Hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best way to protect your rights. All situations and cases are unique, the following is a general guide to Medical Malpractice Claims in Ontario.
If you have been hurt by a medical practitioner’s negligence, there are a number of things you need to consider. Often when suffering an injury brought on by medical malpractice the injured patient or their family will file a complaint to a professional regulatory body (i.e.: The College of Physicians and Surgeons). However, these regulatory bodies deal more with professional consequences relating to licensing, and ability to practise and not with compensation for victims. If you require compensation to help cover out of pocket medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, etc. you must file a claim in court. A personal injury lawyer can be very helpful in navigating Ontario’s complex legal process.
The Test For Medical Negligence
The courts in Ontario have established a two-part test for medical negligence claims. Both must be shown in order for a claim for compensation to be successful.
- The health care practitioner’s (doctor, nurse, hospital institution, etc.) care fell below the standard of care reasonably expected for the treatment of the patient; and
- The failure of the healthcare practitioner to meet the standard of care was likely the cause of the injury and/or damages suffered.
- John Doe goes in to his doctor because of severe pain in his leg.
- Perhaps the standard of care in such cases would involve an x-ray if the patient couldn’t move their limb,
- In this case the doctor without doing any exams or ordering x-rays declared the injury a sprain.
- By failing to get a cast quickly, Mr. Doe was required to get surgery to repair the fracture, whereas had the proper standard of care been taken, John would only have required a cast.
- John incurred many expenses relating to mobility aids not covered by OHIP, and he was no longer able to work as a construction worker.
- John may have a claim against his doctor for medical malpractice.
Nearly every case is more complex than the example described, as such expert opinions are often required to help demonstrate the appropriate standard of care, and to establish that the health care practitioner failed to meet that standard.
Expert opinions in medical negligence claims can be costly but they are often required. Typically they will be prepared by another physician or health care provider who is familiar with interpreting the medical charts and can generate a knowledgeable opinion on the appropriate standard of care for the particular patient’s condition. Many doctors of unable to give such expert opinions in court, but an experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to refer you to an appropriate practitioner.
When a loved on has faced poor and inadequate treatment, it can be difficult to know where to turn for advice and guidance. The prospect of a court process can deter some people from seeking compensation they may otherwise have been owed. By understanding the process, we hope you can come to the right decision for you and your family. Mehdi Au LLP has personal injury lawyers working in and around GTA that may be able to help you with a claim.
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