Steps that every Ottawa medical malpractice case goes through in one form or another include:
- The discovery that something went wrong in your medical care. As soon as you realize that your healthcare provider may have done something wrong in your diagnosis or treatment, you should consult with a lawyer to determine if you have the grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Every civil suit has a limitation period that requires your claim to be made within a certain amount of time after the injurious event took place. In the case of medical malpractice, that time limitation is typically two years after you realize that a wrong has been committed against you.
- A second expert medical opinion. You’ll want to seek a second expert medical opinion about your condition to validate that your healthcare provider did or did not do what a reasonable doctor would have done under similar circumstances in the diagnosis or treatment of your health. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer may have recommendations of specialists you can visit for this second expert opinion.
- Hire a medical malpractice lawyer to review the medical findings of your case with you and determine if your case is worth pursuing. Your lawyer will assist you in assessing what damages you have suffered and help you calculate the financial sum of those damages by researching similar court decisions.
- File your lawsuit. Your medical malpractice lawyer will see that your lawsuit is filed correctly and timely per Ottawa law.
- Negotiations with the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). All Canadian licensed practitioners must carry CMPA malpractice insurance, so you and your lawyer will want to first approach this insurer to see if they are willing to acknowledge any wrongdoing by your doctor and settle your claim without litigation.
- Pre-trial discovery. Usually a six to twelve month period in which each party is examined by the other’s lawyer under oath to collect evidence and try to prove that your doctor did not follow proper procedures in your medical care. The other side will try to get evidence from you proving that you did not suffer any damages as a result of any actions the doctor took in your health care.
- Document exchange. You and the other side will exchange documentation that supports your side of the case. These will include documents like medical records, expert witness reports, notations, income tax returns, income statements and other financial paperwork.
- A trial date is set. Sometimes you may have some options here, but most likely, the Court will determine when the trial will occur.
- The trial. If you do not negotiate a settlement before the trial date occurs, you’ll go to court. At court, a judge, and possibly a jury, will hear your case and the healthcare provider’s defence and decide if a medical malpractice has occurred and how much damage you have suffered.
- Appeals. If you or the other side doesn’t like the trial court’s decision, an appeal may be filed. At the appeal, other judges will then review the decision and either uphold the original decision or overturn it.
When you Need an Ottawa Medical Malpractice Lawyer, Choose One with a Solid Track Record of Positive Outcomes for Clients
Medical malpractice law is a very specialized legal practice requiring the skill of an experienced malpractice lawyer well-versed in medical malpractice litigation. Going up against the well-financed legal defence of the CMPA can be daunting for lawyers not accustomed to medical malpractice litigation. If
you think that you have a medical malpractice claim, make sure you do your research before hiring your legal representative. Choose an Ottawa lawyer who has a solid track-record of positive outcomes in the medical malpractice litigation and settlement arena.