5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Considering Making a Medical Malpractice Claim
Making a medical malpractice claim can be difficult. Especially so when you’re dealing with powerful doctors who have a team of legal support at their disposal.
But when doctors make mistakes that leave you seriously injured, it’s time to take action.
Canada’s health care system is designed to care for all Canadians. We want to believe that putting our trust in the system will help us stay happy and healthy throughout our lives.
Sadly, that’s not always the case. Putting your health and safety in someone else’s hand requires trust, and when that trust is broken, someone needs to be held accountable.
It’s important to fully understand what you’re dealing with when you want to make a medical malpractice claim. That’s why you should ask yourself these 5 questions to get fully prepared for your case.
1. Is it Medical Malpractice?
Firstly, you should understand what medical malpractice is. You cannot sue your doctor simply because a medication didn’t work. Your situation needs to fall under a certain category to be classified as medical malpractice, and for you to be eligible to make a medical malpractice claim.
There are 3 main types of medical malpractice that could happen:
- Refusal to Provide Care
- Failure to Obtain Consent
- Medical Negligence
Refusal to provide care refers to doctors who will not treat you based on discriminatory factors. They have the right to refuse care if they don’t have the capacity to treat your specific illness, but they don’t have the right to refuse you for your gender, race, skin colour, or other factors.
Failure to obtain consent refers to situations where your doctor does not get full consent before going through with a treatment. This includes not providing enough information to help you make an informed decision.
Medical negligence covers other situations. This could be anything from a serious mistake, misdiagnosis, or sub-par care. Misdiagnosis is arguably the most common type of medical negligence.
2. Does Your Case Follow Medical Negligence Law?
Medical negligence law is the Ontario legislation that governs all medical malpractice cases in the province.
Common cases of medical negligence include:
- Failure to communicate effectively
- Substandard treatment
- Failure to protect or warn third parties, such as families
- Mistakes made in a consultation or referral
Of course, there are many other situations in which you could find yourself suffering.
We hear those horror stories about doctors leaving supplies in the body after surgery and want to believe they aren’t true. But they do happen. And when they do, you need to be ready to make a decision.
If you think you have a case, contact a personal injury lawyer to review your options.
3. Have You Hired the Best Personal Injury Lawyer?
Don’t take another step further until you’ve contacted a personal injury lawyer to help you through your claim.
Suing a doctor for medical malpractice is hard. In fact, only about 1 in 10 cases make it to court.
However, it’s not impossible. If your case is classified under medical negligence law, it’s worth fighting for.
Doctors are covered by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). Therefore, you need to be absolutely sure you’re taking the right course of action before you file your suit.
4. What Were the Outcomes of Other Medical Negligence Cases in Canada?
Before you make your medical malpractice claim, take a look at previous outcomes in Canada.
An extreme case happened in Barrie, Ontario, and was settled very recently. The Royal Victoria Hospital was taken to court for falsifying charts when a baby was born, covering up a brain injury that the hospital staff had caused.
Since this was such an extreme case, the family was awarded $5 million in compensation. The child suffered severe damage that will follow her throughout her life.
This large settlement is not common. Usually, there is a cap on medical malpractice cases in Canada.
Melinda Baum, a Saskatchewan woman, sued her surgeon in 2014 for leaving medical tape inside her bladder after a surgery. She was awarded $270,000.
It’s important to note what type of cases were successful. In addition, it’s also important to understand that you need to have realistic intentions going into your lawsuit. This will help you prepare for the battle ahead.
5. Do You Have the Documents and Evidence You Need?
When you take someone to court in a personal injury case, the burden of proof falls on you. That means you’ll have to make sure you’ve collected all of the evidence you can find to prove that your injuries were caused by your doctor.
However, the doctor has to provide proof that their actions were unintentional. The decision they made that led to your injury would have to be one that wouldn’t have been made by another doctor in the same position for them to be held liable.
This is when your medical bills, documents, and reports are going to come into play. These documents will be integral for your case.
Don’t throw anything away! Even if you think it’s not relevant, it could help.
Lastly, it’s also important to consider the Statute of Limitations in Ontario. For the majority of personal injury cases, you have 2 years from the date of the incident to file your claim. Anything outside of this time frame either needs special permission or won’t go through.
If You’re Ready to Make Your Medical Malpractice Claim, Contact Conte & Associates
At Conte & Associates, we know how devastating it is to trust a doctor, who is supposed to take care of you, only to have them fail you.
We work with the top medical professionals in Ontario. These professionals take their jobs seriously and wouldn’t put their patients in harm’s way. That’s why they make the best witnesses and advisees for your case.
Contact our team to book your free consultation with Conte & Associates. Our offices in Whitby and Vaughan are open to you and are ready to help with your case.