What the law seeks to instill among health providers is a standard of reasonable care for the safety of their patients. Aside from the absence of reasonable care, there must also be a showing that:
- the patient suffered from harm or injury
- the injury is a direct result of the failure to take reasonable care
- the injury or harm was foreseeable at the time reasonable care was not exercised
The following situations may be considered negligent:
- failing to or delay in diagnosing a condition
- failing to or delay in providing the appropriate treatment or referral for the condition
- failing to perform surgery with reasonable care and skill
- failing to report correctly on test results
- failing to provide post-operative care with reasonable care
A claim for compensation can arise from a failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a wide range of medical conditions including the following:
- ectopic pregnancy
- heart valve problem
- cancers of the liver, ovary, cervix, breast, prostate, lung, stomach and skin
- limb fracture
- lumps and tumours
- nerve damage
- deep vein thrombosis
How to file a claim for medical malpractice
Medical malpractice is a complex case requiring the assistance of a specialist to help you establish your claim. If you think that you have a case for medical negligence, it is important for you to consult a malpractice specialist who will take your statement and make a preliminary assessment of your case.
If medical negligence appears on the preliminary assessment, the specialist will conduct a closer investigation of your case by obtaining your medical records and reports from your treating doctors, and an independent medical expert’s opinion to bolster your claim.
You will also be asked to produce documents such as receipts, records and other papers proving financial costs and losses that you incurred as a result of the injury or harm you suffered.
The timeliness of your claim is important or it may be barred by time limits prescribed by law for bringing a claim in court. While these limits may vary across territories, experts recommend that you consult a medical malpractice specialist at the soonest time to avoid losing your claim to a technicality.
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