No matter the reason for medical attention, a patient may receive care below expectations or even legal obligation. Many cases of malpractice result from negligent behaviour. As a leading medical malpractice lawyer in Toronto, Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh pride ourselves on understanding the intricacies involved in such cases and providing our clients with the care and support needed to achieve retribution.
There is nothing worse than being harmed or watching someone you love result in harm due to medical negligence, which could have been so easily avoided. Here, we will delve deeper into the subject of malpractice, what it entails and ten things you should know as a patient.
1. Medical malpractice suits are extremely tricky
Before heading into a lawsuit with a physician over negligent care, it is crucial to find a medical malpractice lawyer with experience and a proven track record. While there are hundreds of thousands of medical malpractice cases occurring across North America, few are brought to legal light as it is a complex process. In most cases, insurance will opt to handle the case early, dissuading many victims from pressing charges or taking legal action.
2. Acting early is essential
As mentioned above, it is essential to act early in the case of medical malpractice to ensure you can gather enough evidence and that the issue is fresh in the minds of those involved. The earlier you hire a medical malpractice lawyer, the better your chances are of a successful outcome.
Having worked in the field for so long, Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh have assisted in many cases as the leading medical malpractice lawyer. We encourage our clients to provide as much detailed information as possible as early as possible. These details, and comments from witnesses to the case, all act in favour of those harmed by medical negligence.
3. There is a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases
In cases of medical malpractice, there is a time limit wherein you can take legal action. In Toronto, this statute of limitations is 2-years. If the issue occurred in a different province, you should check with your medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether you are still legally eligible to take action. This statute is another reason that contacting a medical malpractice lawyer early in your case is essential to a successful outcome.
4. Medical malpractice is not your fault
In a case of medical negligence, there is always a concern on the part of the patient that some fault lies with them. That is not the case. While patients must be forthcoming on health issues with your medical practitioner, your physician’s job is to ensure all records are checked before providing a prescription or treatment.
Guilt, embarrassment, and the feeling of helplessness often keep victims of medical malpractice from coming forward. This silence only worsens the blow and will not provide you with the financial support you need to seek future treatment.
5. It is ok to get a second opinion
Too often as Canadians, we believe that we must take the first doctor we are given and be glad about it because our healthcare system is not privatized. That’s simply untrue. There are many reasons a doctor and patient may not be compatible, including the overall comfort you feel with that physician. When you are given a diagnosis or treatment option, you are well within your rights as a patient to seek a second opinion before you receive help.
6. Not all medical malpractice suits are credible
There are some instances where a patient may feel their case qualifies as medical malpractice but does not. This is sometimes the instance where a case will go before a legal team and lose. When you hire a professional medical malpractice lawyer with experience in the field, he or she will be able to help you understand where your case stands and whether medical malpractice is the best course to take.
You may find that your medical malpractice suit falls better into a separate legal category and would offer a more successful outcome in that avenue.
7. Sometimes Carelessness is Due to Complacency
Physicians deal with many of the same cases repeatedly throughout their daily lives. While no two patients should be treated the same, there are times when complacency plays a role in negligent medical behaviour. When you select a doctor, be wary of those who seem bored or unconcerned with a medical condition or previous diagnosis. Your doctor must see you as an individual and treat you as such.
8. When the law does not provide, get insurance
In Canada, we have the luxury of finding coverage in many areas our American cousins do not. Unfortunately, there are still many things that are not covered by standard medical care. When the law is not able to act on your side and retrieve financial retribution for a negligent physician, your medical insurance will step in. That’s why many medical malpractice lawyers still recommend their clients invest in some form of medical insurance despite the financial support many Canadians receive when it comes to healthcare.
9. Use your voice
Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer goes a long way toward the success of a case of healthcare negligence. However, as a medical patient, it is also important that you know the power of your voice. Speaking up for yourself and your wishes in terms of your medical care is well within your rights. If you are unsure about the medical advice you are receiving, question it until you are sure you are receiving the right kind of care.
10. Ask for Help
Finally, cases of medical malpractice are difficult by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. In fact, as a medical malpractice lawyer with a long history of successful malpractice cases, we recommend you ask for legal counsel, even if you aren’t yet certain you have a case. A lawyer will help you better understand what is going on legally, your rights, and whether you should pursue legal justice.
For more information on medical malpractice, call Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh at +1 416-961-1212 or contact us here.
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