What Do I Have to Prove to Win My Medical Malpractice Case in Canada?

by John McKiggan

When someone dies or is seriously injured in a hospital, or after receiving medical care, it is human nature to feel that someone is responsible, that someone is to blame.

But from a legal standpoint, it may not actually be possible to prove that someone is liable (legally responsible) for the death or injury.

There are four things that you have to prove in order to win your medical malpractice case in Canada:

Standard of Care:

Doctors, nurses and other health care workers are human. They are not expected to be perfect. But they are expected to be reasonably competent.

You will need expert evidence to show what standard of care is expected of a reasonably competent doctor (or nurse). For example, doctors in the same specialty as the negligent doctor must be willing to testify that the conduct of the doctor fell below accepted standards.

Breach of the Standard:

You will need expert evidence to prove that the doctor (or nurse) did not meet the standard expected of a reasonably competent doctor (or nurse).

In other words, did they do something that they should not have done, or did they fail to do something that they should have done?

Making a simple mistake or getting a bad result is not enough – you must prove that it was a significant error which directly led to your injury.


Not only must you prove that the doctor (or nurse) breached the standard of care; you must also prove that the breach actually caused your injury.

It is possible that a doctor can be negligent (breach the standard of care), but the negligence isn’t what caused the injury

For example, failing to wear surgical gloves during an operation is a breach of the standard of a competent surgeon. But it is not likely to cause you to suffer a stroke during your operation.

On the other hand, failing to wear gloves may very well cause or contribute to the surgical wound becoming infected, leading to serious injury or death.


Finally, you have to prove what the financial consequences of the injury has been so that the court can award damages for pain and suffering, and any income loss or medical expenses as a result of your injury.

For example, you will need experts like physical medicine specialists to prove the extent of your injuries; vocational experts to establish how your injuries affect your ability to work; and actuarial or economic experts to calculate your past and future income loss and future pension loss.

If you are looking for a Nova Scotia Medical Malpractice Lawyer you can contact me for a free copy of my book: The Consumers Guide to Medical Malpractice Claims in Canada: Why 98% of potential medical malpractice victims never receive a penny in compensation.

If you believe you or a family member believe you may have been injured as a result of medical malpractice you can contact me through this blog, or call me toll free at 1-877-423-2050.

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