Medical malpractice claims and lawsuits can be some of the more complicated personal injury cases. The situation tends to be less straightforward than cases like car accidents and slip-and-fall incidents. Several factors must be proven before the practitioner or facility is found liable. That’s why legal representation by a medical malpractice attorney in Phoenix, AZ may be essential.
A Requirement: Actual Harm
One aspect to prove is that actual harm occurred. Medical practitioners might make errors or be negligent in some respect, but if the patient wasn’t harmed, there is no valid legal case. This may seem unfair because it doesn’t hold anyone accountable for potentially hazardous incidents, but that is how personal injury law views these situations.
An example would be when the surgical team accidentally leaves a sponge inside a patient’s body. The American Society of Anesthesiologists reports that up to 6,000 cases occur annually in which sponges or other surgical instruments are not removed.
If the person discovers a sponge appearing in the toilet after normal waste elimination, this is unlikely to be a malpractice case. The facility will probably want to provide free X-rays or additional scans to make sure no other objects have been left behind, but the sponge did not actually cause harm.
A medical malpractice attorney in Phoenix, AZ provides legal representation if the sponge is found another way. For instance, the person may have been experiencing pain and returned for diagnostic scans. When the practitioners discover the object, surgery will be required. Now the person can sue for all related medical expenses, lost wages, and perhaps emotional trauma.