizona unless you have obtained a verified opinion of medical negligence by a qualified expert under Arizona law, including but not limited to A.R.S. § 12-2604.
The Time to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit is Limited
It is extremely important that you consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations, if violated, will prohibit you from filing a lawsuit or obtaining a settlement. In some cases, a medical provider may be a federal employee, such as a doctor working for the Indian Health Service (IHS). In those cases, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) may be the appropriate legal vehicle for pursuing the claim. Because FTCA claims are considered highly complex, it is extremely important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to preserve your claim.
At Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC, we limit our medical negligence practice in Northern Arizona to cases involving serious and severe injuries, including permanent, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. We limit the number of our cases in order to ensure that we are able to provide top-notch legal services to our medical negligence clients.
Contact Our Experienced Flagstaff Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
If you have a medical malpractice case with serious injuries arising out of Northern Arizona, please contact us for a free consultation. Please understand that this website is designed to be educational only. Nothing on this website constitutes legal advice. You should always speak directly with an attorney for legal advice.