Medical malpractice is an unacceptable reality that affects one in eighteen patients in Canadian hospitals. From misdiagnosis to birth injuries to inappropriate treatments, the consequences of medical malpractice can be devastating and long-lasting.
In this blog, we’ll outline the various impacts of medical malpractice and how victims may seek justice through legal action.
The Physical Impact of Medical Malpractice
The physical impact of medical malpractice can vary greatly depending on the individual case and the severity of the malpractice. The most common types of medical malpractice and their physical impacts are as follows:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis may prevent patients from receiving timely and appropriate medical treatment for their medical conditions. This can lead to worsening symptoms, disease progression, and physical harm.
- Birth injuries: Some of the most common medical malpractice-related birth injuries include brain, spinal cord, and nerve injuries. The physical effects of birth injury can range from mild motor delay to severe physical disability such as paralysis or coordination deficits.
- Surgical errors: Surgical errors can include a wide range of mistakes, including performing the wrong procedure, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient, operating on the wrong body part, damaging nearby organs or tissues, and other errors that can cause harm to the patient. These errors can cause bleeding, infection, and other complications that can lead to pain, disability, and even death.
The Emotional Toll on Patients and Families
Medical malpractice has a devastating emotional impact on both the victim and their family members. In addition to physical pain, victims must often contend with psychological trauma such as anxiety, depression, fear of future treatments or surgeries, guilt over being unable to protect themselves in advance from harm inflicted by another person’s mistakes, or negligence.
Family members may experience similar emotions as they witness their loved one suffer from a physical injury due to inadequate care from healthcare professionals who were supposed to be trusted sources of help rather than cause further harm.
Additionally, victims seeking justice through legal action face an uphill battle in holding negligent medical professionals accountable. They often feel alone and up against overwhelming odds throughout this process, adding another layer of stress to already fragile lives.
The Financial Consequences of Medical Malpractice
Patients and their families may suffer significant financial hardships due to medical malpractice. These costs can quickly add up and overwhelm those affected by medical negligence and their families. Some examples of the economic impacts of medical malpractice include:
- Medical expenses: Medical malpractice can have devastating and far-reaching financial implications for patients and their families. Hospitalization bills, expensive medications, rehabilitation costs, and ongoing care are all part of the equation.
- Lost income: Patients who suffer from injuries caused by medical malpractice may need to take time off from work to recover, or they may be rendered permanently incapable of working due to those injuries. This can result in lost income and financial strain for the patient and their family.
- Long-term care: Some medical malpractice victims may need long-term care, such as daily living support, specialized medical equipment, or nursing care. This can result in significant financial expenses for the patient and their family.
The Social Impacts of Medical Malpractice
Many victims of medical negligence deal with a stigma associated with their injury or illness. For instance, individuals left disfigured due to negligence may feel embarrassed or ashamed of their appearance, leading to social isolation from family members, friends, and society.
Additionally, victims must often adjust their daily lives to accommodate the limitations imposed by an injury sustained through no fault of their own. This change in routine can cause considerable disruption as they try to learn how best to cope with their new reality.
Furthermore, personal and professional relationships are affected by such trauma, as it forces people into unfamiliar roles that require them to adapt quickly to remain productive members of society.
The Legal Impacts of Medical Malpractice
The legal impacts of medical malpractice on patients and their families can be significant, and the process of pursuing legal action can be complex and time-consuming. Therefore, patients and their families need to seek the guidance of a medical malpractice lawyer to help protect their rights and ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve.
Some examples of the legal impacts of medical malpractice on patients and their families include:
- Statute of limitations: Each jurisdiction has a statute of limitations, or time limit, within which a patient may submit a medical malpractice claim. If the patient fails to file a claim within the applicable statute of limitations, they may forfeit their right to do so.
- Burden of proof: Patients who bring forth a medical malpractice lawsuit have the burden of proving that the healthcare provider was negligent and that this negligence caused their injuries. This can be challenging, as it requires gathering evidence and proving causation.
- Legal fees: Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be expensive, and patients may need to pay legal fees to their lawyer. However, many lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they get paid only if they successfully obtain compensation on your behalf.
What are the Rights of Patients in Medical Malpractice Cases in Ontario?
Every Canadian has the right to timely, high-quality care from their healthcare provider, but thousands of patients each year suffer an adverse event that compromises this care.
Victims of such occurrences need to know that with the guidance of a lawyer, they can start to move forward with the necessary resources to make it right. Compensation is a primary focus in such cases, and a diligent lawyer will strive for the victim’s legal entitlement.
Ontario medical malpractice lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable in medical negligence law to protect the rights of patients injured by medical malpractice. They can evaluate the unique circumstances of each case to identify the most appropriate course of legal action.
With their expertise, they can establish the four critical elements of a successful medical malpractice case: standard of care, breach of the standard of care, causation, and damages. Gathering the necessary evidence can be lengthy and challenging, but a lawyer can handle everything for you so that you can focus on your health.
Legal Recourse for Patients and Families Affected by Medical Malpractice in Ontario
Are you or someone you care about the victim of medical malpractice in Ontario? If so, you likely have questions and concerns that need to be addressed as soon as possible.
For professional advice and guidance, look to Sommers Roth & Elmaleh for assistance with recovering compensation for medical malpractice. Our highly-experienced and dedicated medical malpractice lawyers in Toronto will review the case thoroughly and advise you on the right course of action.
Don’t let a medical malpractice case go unaddressed. Reach out to the legal experts at Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, Ontario’s trusted medical malpractice lawyers, by calling 1-844-940-2386 or contacting us online.
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