Mistakes in a healthcare setting can have dire consequences. Patients may suffer new and more severe medical issues, complications, declining health, and even death due to errors on the part of doctors and other providers.
If you or a family member suffered harm due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. You should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and discuss your legal options.
Klein Lawyers can help you build a claim for medical negligence and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact a Vancouver medical malpractice lawyer today for a free case review.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
Not all mistakes in a medical setting are grounds for a viable malpractice claim. Rather, the evidence must demonstrate that the doctor or another practitioner failed to provide you with the proper care given the circumstances.
Broadly speaking, you must be able to prove the following in order to hold a doctor or other provider accountable for malpractice:
- The medical practitioner owed you a duty of care (i.e., you were a patient of the doctor at the time the malpractice occurred)
- The provider breached this duty through negligence
- You were injured as a result of the provider’s negligence
- Your injuries resulted in damages
Medical malpractice claims may involve negligence on the part of multiple providers, as well as the hospital or other healthcare facility that employs the defendant(s). All of these parties may be liable for injuries and damages you suffer as a result of medical malpractice, but you will need to prove that each of the negligent parties breached their duties to you in order to recover compensation.
Proving Medical Negligence
Some medical errors are obvious. In extreme (but tragically commonplace) cases like wrong-site surgeries and other surgical errors, it is difficult to argue that anything other than negligence or incompetence would lead to such an egregious event.
However, the majority of medical malpractice claims are not so clear-cut. And, even when the blame seems to rest squarely on a careless medical provider, it is often difficult to pursue a successful claim.
Healthcare is a complex field. Practitioners must undergo years of education and advanced training to treat patients effectively. The complexity of medicine can make it difficult for patients to know when malpractice occurs. Furthermore, the adverse effects of medical negligence may not be apparent until months or even years after the fact, making it difficult to connect the harm back to improper medical care.
Even worse, underreporting and outright coverups of medical negligence are alarmingly common in the Canadian health system. Documentation of errors is uncommon, inconsistent, and non-standardized, making it difficult for healthcare facilities to avoid similar mistakes in the future and allowing unfit providers to continue treating patients.
As a result, it can be extremely challenging for patients to get access to records that show errors on the part of doctors and other staff. This, combined with the length of time before the consequences of malpractice may become apparent, can make it difficult to prove that medical negligence directly led to your injuries and subsequent damages.
Why You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Speaking to a lawyer is crucial after suspected incidents of medical negligence. Experienced lawyers have the knowledge and resources to investigate issues of malpractice on your behalf, enabling you to focus on your health instead of doing battle with a doctor’s office or hospital.
Access to qualified medical experts is one of the most important benefits of having legal representation. Testimony from expert medical witnesses can help establish:
- The nature and severity of your injury or condition
- The duty owed to you by a medical practitioner (also known as the standard of care, or the steps a reasonable provider would have taken given your symptoms, history, etc.)
- Causation (i.e., how medical negligence led to your injury or condition)
- How the effects of medical negligence will impact you and your loved ones long-term
Other expert witnesses, such as economists, financial planners, and experts in your profession, can testify as to the losses you have suffered and are likely to suffer in the future. You may be entitled to recovery of economic damages, such as lost wages and loss of earning capacity, as well as non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Building a strong medical malpractice claim takes time and effort. It is in your best interest to start working with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as you can. Your lawyer can investigate negligence in your medical care, gather your medical records and other crucial evidence, consult with expert witnesses, and calculate the compensation you deserve, as well as pursue a favourable result on your behalf.
Contact a Medical Negligence Lawyer Today
No one goes to the doctor or the hospital expecting to be misdiagnosed or mistreated. Unfortunately, this event is a reality for tens of thousands of patients (if not more) every year throughout Canada. These instances of medical negligence often lead to serious injuries and even fatalities.
If you suspect that you or a family member suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice, Klein Lawyers can help. For more than 20 years, our team has been advocating on behalf of clients in a wide range of complex legal matters.
Please call Klein Lawyers at (604) 874-7171 today for a free consultation with a Vancouver medical malpractice lawyer. We serve clients throughout British Columbia.