Hi, my name is Kannon Clifford, and I’m a lawyer with Bergeron Clifford, a personal injury and medical malpractice boutique law firm in Eastern Ontario, Canada. I deal with medical malpractice claims every day and I’m here to answer one of the most asked questions I get – What amounts to medical malpractice ?
Medical malpractice, also called medical negligence, are legal causes of action that occur when a medical or health care professional deviates from a standard in their profession thereby causing injury to a patient. Not every instance in which a doctor makes an error is actually considered medical malpractice. In fact many claims we see do not actually amount to medical malpractice because of the steep legal test one must meet. In order to bring a valid medical malpractice claim is you’ll need to be able to show each of the following legal test elements:
First, a duty of care that is there must be a verifiable patient physician relationship i.e the doctor owed you a certain duty of care.
Second, you’ll have to show standard of care that is the doctor did not provide you with a reasonable standard of care.
Third you’ll have to show foreseeability, that is the injuries you suffered were reasonably foreseeable
Fourth you’ll have to show causation, that is the doctor’s behaviors were the proximate cause of your injury and
Finally you’ll have to show substantial damages that is that you actually suffered demonstrable damages some examples of common medical malpractice claims include if you suffer unnecessary harm because the physician didn’t use a degree of care that other physicians would have used in the same situation or because they deviated from a reasonable standard of care. In both instances the court may consider it malpractice.
Some examples of actions that might be medical malpractice include
a. failing to obtain or review medical history before treatment,
b. not ordering adequate or appropriate diagnostic tests,
c. failing to advise you of all your treatment options or failing to warn you of significant risks of treatment also not communicating with other attending physicians about your condition or operating on the wrong body part,
d. performing unnecessary surgeries or prescribing wrong medications or even the wrong dosages
f. failing to provide a proper follow-up.
Medical malpractice cases are quite complicated, so if you or a family member suffered harm and you believe malpractice was the cause, it’s always best to consult a knowledgeable lawyer with experience in this specialized field. Thank you for tuning in to ask an injury lawyer today and don’t forget to submit your questions below to have them featured in our next video