The Difficulties With Medical Malpractice Claims & How We Can Help

people standing outside hospital room

Written By: Jan Marin, Personal Injury Lawyer

We only get one body. That is why our health is so important. When we rely upon health care professionals, our lives are literally in their hands. For a good reason, we hold medical professions in high esteem. When a medical professional is negligent, it can be hard to accept and understand. That being said, there must be accountability. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to sue health care providers in Canada successfully. According to the book After the Error: Speaking Out About Patient Safety to Save Lives, "Medical errors kill 24,000 Canadians each year, adversely affect hundreds of thousands, and cost close to two billion dollars. Victims of medical errors and their families who speak out often do so at a considerable emotional, psychological, and financial expense." These numbers are staggering. According to a news article examining the issue nationwide, "Of 911 court cases filed on average annually, patients win 20, doctors win 74, settlements are made in 342, and the remainder is dismissed, discontinued, or abandoned." This low success rate is not surprising, as malpractice lawsuits are complex and very expensive. To win, plaintiffs must prove that the health-care practitioner did not meet the standard of care and establish that the alleged failure resulted in injury and damages.

What can our firm do for you?

Succeeding in these lawsuits requires experience. Gluckstein Lawyers brings experience and expertise to this field of law. No matter where you live in Canada, we can help you with a medical malpractice claim. We pursue cases involving birth trauma, brain injury, spinal cord injury, or any other adverse medical outcome that leads to significant disability or financial losses. My recent Supreme Court of Canada victory demonstrates our expertise and ability. In January, Canada's highest court overturned the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Armstrong v. Royal Victoria Hospital without reserve, reinstating a Superior Court decision awarding $1.3 million to a woman who had a kidney removed as a result of injuries suffered during a 2010 surgical procedure. This decision was a significant victory for our client and anyone who is a victim of medical malpractice. Plaintiffs face substantial hurdles in proving their cases - both on the standard of care and causation. When investigating allegations of medical malpractice, we order all relevant medical records and usually consult with appropriate medical experts to assess the claim's viability and strength. This is often an expensive process.

Important filing deadlines

Patients must also keep in mind that there are deadlines they must meet when suing for malpractice. Lawsuits generally must be commenced within two years of the date of the error or two years from when the patient ought to have been aware of the error. In cases involving death, the lawsuit must start no later than two years from the date of death. If the claim is not initiated on time, you may be prevented from suing for damages. Children and those suffering from cognitive disabilities are afforded additional time. For more information on Limitation Periods, see my prior blog post.

Call our legal team for assistance

If you believe you have been injured by medical malpractice, the personal injury team at Nicholson Gluckstein Lawyers is here to help. A senior medical malpractice lawyer, Richard Halpern, leads our medical malpractice team. He has more than 30 years of experience representing seriously injured people. If your claim has merit, we will agree to a contingency fee agreement. That means that we don't get paid unless you get paid. Your first consultation is entirely free and requires no commitment. Please contact us and arrange your free consultation with a member of our medical malpractice team.


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