As with any civil lawsuit, a medical malpractice lawsuit’s strength is based on the thoroughness of the investigation into the wrongdoing and the issues at hand. To successfully prove your Ottawa medical malpractice case, you and your medical malpractice lawyer will have to prove a series of elements to win your case. Make a misstep or lose perspective of just one element required in your medical malpractice case and you’ll lose your case.
The three elements you must always prove to succeed in winning a medical malpractice case in Ottawa are:
- The establishment of a doctor-patient relationship between you and the individual who caused you harm;
- The establishment of your doctor failing to provide you with competent treatment (referred to as negligence); and
- The establishment that harm was caused to you as a result of your doctor’s negligence.
Proof of a Doctor-Patient Relationship
Proof of a doctor-patient relationship is usually easy to prove. Any time a doctor examines you and/or provides you with a treatment plan, a doctor-patient relationship is established. You don’t need to have a written contract to prove the relationship nor do you need to have paid the doctor, or even promised to pay him or her. In most cases, doctors admit a doctor-patient relationship’s existence. But, you must first officially establish the relationship before proceeding with your medical malpractice claim. An obvious element, the proof of a doctor-patient relationship can be established through medical records, bills, referrals and the like.
Proof of Negligence
Doctors are mandated to provide reasonably competent care to patients at all times. When a doctor acts negligently and fails to provide care that other reasonably competent doctors would provide under similar circumstanced, that doctor puts himself or herself at risk of being faced with a medical malpractice charge. The burden of proof lies with the patient when it comes to the proving of medical negligence by his or her doctor. Obvious negligence, of course, provides Plaintiffs with the strongest of medical malpractice cases. For instance, should a doctor leave a sponge inside a surgical patient, the patient has proof-positive that other doctors under similar circumstances would not normally make such a blatant mistake. Less obvious instances of negligence may be established through the use of an expert who can testify that your doctor fell short of meeting the proper standard of care when he or she caused you harm.
Proof of Harm
However, regardless of how obvious negligence is in your case, if you cannot prove that harm was done to you as a result of your doctor’s actions, you have no medical malpractice case on which to claim damages. Harm in a medical malpractice claim can take the form of:
- Pain and suffering
- Costly medical expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of ability to enjoy life as you did before the injury
Retain an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer to File your Lawsuit
Remember that only harm cause by your doctor’s negligence counts as damages you may receive compensation for. If you think that you have been injured as the result of a doctor’s negligence, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to determine your rights to file a lawsuit and the likelihood of your medical malpractice lawsuit being a successful one.