We trust medical professionals to heal us, to care for us, and to protect us. We trust that medical professionals will follow the rules and “do no harm,” and, for the most part, they do—but medical professionals are people, and people make mistakes.
If you undergo surgery in Canada the chance that a surgeon will accidentally leave a scalpel, sponge, or other foreign object inside you is higher than most of the developed world. According to a 2017 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Canadian rate of foreign objects being left in a patient after surgery is 8.6 incidents per 100,000 hospital discharges, nearly double the OECD average of 5 incidents per 100,000.
An Uphill Battle
Despite a high rate of incidents compared to similar nations, Canadian patients suffering due to medical malpractice face an uphill battle for compensation. Some legal professionals believe it is in the best interests of the well-funded Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) “to drag out some of these cases because it acts as a deterrent for suing other doctors”.
While seeking compensation for medical malpractice may be complicated, without proper legal representation it may be impossible. Consider the case of Judy Gayton of Medicine Hat, Alberta. A victim of a brain injury that left her with cognitive problems and difficulty regulating her emotions, Judy spent years trying to get her complex medical malpractice suit to court. After the court competency order requiring that a lawyer be appointed to her case was altered, Judy was forced to trial without any form of legal representation; her case was dismissed within minutes.
Victory is Possible
The plight of Judy Gayton, a person experiencing medical issues whose years-long medical malpractice case was dismissed at least partially due to a lack of legal representation, is a worst-case scenario—but medical malpractice cases can be successfully argued in court. There are well-publicized Canadian malpractice cases where victims were able to obtain fair compensation through the courts; a British Columbia man awarded compensation after being prescribed a drug that left him “totally disabled”, a Saskatchewan woman awarded compensation after surgical tape was left in her body during surgery, an Albertan woman supported by the Government of Alberta in seeking restitution for a botched CT scan—all cases where the victim was supported by legal representation. Proper legal representation can be the deciding factor between receiving due compensation for medical malpractice and having your case dismissed.
Obtaining Compensation for Medical Malpractice
While the CMPA may prefer that medical malpractice cases never reach court, obtaining fair compensation is possible through litigation—if you have the right support. If you, or someone you love, have suffered due to the actions or negligence of another, the team at Pipella Law is here to help. We will represent your interests long-term, regardless of the challenges tomorrow may bring. If you have questions or concerns about legal representation, please give us a call to book a free consultation with our personal injury team. We are dedicated to advocating on your behalf and operate on a contingency fee basis—you will not pay until we deliver the settlement you deserve.
For more information on how Pipella Law can support you when it comes to medical malpractice, click here.
You don’t have to suffer. We are here to help. Contact Pipella Law today.