We put our faith, hope, and trust in medical professionals when we have health concerns. We always desire that our issues reveal themselves to be uncomplicated, that our doctors’ performances are flawless, and that we heal quickly, but sometimes one or all of these wishes aren’t granted like we had hoped. Our body may react differently than what was expected, our doctors may misdiagnose, and mistakes occasionally do happen. Some mistakes are quickly fixed, but others can have lasting impacts on your body and quality of life. When you feel that you have been wronged in the course of your healthcare experience, it’s best to seek counsel from a lawyer as soon as possible. Medical malpractice suits have a statute of limitations in Canada, and you don’t want to miss the deadline to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Medical malpractice and professional negligence are broad terms that cover many different types of cases and are sometimes used interchangeably. Negligence is defined as carelessness in a situation, but not necessarily intent to harm anybody. Doctors have a duty of care with patients that should prevent negligence from happening. Malpractice can include negligence as well as purposeful harm to a patient. Poor follow up care, premature discharge, misdiagnoses or failure to diagnose, administration of inappropriate medication, surgical errors, and obstetrical errors are all examples of medical malpractice. Obviously, mental, physical, and sexual abuse (which can even happen in nursing homes) should never be tolerated in a professional setting and are always considered malpractice behaviors.
Sometimes medical mistakes can cause physical or mental anguish, extra medical bills, loss of income or earning capacity, and even death. A mix-up in medication can have no effect, or it can cause a severe reaction in your body such as internal bleeding, organ failure, or delirium. Surgical errors can range from instruments left in the body to operating on the wrong body part. Injuries from medical malpractice are extremely serious and should be dealt with immediately to save yourself and other patients from further damage. If you or a loved one has experienced harm as a result of deviation from standard care, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
In order for your claim to qualify as medical malpractice you must prove sub-standard care and/or negligence on behalf of the doctor in question. To do this, you will have to rely on expert testimony from a qualified doctor explaining how another doctor under the same circumstances would have prevented the harm that came to you during treatment. It’s not enough just to be upset that you received a different outcome than what you wanted from care as long as the doctor performed according to the standard that is expected of them. You have to prove their negligence caused unnecessary harm to yourself. For example, if your doctor failed to diagnose cancer because they neglected to run a standard test in response to your presented symptoms, this may qualify as professional neglect. If you lost valuable treatment time because of the negligence and now you require a more aggressive treatment plan or your chances of survival have dramatically decreased, your case may merit compensation to make up for the devastating effects.
While doctors operate under the responsibility to prevent undue harm and distress to patients, some medical procedures and treatments are inherently riskier than others. In these situations medical malpractice can be difficult to prove. Even if a patient dies during a risky procedure, the chances of survival may have been so small that neither that doctor nor another of the same skill level could have done anything to prevent the outcome. Likewise, the chances for compensation under these circumstances are very slim. It also isn’t enough for your doctor to make a small mistake in order to bring a case against them. Their mistake must have caused unnecessary additional suffering or irreparable harm in order to be treated as medical malpractice. For instance, if your doctor warned you that developing a rash was a side effect of a certain medication, and you did in fact develop one, this would not constitute as medical malpractice. However, if your doctor failed to explain the risks and/or side effects of the prescribed medication, and you developed a rash that became infected and required additional medical treatment, you could potentially be awarded damages in this case.
Medical malpractice suits can be tricky, which is why professional legal help is almost always advised. When choosing a lawyer, it is important to side with one you trust. They will be fighting on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. The team of lawyers at MG Law in Ottawa, Ontario offers free initial consultations where they review the facts and determine whether or not your case merits medical malpractice. If you are unable to travel during your recovery, they will meet you at your home or the hospital for your convenience. If English isn’t your first language, MG Law also staffs personnel who are fluent in Russian, French, Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, and Kurdish to better assist you. Trustworthiness is highly valued at this firm, which is why they go above and beyond to ensure your comfort to the best of their ability in every step along the legal process.
Since medical malpractice suits are often complicated and detailed, they can develop into lengthy trials in order to prove a doctor-patient relationship, that negligence occurred, and that the patient was significantly harmed because of it. The sooner you meet with a lawyer, the faster your claim will be dealt with and you can receive your compensation. Along with expert testimony from a doctor, you may also need to provide medical records, medical bills, and information on your condition to the court. An experienced lawyer can help you obtain this information and present it in the best way to help your case. While medical care isn’t always as black and white as we would like it to be, nobody deserves life-altering injuries at the hands of a neglectful physician.