In Toronto, we entrust our doctors to provide a reasonable level of care. This means that we expect our doctors to be up-to-date on the latest technologies and education on a wide variety of health related topics.
Unfortunately, there is no absolute standard – resulting in sub-standard care in some cases. Many times, a patient may not even be aware that they are being provided with a lower level of care, and in some cases crossing the line into negligence.
Eighty percent (80%) of medical malpractice cases fall into these major categories:
- Birth and Pregnancy – labor, delivery, and/or cesarean related injuries.
- Surgery – mistakes related to surgical procedures.
- Misdiagnosis – failure to recognize and diagnose conditions in time.
- Meciation – including over-medication, adverse drug reactions, or incorrect medication.
To win a medical malpractice lawsuit case, a plaintiff or claimant must prove any of the following:
- A reasonable standard of care was provided. In Toronto, doctors have a duty to conduct practices that a prudent and diligent doctor would provide in similar circumstances . A claimant must prove that their health care provider – including doctors, nurses, or other health care provider failed to provide care and treatment that meets a reasonable standard of care.
- Health care standards violation: Obvious omissions and misdiagnosis can be proved from the testimony of other healthcare providers who have all the information related to the patient.
- An injury resulting from health care. In some cases, “the cure is worse than the disease” – this can result from improper care, misdiagnosis, or improper use of equipment.
- Damages have been sustained due to improper care. In a case where substandard treatment has been provided, plaintiffs must also show that there has been a loss of earnings or wages, there will be future medical costs, emotional distress, lower quality of life, or perhaps some other damages related to finances.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be lengthy and expensive, but if improper or substandard care has been provided to a patient, the long term implications can be very costly – emotionally and financially. In some cases, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be a patient’s only recourse, and helps to keep our hospitals, doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers accountable for the trust we instill in these important professions.