Medical errors contribute to approximately 38,000 to 43,000 deaths each year in Canada, according to data from the authors of the book After the Error: Speaking Out About Patient Safety to Save Lives.
Unfortunately, national and provincial medical malpractice laws make it quite challenging for a victim – or a parent whose child is a victim of malpractice – to seek compensation when a doctor’s error results in illness or injury. Victims’ family members have an equally challenging time seeking compensation in wrongful death actions stemming from medical malpractice.
These legal hurdles do not bar a patient from financial recovery. They do, however, underscore the need for hiring a lawyer to facilitate a medical malpractice action. Below are three things to keep in mind as you consider whether to hire a lawyer for your claim.
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1. Medical Professionals Have Significant Resources Available for Defense
The Canadian Medical Protection Association protects a majority of medical professionals in the event of medical malpractice litigation. This organization has $2.7 billion in assets at its disposal, according to a chapter in the aforementioned book.
This means most doctors and specialists will have substantial legal resources available to protect their best interests in the event of a civil tort action. It is quite difficult for an individual to face off alone against a seasoned defense attorney who has years of experience defending against malpractice claims.
2. There is a Strong Burden of Proof in Medical Malpractice Actions
A successful medical malpractice claim hinges on your ability to prove a physician breached the reasonable standard of care. Evidence that may be required to prove a breach of the duty of care includes:
- medical records;
- hiring records;
- witness testimony; and
A lawyer can handle the collection and coordination of all evidence, including securing necessary expert testimony.
3. You May Have Difficulty Determining Liability
A medical malpractice claim requires you to identify the party or parties responsible for your injuries or illness. This can be particularly challenging in certain medical circumstances, such as when a team of doctors or various medical professionals participated in your care.
A lawyer will understand the steps necessary to identify the liable party. This includes ensuring that all liable parties are held accountable in an action. For instance, a surgeon who performs surgery on the wrong part of the body may be liable in a claim. Additionally, the hospital that hired the doctor may share the liability if it failed to perform due diligence and hired a surgeon with insufficient training or qualifications.
Take advantage of a free case consultation with a lawyer to learn more about the benefits and potential challenges associated with initiating a medical malpractice action. Most lawyers will offer a free evaluation as a resource to help you better understand your options in the wake of a medical error or doctor’s mistake.
Speak with an attorney at the Preszler Law Firm about your case. Call us at 1-800-JUSTICE® to set up a free case evaluation.