Medical Malpractice FAQ
How do I know if I have been a victim of medical malpractice?
Determining whether you have been a victim of medical malpractice is not a simple or a fast process. An experienced personal injury lawyer will need to review all medical records to determine if your case is a viable one. If you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice in Nova Scotia, it’s time to sit down with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to determine if you have the grounds for a claim.
2 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Consulting a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you aren’t sure whether you need to consult a medical malpractice lawyer, you need to ask yourself two questions.
The first question to consider is: What did the medical provider do that was careless? A medical provider can be a doctor, specialist, nurse or other treatment provider. If you don’t have a clear answer to this question, or you can’t pinpoint what happened, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be difficult to prove.
The second question to ask yourself is: If your care provider was negligent, what would have been different if the negligence had never happened? You must be able to prove that you suffered an injury and that this injury is directly related to the careless behavior of a medical provider. Carelessness without an injury does not constitute a personal injury lawsuit.
For example, if you received a medication that was not right, yet you suffered no ill effects from the medication, it will be difficult to prove to a judge and jury that you have been harmed because of carelessness. It is clear that negligence occurred, but to file a medical malpractice claim, there must be negligence that coincides with a direct injury caused by the negligence.
Standard of Care
Every health care provider must meet a standard of care as established by the behavior and procedures followed by other reasonable practitioners providing the same service. What this means is that if your doctor provided care that was reasonable when all of your symptoms were considered, you won’t have a viable lawsuit because there wasn’t a breach of the standard of care. If another doctor would provide the same treatment given the same set of circumstances, your doctor met the standard of care and isn’t liable. It is when your doctor or medical provider does not meet this standard that you may have the grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In order to determine if your doctor or health care provider breached the standard of care, it will be necessary for your medical malpractice lawyer to review your medical records. Your lawyer may consult a medical expert to discuss the legal and medical ramifications of your case. It’s important to understand that medical malpractice claims are complex, and consulting with outside experts is a necessary step in the process.
Causation of Injury
In order to win a medical malpractice claim, you have to be able to prove that the breach of the standard of care (the negligence) caused your injury. Sometimes the cause of the pain or injury is clear. If, for example, you had an operation that resulted in gauze or other materials left behind, it is clear what is causing your pain.
But in most medical malpractice cases the cause of the patient’s illness, injury or death isn’t clear. Think about it. Most patients are in hospital because they are sick. So it’s possible they may have suffered illness, injury or death even if there was no negligence. Sometimes it is not always easy to prove.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit in Nova Scotia, it is necessary to establish that an act of carelessness or negligence was a direct cause of your injury.
If you were injured because of negligence, it may take considerable time and effort to prove the causation between your injury and the negligent treatment. This is a point where some victims give up, because the costs associated with fighting a medical malpractice claim may outweigh the money awarded in the end.
That’s why it’s important to have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer on your side. So that you can get advise, before you file a claim, about your chances of success and what the potential recovery will be if your claim is successful.