Medical Malpractice Can Have Life Altering Consequences
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, medical negligence, or medical complications due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse, hospital staff, or some other medical professional, or any number of them, you may have a claim for damages. If they have breached their duty of care, you deserve compensation for your injuries and the medical complications that follow.
Medical Malpractice Cases Are Often Complex
Medical malpractice and negligence can have life-altering consequences for patients and their families. Unfortunately, medical negligence is far too prevalent in Canada and Ontario. The health care system in Ontario has its great strengths but also has its problems. Often times victims of medical mistakes are never informed that their injury was preventable or that there was in fact an act of negligence or omission that took place.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are litigated and defended by insurance companies and the Canadian Medical Protective Association. Unlike some other personal injury claims, medical malpractice cases generally do not settle as simply, which makes for a costly and lengthy process at times.
By hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer, you get their knowledge and expertise, along with the resources at their disposal. Medical malpractice lawyers generally work on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you receive a settlement. It is also worth noting that our office covers the expenses of the lawsuit until settlement so that you don’t have to shoulder the financial burden of a lengthy lawsuit, allowing you to focus your attention on recovering from your injuries, and maintaining your health. No one predicts that they will have to deal with serious injuries from medical malpractice, and just like other personal injury claims, it is not fair to have to suffer at the hand of someone else’s negligence. It can be very frustrating, but we are here to help.
What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?
Doctors and hospital staff have a responsibility to their patients and must not breach their duty of care. In a hospital setting, the outcome can be tragic if best practices are not used. Unfortunately, many doctors do not use the level of care necessary and standard across the industry. Negligence from doctors and hospital staff often create life-altering challenges for patients and additional medical complications which cost can result in significant pain and suffering, and sometimes even the patient’s life. The duty of a doctor is to maintain and encourage the health of a patient, and when that duty is breached, and an otherwise preventable complication or illness takes place, then the injured victim may have a lawsuit against the negligent parties in the health care system. You deserve to be compensated for your serious injuries and hold the health care provider responsible for your injuries accountable. Advancing a formal lawsuit may be your best course of action.
At the Bernstein Law Group, we protect the rights of injured victims day-in and day-out and service Hamilton, Toronto, and the rest of southern Ontario. Doctors and hospitals must make sure they perform their duties in a manner that meets a reasonable standard of care. Generally speaking, they are there to help your health, and not make it worse.
At the Bernstein Law Group, we appreciate how frustrating it can be when doctors and hospitals fail to meet the standard of care, and leave an injured victim in worse shape than when they were initially consulted. Patient’s who receive treatment from doctors that do not meet the standard of care, and result in negligent conduct, deserve compensation for their unnecessary medical complications and injuries. The medical complications and injuries that stem from medical malpractice can cost the injured victims significant time and money. For instance, they may be unable to work in the job they held before they were injured, and they may now be saddled with extremely high costs of care such as medical devices in the home, or treatment not covered by OHIP.
How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice?
Your personal injury lawyer should be able to put forward a strong case by gathering the right evidence, hiring experts, and negotiating a proper settlement or winning your case in court. Your focus should be on getting better, and recovering from your injuries or medical complications. Your lawyer should help you build your case and provide you with sound legal advice throughout the court process.
Medical malpractice lawyers understand that these cases can often take a lot of work from the outset of the case, and will do whatever ethically possible to advocate for your best interests, including hiring the best medical experts. Not every mistake will amount to a medical malpractice claim, and that is why it is important to seek legal advice and determine whether you have a viable claim.
Common Types of Malpractice
Unfortunately, not every situation, which results in a patient discontent with the outcome of a procedure or treatment, amounts to a malpractice lawsuit. Your lawyer should be able to assist you in determining whether you have a viable lawsuit, and they should help you in finding the appropriate experts to prove your case and navigate the convoluted court process.
- Misdiagnosis: Missed or delayed diagnoses make up a considerable amount of the malpractice lawsuits. This arises when a doctor or medical professional misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a condition, which results in mistreatment or missed opportunities that may have prevented or slowed down the harm or death.
- Medication Errors and Medical Errors: These are also very common and come in a variety of different forms. Doctors sometimes make mistakes with prescriptions, administer the wrong drug or a stale-dated drug, or fail to take proper notice of allergies or harmful interactions between the drugs.
- Surgery Errors: Surgeons sometimes make mistakes, which could have life-altering effects for the patient. Nurses are sometimes negligent as well when it comes to postoperative care, which could lead to infections. Sometimes they fail to give patients the proper medication. Surgical errors can even be deadly, and the sad truth is, they happen far too often.
- Childbirth Injuries: A number of injuries can be caused by medical malpractice during pregnancy or to a child during the process of giving birth. Some of these injuries can be life altering, and could result in brain injuries, cerebral palsy, fractured bones, or paralysis. While sometimes these are caused from natural causes, if a doctor or another medical professional caused these conditions, there could be medical malpractice and a claim for compensation. Birth injuries can be devastating for a family, and if your child has been injured at birth you should speak with a medical malpractice lawyer to receive sound legal advice.
How Long Does The Malpractice Case Take?
This is a common question with any personal injury case. Similar to motor vehicle accident claims, these cases take years not months. Generally speaking, in Ontario, you can expect your case to take about five years. However, it is very difficult to predict the timeline, and sometimes cases can settle within a couple of years, while others can take even longer than five years. A number of factors affect this timeline such as the complexity of the issues, the number of parties involved, and whether or not liability, causation, or damages, are highly contested issues.
Many clients at the outset wonder why claims take so long. Well, the short answer is, a lot of work goes into each file. But there is more to it. One of the main reasons is what we call your damages must “crystalize”. This is a fancy way of saying we need to know the extent of your injuries, and it is impossible to know that until you have reached, at least close to, your maximum recovery. If you were to settle your case after 6 months, you would not be able to pursue a second claim once you sign off on the release. Now, imagine your injuries get considerably worse over the next couple of years, and the pain gets worse over time. You would be in a very precarious position, having settled your claim for much less than it is worth, so early on. That is why we typically suggest your injuries crystalize before settling your case.
Additionally, medical malpractice claims, like motor vehicle accident claims and product liability cases, take considerable time gathering the appropriate documentation and building up the paper trail of your case. Some of the delays is out of the control of the lawyer since we are often waiting on hospitals and doctors' offices to produce the necessary documentation to advance your claim.
We Can Help
If you, a family member, or someone you care about has been harmed as a result of a medical mistake or negligence, contact our office. Often times we have a conflict of interest in these cases, but we will be pleased to recommend a local lawyer, if that is the case. You deserve proper medical care like everyone else, and if you feel you have been deprived of proper medical care, you should seek legal advice. Malpractice suits can take years, but in the end, it is worth it to set you and your family up for success in the future and provide you with peace of mind.
Our law office strives to keep our clients fully informed, every step of the way. We understand that every case is different, and behind every case, is a unique individual. At the Bernstein Law Group, we do not use a one-size-fits-all approach. We are compassionate in the way we handle our files, and are accessible from the very beginning, until the finish line. We love what we do, and we thrive off of helping some of the most vulnerable people get the justice they deserve.
Contact the Bernstein Law Group
Our personal injury law firm services Hamilton, Toronto, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Markham, Brantford, Brampton, Kitchener, Stoney Creek, Whitby, Peterborough, Sarnia, and the rest of Southern Ontario. At our law office, every client is important to us. We understand that these can be extremely difficult times, and we know compassion is a necessary component of every case. Just like other personal injury practice areas, our job is to use our knowledge and skills to advocate for your best interests, in an ethical manner, at all costs. Like any profession, the best lawyers, are the ones that care.
Our personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and free case evaluations to help determine whether you have a viable claim. If it is a case we do not specialize in, we will refer your case to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. Call us at 905-546-1990 or email us for a free no-obligation consultation.
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