Physicians, nurses and other health care professionals have a responsibility to provide you with the highest quality care to help manage and treat your medical problems. Unfortunately, many health care professionals fail to use the appropriate level of care and there are devastating consequences, from injuries and complications to the need for further treatment that puts the patient at risk for more problems.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation for your damages and losses. The Chatham-Kent medical malpractice lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners can guide you through the legal process, investigating your case and consulting with medical experts to build a strong case on your behalf. Founder Greg Monforton has helped advocate for many injured victims throughout Chatham-Kent. Mr. Monforton is well-known and trusted among the legal community having been peer selected as a Best Lawyers in Canada member since 2006.
There is no upfront fee to work with our firm. We can evaluate your potential lawsuit during a free, no obligation legal consultation and determine if it is in your best interest to file a claim. You will not be charged for our services unless we help you recover the compensation you deserve. If you believe you were victim of malpractice at a medical facility, such as Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA), you should strongly consider meeting with one of our qualified lawyers.
Understanding Canada’s Health Care System
The Canadian health care system is often categorized as a “socialized” system – where physicians, health care institutions and medical costs are all controlled by the government. However, the reality is that most physicians and medical practices are privately run with their own offices, schedules and list of patients who regularly visit. Citizens are not assigned physicians by the government or by an insurance plan. Regular visits to primary care physicians, hospitals, and diagnostic services are covered by provincial health insurance plans.
Physicians and other health care professionals who work in private practices or in hospitals are required to obtain medical liability insurance through the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). The CMPA is a membership-based organization that helps provide legal defence and liability protection for physicians in Canada.
Health care providers who engage in malpractice can be disciplined by the provincial licensing body in their province, which could include a suspension or loss of the ability to continue practicing medicine. Victims may also decide to file lawsuits to pursue compensation for the damages they suffered.
However, when victims file lawsuits, the CMPA provides a strong defence to the physician and often refuses reasonable settlement offers. This is one of many factors that often discourage medical malpractice victims from suing physicians for malpractice. Another factor is that the losing party in a medical malpractice lawsuit generally must pay approximately two-thirds of the winning party’s legal fees.
This is why it is a good idea to meet with a Chatham-Kent medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your situation. We can determine if you have a viable case and the forms of compensation you may be entitled.
Proving medical negligence can be difficult without a dedicated lawyer by your side. We can help put together the evidence you need to obtain compensation from a negligent health care professional.
Our firm is ready to discuss your case with you. Call (866) 320-4770 today.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases We Handle
Our medical malpractice lawyers in Chatham-Kent take cases involving a wide variety of medical malpractice, including:
Misdiagnosis can occur when a physician diagnoses a patient with a wrong illness and begins the treatment process. This means the patient’s true medical condition is not being treated. The wrong medication can be prescribed, or an unnecessary surgery can be performed that can put the patient at risk for further injuries and complications.
Misdiagnosis also involves the failure to diagnose a patient with anything or making the correct diagnosis after an unreasonable delay. This can be life-threatening in certain situations, such as when a patient has cancer.
There are a variety of anesthesia errors, including patients being given too much or too little anesthesia during surgery, a doctor giving a patient anesthesia that causes an allergic reaction, or failing to actively monitor a patient’s vital signs for any distress or irregularity while under anesthesia. Sometimes anesthesia errors can be fatal or cause long-term brain damage.
A surgical error can occur when operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical tools inside patients or puncturing organs or blood vessels surrounding the surgical site. Failing to obtain a patient’s informed consent or operating without a surgical plan can also be considered surgical malpractice.
Birth injuries can happen during pregnancy, delivery or right after childbirth. Physicians can fail to property monitor a mother or fetus for signs of distress, identify birth defects or ectopic pregnancies or use the proper tools for delivery, resulting in severe injury to the mother or the baby.
When the wrong medication is prescribed, or a medication is prescribed that has dangerous interactions with other medications a patient is taking, it can result in serious injuries and side effects. There are also situations when patients are given the wrong medication even though the correct medication was prescribed or when a patient is given an incorrect dosage of a medication.
General Hospital Negligence
Medical malpractice can also be caused by other individuals who work at a hospital or medical facility but are not directly treating you, such as nurses, technicians or other hospital staff members. These professionals can fail to perform tests correctly, damage test results, or fail to follow sanitary practices that can spread infections, such as using unsanitary needles or surgical tools or not following hand-washing protocols.
If you were injured because of these or other forms of medical malpractice, contact a Chatham-Kent medical malpractice lawyer at our firm today for a free legal consultation. We are committed to building a strong case to help hold liable parties accountable and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Call Greg Monforton & Partners today by calling (866) 320-4770.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?
Some parties that could potentially be held liable for the medical malpractice you suffered include:
- Nursing homes
- Respiratory therapists
- Assisted living facilities
Once we have determined that you have a valid case and if you decide to move forward, our medical malpractice lawyers in Chatham-Kent will carefully review all relevant factors to determine the party or parties responsible for your injuries so we may hold them liable for negligence.
Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to get started on your case.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim
There are several requirements to prove a medical malpractice claim in Canada. Establishing that a physician or health care professional made a mistake or error is simply not enough to prove that medical malpractice occurred. You must be able to prove the following five elements of medical malpractice to have a chance at obtaining compensation:
- Patient-physician relationship – You must establish that you were a patient of the health care professional who committed malpractice and were relying on this person for treatment.
- Duty of care – Once you have established a doctor-patient relationship, the physician has a duty of care to provide treatment that meets the accepted standards in the medical community. This means the physician must provide treatment that a reasonably competent medical professional would have provided if he or she was in a similar situation.
- Breached duty of care – You must prove that the care you received did not meet the accepted medical standards. Our Chatham-Kent medical malpractice lawyers can consult medical experts to determine the different ways the duty of care was violated in your medical treatment.
- Direct causation – You must show that the physician’s actions or inactions directly caused you injury or worsened your condition. You must also show that the injury was foreseeable by the medical practitioner. Causation can be one of the most difficult things to prove in a medical malpractice case. The physician and its insurer may argue that your injury or illness was the result of a pre-existing condition and not because of a negligent act.
- Injuries or losses – You must have suffered actual damages due to medical negligence. This can include injuries, treatment costs, wages lost from missing work or pain and suffering.
At Greg Monforton & Partners, we have the knowledge and resources to access medical experts to help prove that medical malpractice took place. A Chatham-Kent medical malpractice lawyer will work hard to pursue every legal option available to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled.
Our firm is ready to schedule your free consultation: (866) 320-4770.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice
Ontario has statutes of limitations, or deadlines, for filing different types of lawsuits. If you fail to file a suit within the time limit specified by law, you will lose the right to do so.
In general, the Ontario Limitations Act requires most personal injury lawsuits, including medical malpractice lawsuits, to be filed within two years after the date of the accident. The two-year clock begins on the date:
- The person with the claim first knew:
- An injury, damage or loss occurred
- An act or omission caused or contributed to an injury, loss or damage
- The act or omission was committed by the person the claim was made against
- A legal proceeding would be appropriate for remedying the injury, loss or damage that occurred
- The day a reasonable person with the same abilities and in the same circumstances of the person filing the claim would have known there were grounds for a legal claim
This means the two-year clock might not start on the date the injury occurs because the victim may not be immediately aware he or she was a victim of malpractice. For instance, a victim who was misdiagnosed may not have discovered it for weeks or months after it happened.
There are important exceptions to the two-year limit. For example, if you are a minor when injured, the clock starts when you turn 18.
Filing a lawsuit can be complicated and difficult to handle on your own. That is why you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Chatham-Kent as soon as possible to determine how much time you have to file a suit. Our trusted lawyers are well-versed in the statute of limitations and the exceptions to these rules. We can review your situation to see how these rules apply specifically to your case.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now.
Damages Available in a Medical Malpractice Case
The purpose of filing a medical malpractice claim is to hold negligent physicians or health care professionals accountable and obtain compensation for the damages they caused.
Under Ontario law, there are two types of damages available in a medical malpractice case: special and general damages.
Special damages are monetary awards given to injured victims for specific economic losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Home maintenance
- Rehabilitation costs
- Loss of income
- Lost earning capacity
There are no caps on special damages or pecuniary damages. These damages can be easily quantified by determining the exact amount of past and future medical costs and loss of income while recovering.
General damages are monetary awards given to injured victims for non-monetary losses. These include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of amenities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of life expectancy
- Loss of companionship
These damages are capped by law because they can be difficult to quantify. Since the 1970s, the Supreme Court in Canada has been responsible for putting a cap on general damages or non-pecuniary damages. The initial limit was up to $100,000 for injury cases. Due to inflation over the years, the allowable limit increases and in 2016 it was $370,000.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form so a Chatham-Kent medical malpractice lawyer can review your claim.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Right Away
Medical malpractice can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental well-being. If you suffered unnecessary harm caused by the negligence of a physician or health care professional, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
There is a limited amount of time to pursue a claim in Canada as these types of cases require a detailed investigation. This is why you should contact a lawyer right away.
Our medical malpractice lawyers in Chatham-Kent offer a free consultation to discuss your case. We take all cases on contingency, which means we do not charge legal fees or costs unless you receive compensation.
Call (866) 320-4770 today to see how we might be able to help you.