How Do I Know if I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

by John McKiggan

When I am asked to review a possible claim for a client wondering if they have been a victim of medical malpractice, it often takes months of investigation and requires reviewing hundreds of pages of medical records and reports. In many cases I have to get a medical expert to provide a medical-legal opinion on the issue of standard of care or causation.

However, there is a way for you to figure out for yourself if you have medical malpractice claim that is worth talking to a lawyer about to see if you may have a claim.

Two Simple Questions:

There are two questions that you need to ask yourself. If there is a clear cut answer to both questions, then you may have a medical malpractice claim that is worth pursuing.

The first question you need to ask yourself is:

“What did my doctor (nurse or health care professional) do or fail to do that was careless?”

If there is no clear answer to this question, or if there was a series of problems or errors that led to your injury, or if you are not exactly sure what caused the problem that you are concerned about, your medical malpractice claim may be difficult to prove
The second question you need to ask yourself is:

“If the medical malpractice had not happened, how would things be different for me now and in the future?”

In order to be entitled to receive compensation you must be able to clearly establish that you suffered an injury as a result of your doctor’s (or health care provider) negligence. If your doctor was negligent, but you did not suffer any injury, then you probably don’t have a claim that is worth pursuing.

For example, if you received the wrong medication and spent months worrying about it, but suffered no ill effects, than you probably don’t have a claim that is worth pursuing.

In other words, unless you can clearly explain to a judge or a jury what the injury is and how it is going to affect your life then it might be difficult for you to receive enough compensation to make it worth the expense of a complex medical malpractice trial.

I go into more detail on these questions and a number of other issues that you need to be aware of in my book: The Consumers Guide to Medical Malpractice Claims in Canada: Why 98% of Canadian Medical Malpractice Victims Never Get a Penny in Compensation. You can get a free copy of the book by contacting me through this blog or by calling my office at (902) 423-2050.

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