We rely on doctors and nurses to take care of us when we are sick or injured, but could their actions—or lack thereof—be causing us to actually get worse or even die? It is possible.
Canada is home to many excellent medical professionals, but everyone makes mistakes. Even doctors are not infallible. However, doctors are in a tough position. In your job, a simple mistake may not be the difference between life and death. This is different for doctors; an error they make while treating a patient can have devastating consequences.
Anyone who is under a doctor’s care can be a victim of medical malpractice. If you or a loved one was injured or killed by a doctor’s negligence, the Stirling medical malpractice lawyers at Preszler Law Firm can help you obtain compensation for damages. These cases are challenging, but our team will work hard to gather the evidence we need to build a strong case against the liable party. Call us at 1-800-JUSTICE today to get started.
Our medical malpractice lawyers can meet with you in Stirling for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
What to Expect in a Medical Malpractice Case
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, filing a claim against the negligent doctor is not going to be easy. The chances of winning are slim.
Medical malpractice kills as many as 43,000 Canadians every year. Many more are seriously injured. It is believed that medical malpractice could lead to 100,000 lawsuits every year. However, the average is only about 1,000 claims per year.
Why such a small number? Why are only 1% of medical malpractice victims fighting back? They are afraid they will not win. In Canada, doctors have the Canadian Medical Protection Association (CMPA) on their side. The CMPA represents lawyers in medical malpractice claims and brags about its high success rate. The CMPA has nearly $3 billion in assets, so it can afford the best lawyers and experts money can buy. They have the funds to pursue a case, while the victims often have to give up early on because they run out of money.
In fact, between 2005 to 2010, only 4,524 lawsuits were filed against Canadian doctors. Of those, 3,089 claims were dismissed or abandoned due to a lack of money. Out of 521 cases that went to court, only 116 ruled in favor of the victim—just 2%.
Of those who prevailed, the award amount of fairly small—a median of just $117,000. Americans are used to much higher awards, sometimes in the seven or even eight-figures. However, it is just not economically feasible to pursue multi-million-dollars cases in Canada.
Given this information, if you plan to pursue a medical malpractice case, prepare for a long, costly fight. The CMPA is not going to settle outside of court, so you will more than likely have to go to court. Winning is unlikely. If you do win, you will likely end up with very little once you pay your lawyer. Therefore, most medical malpractice victims do not proceed with lawsuits, even though they should.
Stirling Medical Malpractice Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur in a number of ways. Here are some common types:
- Surgical errors. When you think of medical malpractice, surgical errors, like instruments left inside the body, may come to mind. However, many things can go wrong during surgery. The surgeon may puncture blood vessels or even operate on the wrong body part.
- Anesthesia errors. Anesthesia errors can also occur during surgery. If a patient is allergic to the medication, it can cause negative effects. Also, too little or too much anesthesia can lead to serious health issues and even death.
- Birth injuries. Medical malpractice can occur even before a baby is born. Labor and delivery occur every day but is not always easy. Complications can sometimes arise, and if doctors are taking appropriate action, they can be considered negligent. They may fail to monitor a baby in distress or incorrectly perform procedures. Improper use of forceps and other tools can lead to injuries such as bruises, lacerations, broken bones, cerebral palsy and paralysis. These situations can lead to severe consequences for not only the baby but the mother, as well.
- While doctors may not be able to easily diagnose every disease based on a couple of symptoms, they have a duty to be as accurate as possible. They should perform as much testing as needed to eliminate possible conditions and come up with a diagnosis. A misdiagnosis can lead to serious consequences. The doctor may prescribe the wrong medication or treatment, which can be harmful to the patient.
- Delayed diagnosis. Sometimes doctors do not diagnose a medical condition right away. This can cause delays in treatment, which can make a condition, such as cancer or heart disease, even worse. Cancer could spread or infection can turn deadly. Time is of the essence in many medical situations. In some cases, a delay can lead to death.
- Medication errors. One medication cannot treat every illness, so it is important to prescribe the right one. Otherwise, a person can suffer serious side effects. The right dosage must also be prescribed. If the dosage is too low or too high, it can cause a disease to worsen or even lead to death.
Proving Medical Malpractice
To receive compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need to prove that your doctor was negligent. It is difficult to prove medical malpractice, even though it requires just two elements.
- The doctor did not meet the required standard of care.
- The substandard care you received as a patient led to damages.
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.
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Speak with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When a doctor is negligent with patient care, the results can be devastating. A person could be injured, develop a serious medical condition, require surgery, or even die.
Medical malpractice claims are hard to fight and win. Most cases rule in favor of the doctor, but that does not mean you cannot put up a good fight. Get help from the medical malpractice lawyers at Preszler Law Firm. Schedule a consultation today by calling 1-800-JUSTICE or filling out the online form.