Determining the Validity of Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Most medical malpractice claims are related either to negligence or failure to get a patient’s informed consent. If you or a loved one suffered injury due to what you believe is a medical error or negligence, discuss your situation with a medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether you have a valid claim and to help you proceed with the claims process.
Elements Necessary to Substantiate a Case
Not all injuries or illnesses related to a medical professional’s care are grounds for a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit. Errors in judgment are not enough to substantiate a claim. You must be able to show that the physician failed to give the adequate and appropriate care that another reasonable physician would have given you in the same situation.
There are four elements that need to be present in order to be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim:
- Duty of care – there was a patient-physician relationship and the physician owed the patient a duty of care;
- Breach of duty – the physician failed to uphold this duty;
- Causation – the physician’s actions caused your injuries; and
- Damages – you suffered damages as a result of your injuries.
Common Actions That May Warrant a Claim
There are numerous ways a medical professional may be negligent, and therefore, liable for a medical practice claim. Understanding these causes and uncovering the doctor’s negligence is vital to proving the second element mentioned above.
For instance, a physician may:
- fail to attend to you in a timely manner;
- fail to diagnose you;
- misdiagnose you;
- fail to communicate with other physicians or review your records before treating you;
- operate on the wrong body part or perform an unnecessary operation; and
- did not provide you with adequate warning of the potential risks of the treatment.
Keep in mind that it’s not only doctors and surgeons who might be responsible for your injuries, but also the hospital. To determine which parties may be held legally liable for your injuries, consult a medical malpractice lawyer in Ontario.
Compensable Damages in an Ontario Malpractice Claim
If you successfully resolve a medical malpractice claim, the courts can order the responsible party to pay for your damages related to negligence. The fourth element mentioned above, the presence of damages, is another key to determining if you have a valid claim. If you suffered no damages, then you cannot recover compensation.
Some examples of damages recoverable in medical malpractice claims are:
- wages you lost and will continue to lose as a result of your injury;
- medical and rehabilitation expenses;
- loss of enjoyment in life;
- the effect of your injury on your emotional health and relationships;
- disability and disfigurement; and
- pain and suffering.
The task of calculating the total value of a claim is actually quite a complex undertaking. It might require the counsel of a forensic economist, a field expert who your lawyer can contact and help you retain.
Consult a Lawyer in Ontario
Without all the facts surrounding the injury or illness, it’s impossible to determine the validity of a medical malpractice claim accurately. To discuss your case and gauge the legitimacy of your claim, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers in Ontario. Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation: 1-800-JUSTICE®.