The scope of medical malpractice in Canada is broad, including occurrences such as misdiagnosis, improper treatment, medication errors, or surgery errors. While it is a common perception that health care professionals are infallible, mistakes do occur and approximately 70,000 people fall victim to some type of medical malpractice every year in Canada.
Being successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit is not a straight-forward process at all and no case will ever be the same as another. Being mindful of the following tips may just be the difference between you being successful and getting the compensation you deserve; or a court case being dismissed and resulting in you being left in financial uncertainty.
1. Review and collect all information
Before pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit you want to make sure you have sufficient evidence to prove your case. In Canada, there are three requirements needed to prove a medical malpractice case: that a doctor-patient relationship exist, that the doctor was negligent, and the negligence caused direct injury. Review all of your documentation and make sure that it plays a role in satisfying these three requirements.
While a medical malpractice case may not be an instance where the more information that you have the better your chances of being successful are, collecting and saving all information pertaining to your case would be more beneficial as opposed to having very little to back your case up with.
2. Hire legal representation
Hiring an attorney seems like an obvious step in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the truth is people sometimes attempt to represent themselves because they think they have the know-how to do so or do it to save on legal costs.
You would hate for your lawsuit to be dismissed because you did not hire a lawyer so seeking the services of one is beneficial. A medical malpractice lawyer can review your case and make sure that you have all documentation required to satisfy medical malpractice elements.
3. Allow your lawyer to guide you through the lawsuit
Attorneys experienced in these types of lawsuits usually have connections such as professionals and experts willing to provide affidavits and testimony that can boost your case. An attorney can also review any settlement offers and advise you on whether to accept, reject, or counter-offer.
If necessary, an attorney can also appear in court and represent your interests in the event a settlement was not reached or the accusation of negligence is being challenged.
4. Do not speak about the case
After filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is best to not speak about it to anyone except your attorney. While most insurance companies and their representatives are respectful and helpful, they can also be aggressive and if the issue goes to trial, they may attempt to use anything you say against you.
Also, refrain from communicating with the defendant after a lawsuit has been filed. He or she may also attempt to skew what you say and use it to their advantage. In today’s age of technology, many people are on such social media outlets as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You may enjoy using these applications but be mindful that anything posted is fair game for defense teams to use.
For example, pictures of you playing sports or on the beach could suggest that you did not endure any hardships in your ideal or that it did not occur in the first place. Posts that you make that could be construed as relating directly to your case could lead to your case being ultimately dismissed. Consequently, while your medical malpractice is making its way through the process, do not be afraid to take a break from social media until the case has been settled