Following our recent appearance on CTV news and the subsequent questions we received and comments we observed from the public, we noted that many misconceptions still exist regarding medical malpractice claims.
Some of the most common misconceptions and myths we regularly address include:
- Medical malpractice claims are expensive;
- A top medical malpractice firm has the highest fees and takes most of the compensation;
- The process will be overwhelmingly stressful;
- Pursuing a medical malpractice claim will be huge time commitment;
- I feel uncomfortable making a claim against my doctor or hospital;
- My children suffered trauma at birth but I don’t think it’s the nurses/ physician’s fault.
Myth #1: I’m not Able to Afford an Expensive Medical Malpractice Claim
Fact: We Offer Free Case Reviews and Operate on Contingency (We Only Get Paid If You Win)
Our firm has the experience, financial stability, and confidence to offer free case reviews, contingency fees, and to advance the expenses of litigation on behalf of our clients.
Medical malpractice suits are very expensive to litigate. These cases often involve thousands of pages of medical records and other documents, testimony by experts and other witnesses, and raise complex, technical, and intertwined questions of law and medicine. In addition, there is generally intervention from powerful players with massive resources, including insurance companies (HIROC) and the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)
However, these costs should not dissuade families from pursuing a medical malpractice claim. In fact, families should be aware that they can afford to get the help they need.
At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, we offer:
- Free case reviews and free consultations.
- We also operate on a contingency fee basis. In other words, this means that our clients do not have to pay for our services or expenses unless the claim is successful either through a settlement or trial.
- To cover the cost of litigation, we often invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into our clients’ cases on their behalf.
If the case does not go in the client’s favour, the client pays us nothing (not even our expenses).
Myth #2: A Top Medical Malpractice Lawfirm Has the Highest Fees and Takes Most of the Compensation
Fact: Our Rates are Often at or Below the Industry Standard – Our Clients Get the Lion’s Share
Our goal is to secure our clients’ future and so we cap our contingency fees, to ensure that our clients always recover the lion’s share of the funds. All of the fees are clearly spelled out in a retainer agreement, so our clients can have certainty.
We have won some of the largest awards in Canada and therefore have been able to keep our contingency fees at, or even below, industry standards.
Myth #3: The Process Will Be Overwhelmingly Stressful
Fact: We Handle All Aspects of the Case From Start to Finish So You Can Focus on Your Family
After we win a case, our clients are often very pleasantly surprised at how little effort or active participation was required from them. We recognize that our clients’ lives are already complicated. We do our best to ensure that the litigation happens in the background of our clients’ lives, so they can focus on moving forward.
We know that many patients injured by medical error or medical negligence will require extensive medical and personal care for the rest of their lives, and may also need home modifications and medical equipment (among other things). In the aftermath of such an incident, the injured patient or the parents and family of that injured patient face a new and daunting reality that they have usually not prepared for, either emotionally or financially.
At Sommers, Roth & Elmaleh, we understand how overwhelming it may for families living with the aftermath of a medical error. We provide compassionate, knowledgeable guidance, and sound, strategic legal advice so that our clients can begin to rebuild.
We keep open the lines of communication at all times, answering questions in a timely manner and keeping clients consistently apprised of the status of their claim and the progress made. Our goal is to make the process as stress-free for our clients as possible.
Myth #4: Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim Will Be a Huge Time Commitment for Me
Fact: Our Clients’ Time Commitment is Minimal. We Handle All Aspects and Costs of the Litigation for You, for As Long as it Takes.
The thought of a long period of uncertainty can be daunting to many families who are already trying to come to terms with a new reality. However, just as cost should not deter families from pursuing a medical malpractice action, the length of time it will take to reach a resolution should also not be a deterrent.
Although it can take a few years, compensation for an injury can be millions of dollars, especially for serious permanent injuries like brain damage or misdiagnosis of a serious illness. For the average Canadian who has been injured by malpractice, waiting a few years is a worthwhile time investment, especially because we take care of the litigation for you. After we win a case, our clients are often very pleasantly surprised at how little effort or active participation was required from them. We do our job well, so that you can focus on your life.
At Sommers, Roth & Elmaleh, we are committed to giving our injured clients and their loved ones the legal assistance and general guidance that they need following medical negligence. Once we meet with a client and take on a file, we take over and handle every single element of the case, allowing that client to be able to focus on their family and their injured child. In addition to handling the legal aspects of the claim, we also handle all necessary paperwork, communication with medical professionals, and other relevant steps. With our help, families do not need to worry about what is happening with their matter- we work hard to secure financial assistance for the future of each of our clients.
Myth #5: I Feel Uncomfortable Making a Claim Against My Doctor or Hospital Personally
Fact: You Have Significant Unmet Needs and Lifelong Costs. Claims are Referred to Insurers or the CMPA
Making a claim against a defendant is the only way to recover compensation to move on with your life. Medical professionals are insured for this exact reason. Negligence lawsuits are a fact of life.
Much like automobile drivers, doctors, nurses, and hospitals have liability insurance or are subscribed to protective associations (with rare exceptions). Somewhat similar to any other type of personal injury (ie. automobile accidents) claims against physicians, Hospitals, nurses etc. are referred to their insurers or protective associations that take-over, and cover the claim.
Sommers Roth & Elmaleh are sensitive to all of this, however, the fact is that you and your family have significant costs, unmet needs, and an uncertain future because of your injury. You require funds for therapy, home modifications, specialized equipment and income replacement.
Our clients are reassured by the fact that we would not recommend a lawsuit unless we believe that the injury was caused by negligence or should have been prevented with basic proper care.
Myth#6: My Children Suffered Trauma at Birth but I Don’t Think It’s the Nurses/ Physicians Fault
Fact: Clients are Often Surprised to Find Out That They Were Never Told That An Injury Was Caused By Negligence or Was Preventable
Generally, those who are affected by medical error do not realize that their injury was preventable, that it should be investigated further, or that they may be entitled to compensation due to the injuries they have suffered.
In many cases, after consulting with our knowledgeable and highly experienced lawyers, many of our clients eventually realize that they have a claim against a physician, another health-care provider, and/or against the hospital and want to move forward with pursuing this claim. Since the firm’s inception, the lawyers at Sommers Roth & Elmaleh have represented individuals injured by medical malpractice, and particularly children who were physically damaged or brain damages at birth due to negligence. We have the skill and capability needed to guide families through understanding their legal options. We have represented injured clients in some of Canada’s leading medical malpractice trials. We have won awards for our clients that have been the largest in Canadian history.
As mentioned above, we would not recommend a lawsuit unless we believe that the injury was caused by substandard medical care (negligence) and should have been prevented.
Let Us Focus on Your Case, So You Can Focus on Your Family
We have been helping patients and families whose lives have been impacted by medical malpractice for more than 40 years. We have assisted clients in all parts of Ontario and from all across Canada, including Newfoundland, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Call us at 1-416-961-1212 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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