Medical Malpractice Law
In Canada, about 70,000 patients every year suffer from medical-related injuries secondary to medical treatment. These injuries are preventable if only the standard of medical care is observed. About 24,000 adults in Canada die every year as a result of preventable adverse events in acute-care medical facilities. Medical malpractice occurs if the healthcare provider gives treatment or procedure that causes harm to the patient. The Medical malpractice law in Canada protects patients from healthcare professionals who fail to deliver the expected quality of care.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice pertains to the act or omission by a healthcare professional during the patient’s treatment that deviates from the standard of medical practice leading to a patient’s illness and injury. The patient can file for medical malpractice lawsuit settlements provided the following elements are present:
- There should be substantial evidence that the healthcare professional fell below the standard of healthcare practice.
- The injuries the patient sustained were reasonably foreseeable.
- The injuries suffered by the patient were a result of the healthcare professional’s behavior.
- The patient exhibits demonstrably damaged.
Types of medical malpractice
Canadian Healthcare is a socialized system where the government controls healthcare institutions, medical professionals, and healthcare costs. However, the majority of the medical practices are privately run, and the patients have the freedom to choose their preferred healthcare team. It has lead to many different types of medical malpractice. The common ones include the following:
- Misdiagnosis – A misdiagnosis is when the doctor incorrectly diagnoses, fails to diagnose, or say you do not have an apparent illness. The World Health Organization recorded the most common diagnostic errors, which include pneumonia, acute renal failure, congestive heart failure, urinary tract infection, and cancer.
- Bacterial infection – Infections may not be harmful at all if treated quickly and appropriately. However, a bacterial infection that goes unnoticed may cause your life, such as sepsis and septic shock.
- Medication errors – It is one of the most common types of medical negligence not only in Canada but in the world. Giving the wrong medications to the patient could result in serious health complications. What is medical negligence in Canada that involves medication error? It includes prescribing the wrong medication to the patient, failure to warn the patient about the associated risk of taking the drug, giving the wrong dosage to the patient, inability to notice a potentially harmful drug interaction, and failure to provide the correct medication to the patient.
- Surgical-related errors – A surgical error is crucial as it could lead to serious health implications and even death. Medical negligence occurs when the surgeon fails to perform correct procedures, conducts unnecessary surgery, or leaves surgical equipment and tool inside the body. It also includes the removal of the wrong body organ, not sterilizing surgical instruments before use, giving the wrong dose of anesthesia, or failure to provide appropriate care after the surgery.
- Incorrect dosage of anesthesia – Giving the right dosage of anesthesia is a must as even the slightest error can have a devastating effect on the patient. It could also lead to brain damage or death. There are reasons why the anesthesiologist commits errors such as providing too much or too little anesthesia during the surgery, not checking the patient’s past medical history, or failure to monitor the patient’s vital signs during surgery. It also includes not informing the patient and the immediate family about the preoperative requirements.
- Birth-related injuries – A healthcare personnel’s carelessness could lead to severe birth-related complications such as permanent injury to the child and mother. In some instances, it could even lead to death. Birth-related injuries happen if the health personnel fail to identify the birth-related defect, ectopic pregnancy, mishandle delivery, delay a cesarean section procedure, use of improper tools during delivery, fail to monitor signs and symptoms of fetal distress, and fail to diagnose the mother’s condition.
- Delayed treatment – Timely diagnosis is a must as it will enable the patient to seek prompt treatment. A late diagnosis can prevent the patient from receiving the appropriate treatment he/she needs. New diagnosis means delayed surgery, which can worsen the condition of the patient. Delayed treatment can add severe injuries to the patient.
- Errors in psychiatric evaluation – Psychiatric patients are prone to suicidal tendencies, and so psychiatrists should make sure they come up with the correct assessment. When a psychiatrist fails to do a proper assessment, he/she could be held liable for the patient’s suicide attempt. Much worst, if the patient died from suicide. A psychiatrist could also hold accountable if he fails to diagnose mental health conditions like bipolar and schizophrenia, causing the patient’s condition to worsen.
- General negligence – The medical malpractice law in Canada also protects patients not under the direct supervision of a doctor. Other healthcare personnel is liable, too, if they fail to uphold their duties. These include nurses, radiologists, midwives, and laboratory technicians.
Proving medical negligence can be quite a difficult task. If you are going to file for a medical malpractice lawsuit, you will benefit from the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
How does it work?
A legal claim for medical malpractice arises if the patient is injured by medical care that fails to pass the standards of medical practice. The application could arise from negligence on the part of healthcare personnel, including doctors, nurses, dentists, surgeons, radiologists, chiropractors, respiratory therapists, laboratory technicians, home healthcare personnel, paramedics, anesthesiologists, OB/GYNs, psychiatrists, specialists, caregivers, and allied healthcare personnel. A medical malpractice claim can also be filed against a medical institution such as retirement homes, nursing homes, hospitals, and their employees.
Should you pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Pursuing a medical malpractice claim is not an easy feat. Many things need to be considered, such as medical and legal expenses, which could put troubled families into a downward financial spiral. Medical malpractice lawsuit cases usually take some time to be settled. They could take months or even years, depending on the factors surrounding the incident.
If there is merit to your case, then, by all means, you have to pursue the case. You have to make sure you have the best legal representation so that your best interest is well-taken care of. The defense lawyer representing the other party will do the best he can to minimize the settlement amount. If you don’t have a lawyer by your side, you would most likely end up accepting any amount that the other party will offer. However, if you have the best lawyer working on your case, you will surely not settle to anything less than what you deserve. Hiring the service of a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice law is the first step to pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
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Filing for a medical malpractice claim
If you are a victim of medical negligence and malpractice, know that you can file for a medical malpractice lawsuit and entitled to receive a settlement provided you meet all the parameters. Medical malpractice cases are difficult to prove without the help of someone who has extensive knowledge and experience of the medical malpractice law.
Medical malpractice lawyers will study your case, review the circumstances behind your claim, and determine if it meets the standards of medical malpractice. With a medical malpractice lawyer by your side, you will be able to receive the maximum medical malpractice lawsuit settlements.
Making the right decision
Deciding to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit is a difficult decision. There are many factors to consider, such as the potential cost and financial risk. Careful considerations have to be made. The medical malpractice law is pro-victim, but the code itself is complex. Knowing the ins and outs is a must to get the most of what the law has to offer.
The first step to pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit is choosing the right personal injury lawyer. Someone that specializes in medical malpractice law can guide you through the complicated, time-consuming, and risky process. A law firm specializing in medical malpractice law has a team of medical experts who can represent your best interest. The goal of the lawyers is to put forth the strongest case and receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Having someone expert in Canadian medical malpractice claims is a must. It might not guarantee your winning, but it ensures your fair chance of receiving the appropriate settlement. There is a statute of limitations on filing viable claims cases in Canada. The law of limitation is province-specific, but mostly, within two years from the date of the patient-doctor relationship was established or when harm began to occur. With a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice law, you will know the appropriate steps to take as per the Canadian medical malpractice law.
Another essential thing to keep in mind, Canada has a limit on liability awards preventing private parties from suing medical practitioners for over a certain amount. For malpractice, the maximum amount for medical malpractice lawsuit settlements is $350,000. You could get more, but it has to be something extreme. However, the said amount only encompasses the amount of pain and suffering. It does not apply other categories such as loss of income and loss of consortium, to name a few. The settlement amount could range from hundreds of thousands to millions.
If you don’t have a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice by your side, you could be denied your rights. You could be receiving a settlement amount that is less than what you deserve. When it comes to pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you have to make sure you work with the top lawyers in the country. The experienced law firm will fight aggressively to bring justice to your case, and you ensure you will receive the settlement you deserve.
Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation