Medical Malpractice Legal Case - Toronto Lawyers
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Doctors usually provide a high standard of excellence for their patients however there are occasions when things go wrong. Our Toronto medical malpractice legal case lawyers provide expert legal representation and deal with cases in Ontario on a contingency basis which means they don’t get paid unless they succeed. If you would like free telephone advice from a Toronto medical malpractice lawyer just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our Toronto offices.
Medical Malpractice Legal Cases
A medical malpractice legal case is usually complex, time consuming and vigorously defended by indemnity insurers who are inevitably represented by law firms known for their skill, experience and vigilant defence of clinical negligence claims. There are a number of factors that a medical malpractice lawyer must consider before agreeing to act on behalf of a client in a medical malpractice case which include:
- The Statute of Limitations.
Legislation exists in all provinces requiring that legal action against a medical professional be commenced within a specific time scale known as the limitation period. The law and the limitation period may vary dependent on location and if a formal claim has not been filed in a court of law prior to the expiry of the relevant period then the opportunity to claim compensation may have been lost forever.
- The Quantum Of Damages.
The amount of financial compensation that might be awarded in a medical malpractice case is a significant factor considered in the initial assessment of the claim by a lawyer. Cases in which the figure is low may not, even in the event of a successful outcome, cover the cost of running a legal case and such a case would be rejected by a lawyer. The higher the amount of potential damages then the greater the chance that a law firm will be prepared to deal with the case on a contingency basis.
- Was Informed Consent Obtained?
It is incumbent on a health care provider to advise his patient of the risks and benefits of a particular procedure and what the alternatives are. Failure to do so may mean that the health care provider is negligent in the event of subsequent problems. Even if there is no informed consent, there will be no liability if it can be shown that a reasonable person would have consented to the procedure in the knowledge of the risks and benefits. In extraordinary circumstances the requirement for consent may be waived.
- Was the Treatment Negligent?
Treatment is negligent if a healthcare provider has fallen below the minimum standard of skill or care that the medical profession regards as reasonable in that particular location. The standard of care is that degree of skill and care to be expected of a provider with that individual’s training and experience. This includes not only doctors but also hospitals, clinics, dentists, nurses and medical technicians and any other party or body that undertakes to provide services to take care of patients sufficient to establish a duty of care. Negligence is usually proved through the use of an expert witness. If there is no obvious evidence of negligence in a potential medical malpractice legal case then a lawyer will inevitably reject the claim. The mere fact that treatment is unsuccessful is not necessarily evidence of negligence. Whether or not there has been a failure to attain the required standard of care is assessed initially by a specialist medical expert retained by the claimants lawyer and except in extremely unusual situations, a case without a supportive expert opinion is destined to fail.
- The Nature of the Claim.
Some types of medical malpractice claims are more difficult to prove than others and an initial risk assessment will be made balancing the type of claim against the strength of the available evidence. A medical malpractice case with a high risk factor is unlikely to be accepted on a contingency fees basis.
- Causation - Direct Link
In addition to showing that the health care provider’s care fell below the required standard it is also necessary to show that injury or loss was the direct result of that failure. It must be proved that there is a direct link between the medical malpractice and the damage caused.
TORONTO LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7142