Medical professionals are there for us when we are sick and injured. Nobody wants to imagine that their doctor or nurse could actually hurt them—whether accidentally or on purpose—but it happens quite often. Doctors have to meet a standard of care with every patient. This means they have to do what a doctor in the same specialty would do in the same situation. If they are negligent in any way, and they cause the patient to suffer injuries, they can be sued for medical malpractice.
Anyone can be a victim of medical malpractice. Negligence can happen to those old and young, and in virtually any type of medical setting. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a doctor’s negligence, the medical malpractice lawyers at Preszler Law Firm can help. We will work hard to gather the evidence needed to build a strong case against the negligent medical professional. Call us at 1-800-JUSTICE to see if we can be of assistance.
Our medical malpractice lawyers can meet with you in Belleville for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can happen in a variety of ways. It can even happen before a baby is born. When a doctor is negligent during labor and delivery, it can cause the fetus to suffer distress, bruises, lacerations, broken bones, cerebral palsy, paralysis, and a host of other injuries.
Sometimes medical malpractice happens when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication. If your doctor gives you a medication that should not even be used for your specific condition, and you suffer serious side effects as a result, your doctor can be held liable.
Diagnosis errors are also common. While some diseases—such as cancer—often start with nonspecific symptoms, doctors should be willing to do further research, such as tests, to determine the root cause of the patient’s symptoms. Failure to do so can cause a medical condition to worsen. This delay in obtaining the proper treatment can make it harder to treat the underlying problem. Cancer could spread or infection can turn deadly. Time is of the essence in many medical situations.
Belleville Medical Malpractice Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
Proving Medical Malpractice
To show that your doctor committed medical malpractice and should be held liable for your injuries, you must prove two key elements:
- The doctor fell below the standard of care.
- The substandard care you received from the doctor caused your damages.
Proving these elements is not easy. You may strongly believe that you suffered injuries or worsened medical conditions due to your doctor’s negligence, but neither of the elements can be proven without the expert opinion of a medical professional.
Your lawyer will need to hire one or more experts to provide their testimony for your medical malpractice case. These experts will be tasked with reviewing your medical records and determining whether or not medical malpractice occurred based on the circumstances. If no negligence can be found, you have no case.
Statute of Limitations
When suing a doctor, nurse, hospital or other entity in a medical malpractice case, time limits apply. You have just two years from the date that you should have known about the medical malpractice. You may think this is a long time, but the time goes by very fast. To be safe, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Plan to file a lawsuit within two years of your first treatment with the doctor.
The same time limit applies to medical malpractice claims that involve death. You must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the patient’s death. This applies whether or not you knew at the time of death that the person’s death was caused by medical malpractice.
In some cases, the statute of limitations may be extended. This applies to cases in which the victim was a minor or was mentally incapacitated at the time of the incident.
If you do not sue on time and let the claim go past its expiration date, you will be barred from recovery. You will not be given a second chance to file a claim, so if you have concerns, contact a lawyer right away.
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Medical Malpractice Cases Are Hard to Win
Medical malpractice cases are not easy to win. Even if you can prove that your doctor was negligent in causing your injuries, you will have an uphill battle if you want to receive compensation.
According to CBC News, as the number of doctors increases in Canada, the number of medical malpractices decreases. When cases do go to court, the number of wins by patients has also decreased. In the 1970s, more than 30% of cases were decided in favor of the patient. By 2014, that number dropped to about 20%.
Of all medical malpractice cases brought about between 2013 and 2017, more than 55% were abandoned, dismissed, or otherwise discontinued. Just 36.7% of cases were settled. When cases went to trial, 6.5% were ruled in favor of the doctor. Patients won just 1.6% of cases.
This is likely because doctors pay into the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), which provides liability coverage and legal support to physicians. The CMPA has significant financial resources to defend their doctors aggressively. Many medical malpractice victims cannot compete with this. Also, because medical malpractice cases are very expensive to prove and taking them to court is a huge risk, the case needs to be worth a lot of money—at least $250,000.
The CMPA has enough money to drag on medical malpractices for many years. Victims cannot keep up and eventually give up.
Speak with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are not perfect by any means. They make mistakes just like anyone else and can cause patients to suffer serious injuries and even death.
Medical malpractice claims are hard to fight. They can be costly and time-consuming. Medical malpractice claims require expert witnesses and a significant amount of evidence, but that does not mean you have a lost cause. Let the medical malpractice lawyers at Preszler Law Firm help you with your case. We will work hard to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation today. Call our office at 1-800-JUSTICE.