Over the entire course of a career, every physician practising in Canada is likely to be involved a medico-legal issue at some point. Approximately 2% of physicians in Canada are named each year in a legal action.

Generally, a losing party in Canada is required to pay about 2/3 of the legal fees incurred by a successful party. Often, because the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) incurs considerable legal expenses towards defending claims, it acts as a disincentive to anybody who feels they might have suffered or been injured due malpractice from actually bringing any legal action to claim for damages.

Another Canadian law feature that discourages parties from proceeding with malpractice lawsuits against physicians is that the Canadian Supreme Court has put in place guidelines effectively capping awards for cases of suffering and pain in all except very exceptional cases.

Proving Medical Negligence

Even with the existence of the above factors that greatly dissuade medical malpractice lawsuits across Canada, numerous cases are still reported in which the courts have found hospitals, doctors, and health care professionals to be liable for acts of medical negligence in the course of delivering health care services.

In order for medical malpractice suit to be successful, the plaintiff needs to show that the defendant failed to deliver the owed standard of care, and that defendant owed the claimant a duty of care. It must also be shown that the injuries suffered by the plaintiff were reasonably foreseeable, and that the breach of the duty of care by the defendant was indeed the proximate cause of the injuries suffered.

To prove negligence is harder as the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) is known to vigorously defend malpractice lawsuits. In addition, there exists a flexible cap on loses that are non-pecuniary in nature, and it’s rare when punitive damages are awarded. In Canada, similar to most other countries, an error of judgment doesn’t necessarily amount to negligence even though it led to injury.

Coping With Medical Error

In a medical career, decision making errors cannot altogether possibly be avoided. Among the healthiest responses to such a scenario is to appreciate the error and develop plans on how to reduce the possibility of future such occurrences. Often, this kind of response provides healing and comfort to the affected physician

According to many medical malpractice experts, in coping with error during medical practice, it is becoming necessary for the medical personnel to develop a less idealized, more realistic approach, and promote more self-confidence and competence.

Conclusion

A malpractice claim is deemed to be valid if a health provider’s negligence leads to patient injury or causes physical damages. Experiencing a bad outcome, however, isn’t necessary proof of any medical negligence.

It has been proven by medical malpractice experts that rapid intervention in cases of medical malpractice facilitates faster and healthier coping strategies, restores self-esteem and sense of equilibrium during turbulent times for physician, the patient and the medical expert witness concerned. For additional insights, please visit JD.MD, Inc.

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