Experiencing medical malpractice can be a traumatic event that causes you to lose trust in the medical system. Medical malpractice claims are related to negligence or failure to get the patient’s consent.
Why does medical malpractice law matter?
At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, we want to help patients understand their rights and options in medical negligence or mistreatment cases. We can help patients recover the funds that they need to cover treatment and other related costs.
The more medical malpractice cases that are won also help deter doctors, other healthcare professionals and medical facilities that are unfit to practice. We believe that all patients who suffer from a medical professional’s negligence or misjudgment have a right to receive justice.
Despite this, pursuing a medical malpractice case can be very challenging. You will need time, resources and an experienced law firm in order to be successful. The following are things you should know if you are looking to file a claim.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional causes injury to a patient because of a negligent act of carelessness.
What qualifies as medical malpractice under the law in Canada?
While medical malpractice claims are subject to Province-specific rules and regulations, the essential elements of a viable case remain the same in a Canadian context. A patient and provider relationship is established, and then a negligent action takes place, directly causing the damages sustained by a patient.
Canadian patients can file negligence claims for violations of medical malpractice laws for the following:
- Obstetric or pregnancy-related failures leading to improper diagnosis or mistreatment resulting in childbirth injuries to both mother and child
- Failure to diagnose medical ailments following a reasonable standard of care;
- Surgical, prescription drug or diagnostic mistakes resulting in the patient risking their health and ongoing treatments because a licensed medical professional failed to provide and prescribe the proper treatment
- Any costs or expected future costs associated with poorly performed or inadequate medical treatment by a medical professional resulting in future medical procedures, changes in quality of life or changes to employability
- And any costs associated with managing a chronic condition, disability or preventable illness missed or left untreated in a negligible manner
How to Identify a Case of Medical Malpractice
If you have experienced an error in your care, you should not expect your doctor or health practitioner to admit their mistake. Firstly, they might not realize that they did something wrong. Secondly, if they admitted to making an inexcusable mistake, it would damage their reputation and future legal defence. This puts all of the responsibility on the patient to rely on their symptoms and intuition to recognize whether they have received full and proper treatment.
Unfortunately, you will need a lot more than intuition to successfully litigate a medical malpractice case. You will need to prove that the offending healthcare provider(s) fell under the standard of care reasonably expected in your type of treatment and that the failure of the said healthcare provider to meet that standard is the likely cause of your injury and damages.
To make these claims, you will need your complete hospital chart and related medical records, and qualified health care practitioners must review them to provide their expert opinion. If there is an expert opinion that there has been medical negligence by the health practitioner, the expert will need to file a report supporting your claim. This process will cost money, and the medical experts reviewing your records will need to be paid for their work.
Compensable Damages in a Canadian Malpractice Claim
If it is found that you have a medical malpractice case and you resolve a claim, the courts can order the at-fault party to pay for your damages related to negligence.
Here are some examples of damages that are recoverable in medical malpractice claims:
- Wages lost and will continue to lose as a result of your injuries
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Loss of quality of life
- Disability and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
Other Difficulties When Making A Medical Malpractice Claim
Most doctors and other healthcare providers are represented by the Canadian Medical Protective Association or CMPA. This organization helps medical professionals dispute patient malpractice claims and has a very high success rate in doing so. However, with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer, a large percentage of cases are won for patients.
In addition, there are time-limits or statutes of limitations for filing medical malpractice laws violation claims in Canada that change from Province to Province. These can be difficult to navigate for those without a legal background. But with the help of an experienced lawyer, you can obtain advice about your next appropriate steps.
Consult a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Canada Today
The expert lawyers and Sommers Roth & Elmaleh have helped Canadian patients win their medical malpractice claims for decades. We have fought and won a substantial number of serious medical litigation cases. Our seasoned and experienced medical malpractice lawyers work with top-tier medical professionals across the country.
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