Medical Malpractice Lawyers Canada - Injury Compensation Claim
Medical malpractice lawyers in Canada take legal action in only a very small percentage of the potential claims for damages for mistakes caused by those who provide medical care in Canada. It is estimated that medical malpractice contributes to about 40,000 deaths in Canada every year and that medical errors could theoretically generate over 100,000 lawsuits every year. Most people who are injured either do not know that their condition was caused by negligence or do not bother to make what would be a justified claim and as a result less than one percent of those who are entitled to claim actually do so. Almost two thirds of those cases issued in a court of law fail in due course because the court dismissed the claim or the victim or the victim's family quit, ran out of money or died before trial. Healthcare professionals including specialists, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, medical technicians and alternative health practitioners including chiropractors are negligent if the treatment of a patient, under their care, has fallen below the minimum standard which the medical profession regards as acceptable. Most doctors are defended by the Canadian Medical Protection Association which has approximately $3 billion in assets which is more than sufficient for waging protracted legal battles.
Reasonable Standard of Care
Doctors are required to stay current in their knowledge of treatment methods and to meet a reasonable standard of care and failure to do so may make them liable to pay compensation for any injuries that result from their sub-standard care. The courts maintain that doctors have a duty to conduct their practice in accordance with the conduct of a prudent and diligent doctor in similar circumstances and that specialists have a duty to exercise the degree of skill and knowledge of an average specialist in that particular field. The effect of this is that there are no absolute standards and a healthcare professional will be judged by average competent standards assessed on the basis of what was known or should have known at the time of the alleged negligence.
A doctor not only has a duty to ensure that a patient receives a reasonable standard of care but must also keep the patient fully informed about their proposed treatment in order that the patent can make sensible informed decisions about any medication or procedures that the health care professional may suggest is carried out. If injury occurs and the physician has not abided by his duty to inform and the patient can prove that they would not have consented if they had been in possession of all the facts then that physician is guilty of malpractice and will be liable to pay compensatory damages to the patient. The physician must make full disclosure all material risks incident to the treatment unless doing so would impair urgent medical treatment.
In addition to showing that there was negligence it is also necessary for a medical malpractice lawyer to show that the negligence actually caused some injury or harm to the patient. It is usually necessary to establish the natural progression of the illness and the likely outcome if non-negligent treatment had been given in order to compare the outcome following the negligent treatment. If injury and damage are proved by medical malpractice lawyers to be caused as a result of negligence by a health care provider then compensation may include financial awards for:-
- pain and suffering
- loss of past and future earnings
- medicines and medical fees
- travelling expenses
- assistance for household chores
- special care aids and equipment
- adapted accommodation and transport
- care and assistance
- general expenses
If you discover that you have been injured because of erroneous medical treatment you should see a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Please bear in mind that after finding fault for negligence, the damages awarded for personal injury are usually 'compensatory' and rarely 'punitive'. Punitive damages or exemplary damages, are damages intended to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in conduct like that which formed the basis of the lawsuit. The huge awards depicted often on television are punitive - meant to punish someone. Large punitive damages do not usually happen in Canada and a claimant must therefore be realistic both in regard to liability and the amount of the award.
Time Limits & Defences
There are a number of potential defences under medical malpractice law available to those who represent allegedly negligent healthcare professionals which include the doctrines of "accepted practice," "respected minority" and "error of judgement". If the person providing the treatment can show that the actions that caused the injury were errors of judgement as opposed to negligent actions, that the practice followed was accepted by other competent physicians and that the injury was merely an unfortunate result or that a body of respectable doctors would act in a way which deviates from the standard practice, then the doctor may avoid liability unless negligence can be proven. There are time limits within which a claim must either be settled or legal proceedings must be issued by a court of law and failure to take action before the expiry of the statute of limitations may mean that the chance to obtain damages is lost forever.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Our medical malpractice lawyers can help you to exercise your legal rights to obtain the compensation you deserve. Our lawyers will deal with your case using a contingency fee arrangement which means if you don't succeed in receiving compensation then your lawyers won't get paid. Our experts have a client centred approach and focus principally on your needs. If you are the innocent victim of a mistake then you may be able to recover compensation. For advice at no cost without obligation just complete the contact form or email our offices and a qualified lawyer will telephone you immediately to discuss your compensation claim without further obligation.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125