How to identify and report medical malpractice

How to Identify and Report Medical Malpractice

Canadians tend to be more trusting of our healthcare providers. Therefore, when malpractice occurs, our first reaction tends to be disbelief. However, the National Institutes of Health cites that medical errors are more common than we think, affecting 25% of the population. So, if you are the victim of medical negligence, how can you receive compensation?

What Are Common Mistakes?

There are several areas where common mistakes occur. These are:

• Missed diagnosis

• Medication errors

• Surgical mistakes

• Late diagnosis

• Treatment delays

• Inadequate monitoring after a patient undergoes a procedure

• Anesthesia mistakes

• Complications in labour and delivery

• Birth trauma and birth injury

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals administer substandard treatment, harming the patient as a result. Nurses, doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers are legally bound to provide proper care to patients or those requiring emergency medical assistance.

Not everyone has to be accepted as a patient, and medical professionals can refuse to take a person under legitimate circumstances. 

An example would be if the doctor didn't have the proper expertise to deal with a situation or when a disagreement on the appropriate medical treatment with the patient ensues. By not providing care, professionals are safeguarding themselves from legal action. 

However, patients cannot be refused based on the following grounds:

• Gender

• Age

• Marital status 

• National/ethnic origin 

• Medical condition

• Mental or physical disability

• Race

• Political affiliation

• Religion 

• Socioeconomic status

How Can You Determine if the Professional Was Negligent?

The provider is negligent if a reasonable standard of care for a healthcare practitioner/provider working in the same area is not met. The practitioner is liable for damages if the breach of the standard of care results in injury or illness. 

Bad Results or Errors 

Practitioners aren't liable for every error made. Realistically, the law knows that doctors frequently must make quick decisions without all of the complete information. The question becomes, did the practitioner make a reasonable decision that other doctors would have made if faced with a similar situation? 

Healthcare providers must meet a baseline standard of care. This will vary based on their specialty. Standards differ each year and can change with time. It is possible for a doctor to take the correct steps toward a proper diagnosis. However, the outcome may still result in a bad result or error. 

Delay in Diagnosis

The critical phrase always comes down to reasonable expectations. With diagnosis delays, you can only be awarded if there is a delay in what would be considered a reasonable time frame. 

In this case, the determining factor is whether the delay caused loss or injury to the patient. 

Alternatively, sometimes delays would not have made a difference. If this is the case, the patient likely cannot recover anything from their physician. 

Not Obtaining Informed Consent

Doctors must thoroughly inform their patients of all risks associated with medical treatments. This is what is known as informed consent. If the practitioner fails to obtain informed consent, and an injury occurs, the patient can sue their doctor. 

Doctors must:

• Inform you of your condition

• Explain the nature of treatments

• Inform you of treatment risks and additional options

While your practitioner does not need to explain every possible risk, they must outline the risks a reasonable patient needs to know before deciding on treatment. This involves explaining what can happen and the likelihood of it occurring. 

However, if there is a known risk that you were not informed of before treatment, it may be deemed as malpractice. 

If you bring claims forward, the courts will decide whether a reasonable individual would consent to the treatment if they had been fully informed of the risks. 

Reporting Negligence

Suppose you can prove negligence resulting in illness or injury. In that case, the court may order the practitioner, hospital, or provider to pay damages. Damages may include medical/other expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and losing the enjoyment of life. It should be noted that doctors are only responsible for the harm their negligence caused.

Doctors can still be held liable for the work if the work was delegated. If two doctors were involved, or the person was left in another doctor's care, both could be held responsible. Inexperienced interns who perform a physician's duties are still expected to provide the same care as a physician. 

Things to Consider

Medical malpractice must be initiated within two years of occurrence. This time frame is the limitation period. It marks the time when a reasonable person discovers that an injury occurred as a result of a medical practitioner's care.

Even if you feel fine but suspect malpractice, it is advisable to act quickly. This allows witnesses to provide a clear account and ensure they are still available to testify. However, there are exceptions to this two-year rule. 

Medical malpractice lawsuits take many years to resolve. Some lawyers will work on a contingency fee, which means the cost depends on the results of your case. If the lawyer loses, they obtain nothing. If a win occurs, your lawyer receives part of the compensation

Patients can also file a complaint with regulatory bodies while suing a practitioner. 

Suppose you have concerns about your treatment or the professional's conduct. In that case, you can register a complaint with your local College of Physicians and Surgeons. They are the governing body for provincial doctors. 

While they cannot order the practitioner to pay compensation, they can take disciplinary action or initiate remedial steps. 

Who Can I Turn to for Medical Malpractice Compensation?

Sommers Roth & Elmaleh specialize in medical malpractice cases. When it comes to compensation, we work on a contingency fee. We don't get paid if you don't receive medical malpractice compensation.

While errors can occur, we recognize how they impact individuals and families. With over 40 years of experience, we are equipped to help clients successfully navigate the complexities of the legal-medical system. 

We will assist you in understanding what options are available to you, help you generate informed decisions, and properly care for your family during the aftermath of a tragedy or injury resulting from medical malpractice. 

Please book your free consultation today by contacting us at 1-844-940-2386 or visiting our website here.

Disclaimer and Liability Exclusion

The information on this page is provided for general information purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice. It does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Readers should seek specific legal advice regarding any specific legal issues. We do not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information on this page. The posts on this page are current as of their original date of publication, but they should not be relied upon as timely, accurate or fit for any particular purpose.

Accessing or using this web site or the content herein does not create a lawyer-client relationship.

This page may contain links to third party web sites. We are unable to, and do not, monitor and guarantee the quality of the information disseminated and accessible through those links, which are provided for convenience only. We do not endorse the information contained in linked web sites nor guarantee its accuracy, timeliness or fitness for a particular purpose.

    If you have been affected by medical malpractice anywhere in Canada contact us for a free consultation.
    You pay us nothing unless we win.



    A lawyer from Sommers Roth & Elmaleh will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Please note that no lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary relationship is created by your inquiry. All information provided is confidential.

    The above information is not legal advice. Past results of cases and recoveries by our medical malpractice lawyers against hospitals, doctors, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not necessarily indicative of future results. The amounts recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.


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    Hilt this Tamrate
    Hilt this Tamrate
    23 May 2023
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    Dear Mr Hilik Y. And Jeremy Syrtash. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you and Sommers Roth and Elmaleh Professional Corporation staff for all you have done with respect to my wife case. My wife was a victim of Medical Malpractice after giving birth to our daughter. She become legally disabled both physically and mentally. The entire family devastated emotionally as my wife struggle to cope with the new reality. The case of Medical Malpractice is quite often a complex case to prove. However, due to your strong commitment, knowledge and dedication combined with strong professionalism the case was successfully won after a long arduous fight. The victory would not have been possible without your dedication and thorough research in the implementation of the standards of the Sommers Roth and Elmaleh Professional Corporation. Justice prevailed at last which in turn allowed my vulnerable wife to feel more optimistic about her future and that of our family. The positive outcome of this case has changed our lives forever. It would not have been possible without the excellent representation of Sommers Roth and Elmaleh Professional Corporation and its legal counsel. My wife and I will be deeply grateful for the successful outcome of this case for many years to come. Solomon Regassa
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    4 January 2023
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    I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere gratitude towards Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, from the day I met with Hilik and his team, they been not only highly knowledgeable but also extremely sensitive towards me and my family, providing us with the best legal service possible. It goes without saying, that I strongly recommend them to anyone looking for a charismatic, quality and result oriented legal team.
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    10 October 2022
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    We deeply appreciate Sommers Roth & Elmaleh for their professional skills and hard-working through the whole process of my son’s case. I still remember the first conversation we took with Mr. Hilik Y Elmaleh in his lawyer office sixteen years ago. From then on, your dedication, patience, understanding and continuous communications kept our encouragements and expectations for my son and our family. With the case settled down, my son can receive the full financial support, continuous therapies and finishing his university course. It is no doubt to say that Sommers Roth & Elmaleh not only changed our family’s life but also did contributions to the society, because my son can grow in a happy and health way in his teenage and receive university education from this autumn. Again we hereby strongly recommend the services provided by the lawyer office Sommers Roth & Elmaleh to those who needs the similar legal consultation and support. Even the door of your family was closed by some unfortunate events, there are more windows can be opened. The lawyers in Sommers Roth & Elmaleh are exactly the people who can open the windows and convert the sun-shine again to your family: Mr. Hilik Y Elmaleh,Mr.Jeremy Syrtash, Miss Fanny Peter ...etc. Finally, we express the deepest gratitude and appreciation again to Mr. Hilik Y Elmaleh and lawyer office Sommers Roth & Elmaleh. Wish a brighter future of Sommers Roth & Elmaleh !
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    6 October 2022
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    I am so glad that my son's CP medical case was completely successful. I appreciate lawyer Hilik Elmaleh, Jeremy Syrtash, Fanny Peter and their team's hard work. They are so knowledgeable, responsible and reliable. Thanks is not enough to express my gratitude. Mr. Hilik Elmaleh deserves "The Best Lawyer in Canada" award.
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    29 September 2022
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    I would like to extend my gratitude towards Mr. Hilik Elmaleh, Jermey Syntash, and Fanny Peter for their dedication, time, effort, and knowledge invested into my case. This is honestly the best team of lawyers in Canada. I would highly recommend them for any of your cases.
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    18 July 2022
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    I would like to take this opportunity to thank our daughter's "Dream Team", Hilik Elmaleh, Jeremy Syrtash and Fanny Peter. The compassion, dedication, knowledge, experience and their recognition in the legal community have ensured us that we were on the right track working with the firm Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh. Words cannot express enough my gratitude! I will be forever grateful!
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    6 June 2022
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    Thank you does not begin to express the depth of gratitude I have for Sommers Roth & Elmaleh Professional Corporation. From the first day I sat in Hilik's office, not once did I feel apprehensive. My concerns and worries were put at ease due to the kindness and compassion of Hilik, Jeremy and Fanny and their relentless persistence to secure my daughter's future. This has been a long but successful endeavor during some difficult times and through it all, the Team has been resilient, informative and were always available. I highly recommend this dedicated and professional law firm and I will be forever in their debt.
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    1 December 2021
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    I was in a serious horse accident where the horse was injured and should never have been ridden. The owner of the horse was aware that the horse had chronic arthritis issues and the veterinarians at Guelph had told him the horse could decompensate at any time and could cause serious injury whether being led or ridden and could never be jumped again. The horse had been shown at the grand prix level and the owner had payed quite a bit of money for him. After consulting with several lawyers and having one that did represent me at the discoveries who later quit, Jeremy Syrtash took on the case and followed through with guelph university. That is how we found out that the vets had recommended the above. Without Jeremy's efforts and follow through the case would never have continued on. Because of these efforts the case was successful. Thank you so much Jeremy. You are a dedicated, thorough, excellent lawyer and it's been a pleasure to have you as my lawyer!!
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    16 April 2021
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    Mr. Elmaleh and his team are very professional and experts in their field. Recommend to everyone who has suffered medical negligence.
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    18 July 2020
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    We want to start by saying how much we highly recommend Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh for anyone who is dealing with a situation involving medical malpractice. Hilik and the entire firm have allowed us the opportunity to give our little girl the life she deserves. There is no taking back what happened, but they truly turned such a tragedy into a victory. They fought long and hard, and put forth so much time and effort into making the individuals accountable and responsible for the mistakes that were made. They always showed true compassion for our family, guided us with ease, and supported us through every step. This was such a life changing experience with the firm, and honestly we will always be forever grateful and thankful.