Are Canadian Emergency Rooms Facing a Crisis?
In Nova Scotia, if you’ve been injured by medical negligence in a hospital emergency room (ER), you have the right to recover compensation. But there are time limits to file medical malpractice claims, so you should schedule a consultation as soon as possible to discuss your rights with a Halifax medical malpractice lawyer.
According to the Canadian Medical Association, emergency rooms in Canada face an impending crisis – understaffing, increasingly longer waiting times, hospital closures, and a lack of adequate funding all threaten an emergency room system that may be on the brink of a breakdown.
What are the common errors that happen in Canadian emergency rooms? What can be the results of those errors? What is your recourse if you are a victim of medical negligence in an emergency room? And when should you get in touch with a Nova Scotia medical malpractice lawyer?
What Mistakes Happen Most Frequently in ERs?
The medical mistakes that can happen in a hospital emergency room include but are not limited to:
- Misdiagnosis: A misdiagnosis can happen in an emergency room when a medical professional misdiagnoses a patient, usually by misinterpreting symptoms or test results.
- Failure to conduct appropriate testing: Some medical professionals in an emergency room may neglect to order the tests – such as X-rays – that a patient may need.
- Improper medication or treatment: If a patient’s test results or symptoms are misinterpreted, a patient may receive the wrong medication or treatment in a hospital emergency room.
- Treatment delays: In busy emergency rooms, when a patient’s treatment is delayed, the patient may develop serious new medical complications.
- Lack of follow-up: After a patient’s discharge from an emergency room, a doctor’s failure to follow up with that patient could lead to complications or death and may be considered medical malpractice.
In some cases, a patient’s medical condition may actually be exacerbated by a visit to a hospital emergency room. Improper or delayed treatment may lead to strokes, aneurysms, heart attacks, infections, and a number of other serious complications.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
However, an error in an emergency room is not always medical malpractice. When medical professionals do not offer patients a reasonable standard of care, they may be negligent, but medical negligence only becomes malpractice when it directly injures or harms a patient.
When patients are injured or harmed in a hospital emergency room by a medical provider’s negligence, that patient becomes legally entitled to recover compensation. Malpractice may happen when a medical provider:
- misdiagnoses a medical condition;
- fails to adhere to standard procedures;
- prescribes the wrong medication; or
- is responsible for a surgical mistake.
A Halifax medical malpractice lawyer can review your medical malpractice accusation to determine if you have sufficient evidence to bring a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
How Do You Prevail With a Claim for Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice claims may be settled outside of the courtroom when lawyers for each side meet privately and negotiate a settlement. But if liability for a patient’s injuries is disputed, or if no mutually acceptable settlement can be reached, your lawyer will take your claim to court.
At a trial for medical malpractice, your lawyer will explain to the court how you were injured by medical negligence, how extensively you’ve been injured, and why the court should find in your favor and order the payment of your compensation. At a trial, your lawyer will have to prove:
- The doctor, another medical provider, or the hospital itself – the “defendant” – was negligent by failing to meet the acceptable standard of care as defined by the medical profession.
- The medical negligence was a direct cause of your injuries. (If you have suffered no injury or harm, you will not recover compensation.)
- You have suffered damages and losses as a result of your injuries, and you are entitled to compensation. Your lawyer will have to prove that you have paid additional medical expenses, that you’ve lost income, and/or that you have unnecessarily suffered pain and/or emotional or psychological injury.
What Can Malpractice Victims Recover?
The victims of medical malpractice in Nova Scotia are entitled under the law to recover compensation for their pending and projected future medical costs, their lost wages and projected future lost earnings, personal pain and suffering, and all other related losses and damages.
Risk is always a factor when you obtain medical treatment. You should not consent to any surgery or any other medical treatment unless and until you fully understand the risks. Most medical professionals in the Halifax area take particular care to reduce risks, but unfortunately some do not.
Of course, a medical malpractice lawsuit can’t restore your good health, but if you are a medical malpractice victim, a lawsuit lets you hold negligent medical professionals accountable for the negligence that injured you.
How Soon Should You Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
In Nova Scotia, the deadline (statute of limitations) for bringing a medical malpractice claim is usually two years from the date you became aware that you’ve been injured. However, it’s in your best interests to contact a Nova Scotia medical malpractice lawyer as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer will provide a free, no-obligation case evaluation. You’ll receive personalized legal advice and learn how the law applies to your case. If you and your lawyer move forward with a medical malpractice lawsuit, your case will be handled on a contingent fee basis.
That means you will pay no lawyer’s fee upfront. You’ll pay a medical malpractice lawyer only when you are compensated with an out-of-court settlement or a trial verdict. But how do you locate a knowledgeable and skilled medical malpractice lawyer who has a record of success?
McKiggan Hebert is Here for Medical Malpractice Victims
There’s no need to search extensively for a medical malpractice lawyer who has the knowledge and experience you need. For many years, McKiggan Hebert Lawyers has been representing – and prevailing – for medical malpractice victims across Halifax and throughout Nova Scotia.
McKiggan Hebert has recovered some of the largest personal injury settlements in Atlantic Canada for persons who have suffered injury due to medical malpractice.
If you are a medical malpractice victim – now or in the future – in an emergency room, a clinic, or a doctor’s office, if you aren’t sure whether you’re a victim, or if you’ve been injured or harmed in any way while seeking medical care, reach out at once to McKiggan Hebert Lawyers.
Call McKiggan Hebert Lawyers at 902-706-2298, and learn more about your rights and your options as a medical malpractice victim by scheduling a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation.