If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of a doctor, it is natural to wish to seek compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. You’ve likely heard of malpractice claims in the United States where the plaintiffs have successfully recovered millions in damages, but is that possible in Canada? While some medical malpractice cases are undoubtedly successful at times in Canada, they are some of the most challenging personal injury claims to litigate, and the damages are capped at a much, much lower amount than in the United States. Due to this, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced, trustworthy law firm that will carefully examine your case and help you decide the best course of action.
What is Medical Malpractice?
When you go to a doctor, you expect them to provide you with a high standard of care. Many doctors live up to these expectations, but sometimes doctors will give substandard treatment, make a misdiagnosis, or neglect to give treatment when it is needed. Often these actions lead to harm for the patient. When this happens, it is called medical malpractice.
You must demonstrate certain things to the court to prove that medical malpractice has occurred. First, you must show that you had a patient-healthcare provider relationship with the practitioner. This relationship comes with an expectation that the medical practitioner will meet certain standards of care when treating the patient. You must show that the practitioner neglected to meet the standard of care, thereby breaching their duties. However, it is not enough to show that they acted negligently. You also need to prove that those negligent actions directly caused injury to you. While this may seem straightforward, it can be challenging to prove in court without medical experts and skilled legal representation.
What Are the Challenges of Bringing a Medical Malpractice Claim to Court in Canada?
The unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of medical malpractice claims in Canada are not taken to court. Of the claims that are litigated, only a small percentage are successful. Why is this? One of the main reasons is the role played by the non-profit organization called the Canadian Medical Protection Association (CMPA). They have upwards of two billion dollars at their disposal to protect doctors from malpractice cases. They can afford to provide strong legal counsel and expert witnesses in defense of doctors. This means that victims have the odds stacked against them financially, especially since malpractice cases can be long and drawn out. Even if the court does rule in favor of the plaintiff, the Canadian Supreme Court has placed a cap on the amount of general damages that can be awarded, which is under $500,000. This is significantly lower than what is usually awarded for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases in the United States.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Medical Malpractice Claim?
The challenges in bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit can seem daunting. However, we believe those who have been harmed by medical malpractice deserve proper compensation. Because doctors have the financial might of the CMPA behind them to pay for lawyers and experts, it is critical to have strong legal representation on your side to level the playing field. Our law office will give your claim the attention it warrants and will help determine if a court case is the best course of action. There may be other options for your claim, such as mediation with the doctor’s insurance company, which could bring a satisfactory conclusion to your case in a shorter time. However, if a court case is necessary, we will stridently pursue justice and compensation for your injuries.