Find Top Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Edmonton
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At Right Legal, we make finding the right medical malpractice lawyer stress-free.
Once you’ve completed our short online survey we’ll search our database to match you with a number of lawyers meeting your criteria. Once you’ve reviewed the offers from Edmonton malpractice lawyers and made your selection, we will facilitate a meeting so you and your lawyer can begin working together.
We search, interview, and carry out background checks to guarantee you receive deals from the very best of the very best. That way you can feel confident that you have the right legal counsel for your needs.
Getting experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Edmonton
To begin, you should know that the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) will pay for any and all legal costs associated with settlements and judgments against doctors.
Your Medical Malpractice lawyer knows what to do.
As knowledgeable and skilled representatives in medical malpractice, lawyers understand what the challenges are and how to face them. If they accept your case, they will invest the financial and legal resources needed to resolve your claim. Lawyers who specialize in malpractice have access to an entire network of experts who can offer professional advice and statements, and may not even charge you unless they win the settlement or judgment is made in your favour.
You are not financially responsible for the errors doctors can make.
In any profession, it is natural for errors in judgement to be made, and doctors are no exception, but you do not have to pay for their neglect or carelessness.
Types of medical malpractice include:
– Failing to appropriately detect a treatable cancer
– Failing to recognize a deadly infection
– Holes made in the bowel and colon
– Mistakes made during delivery and childbirth
– Errors with medications
– Failing to properly identify and properly treat injuries
Steps in a Civil Action Suit
In Alberta, most malpractice and product liability actions are through the Court of Queen’s Bench, although there are some exceptions – if actions are $25,000.00 or less, meaning they would fall under the Civil Department of the Provincial Court, and if actions against practitioners who are employed by the Federal Government, then under the jurisdiction of the Federal Court.
It can be challenging and costly to go to court for a medical malpractice or product liability action suits, and the percentage of those suits that are settled are usually much lower than in other kinds of civil actions. Though medical malpractice or product liability action suits are generally settled for much less than civil one, these suits are the only way to recuperate the financial cost of damages caused by malpractice, the incorrect use or prescription of medication, or even a medical product used by a doctor while diagnosing or treating the client.
You need to consider the following in any medical malpractice or product liability suit:
– The time it may take
According to legislation, civil action suits have a the limitation period, so it is especially important to file your case as soon as possible to avoid further complications. By getting legal guidance early on, you can make an informed decision moving forward with your suit.
– The probability of a settlement
The plaintiff in a civil action suit could recover funds by a settlement, or court judgment.
The Possibility of a Settlement
In Alberta, receiving a settlement is much less likely in medical malpractice cases than with other civil litigation suits, such accident claims.
That being said, malpractice and product liability actions will result in fairer settlements when the plaintiffs are represented by a lawyer who is responsible for the legal process of the suit.
The Probability of Judgment
To get a judgment in your favour, the plaintiff must show that the care they received (medication, surgery or other treatment) was damaging, and in accordance to specific aspects:
– Negligence for breach of the standard of care
– Negligence for breach of the disclosure requirement
– Breach of a contract to offer medical services in accordance with the
requirement of care
– Negligence for product liability
It’s not all about financial loss.
There is no amount of money that will make up for the damages that can result from medical malpractice or product liability, especially if a patient faces disability, or even fatally injured (see also: Edmonton injury lawyers). The amount of damages you can recover is limited by law though and based on the proceedings along with any agreement reached between the parties or as ruled by a judge for proof submitted during the case.
Your legal counsel will assess your case and the probability of a judgement in your favour, as well as how much you could be awarded by a judgment in court. In many cases, counsel for the plaintiff and the defendant negotiate a settlement outside of court. In all other actions, a settlement can be reached through mediation with a lawyer or or a judge.
Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Damages
Damages can be divided into two categories: pecuniary and non-pecuniary. Pecuniary damages refer to a quantifiable monetary value or amount, like medical bills, property replacement or repairs, loss of wages or any other loss that can be calculated. Non-pecuniary damages are more difficult to quantify, like pain and suffering, emotional or psychological harm, loss of future wages, disfigurement, or loss of quality of life.
Damages for Physical Injury
Damages for a physical injury can include:
– Non-pecuniary damages for pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life
– Non-pecuniary damages for loss of consortium (losing benefits of family relationships due to injuries)
– Non-pecuniary or budgeting damages for loss of family services in the past and inability to carry out household activities in the future.
– Monetary damages for the loss of past income and inability to earn an income in the future.
– Budgeting damages for costs that have been, or will be needed for sustained medical treatment and care.
– Damages for Fatal Injury
When the damage is fatal, budgeting damages may be granted for:
– Travel and accommodation costs related to
patient appointments between the time of the injury and death
– Fees for grief therapy for the partner or other family
members of the deceased
– Expenses for the funeral service and burial of the patient’s body
– Loss of financial security and household income for the
patient’s dependents or loss of income to the patient’s estate
The Alberta Fatal Accidents Act states that damages can also be granted for sorrow, and the loss of assistance, care and companionship of the deceased (without evidence of this damage). These damages are available to the spouse or the legal partner of the deceased, or parents of the deceased if the deceased was under 18 years of ages, or was 18 to 25 years old, unwed, or living with an adult common law partner at the time of death.
Damages are granted as follows:
- Damages in the amount of $ 75,000.00 if the death occurred after October 31, 2002.
- Damages in the amount of $43,000.00 if the death occurred on or after March 1, 2000 but before November 1, 2002.
- Damages in the amount of $40,000.00 if the death took place after August 31, 1994, but before March 1, 2000.
Each son or daughter of the patient who was under 18 years of ages, or was 18 to 25 years of ages and not married or living in an adult interdependent partnership at the time of the death of the individual in question. Damages can also be granted to family members in the amount of:
- $ 45,000.00 if the death took place after October 31, 2002
- $ 27,000.00 if the death took place on or after March 1, 2000 but before November 1, 2002
- $25,000.00 if the death took place after August 31, 1994 but before March 1, 2000.
According to the Alberta Adult Interdependent Relationships Act , an adult interdependent partnership is considered legal if two individuals have consistently lived with another in an interdependence relationship for no less than three years or demonstrating permanence, if there are any children from the relationship either by birth or adoption, if there is an adult interdependent partner contract between both individuals.
The Court of Appeal of Alberta has actually lifted restrictions with the Fatal Accidents Act that prohibited children of the deceased from claiming damages for sorrow, and loss of guidance, care and companionship unless they are under 18 years old, or are 18 to 25 years of ages and not married or living with an adult guardian, at the time of the patient’s death. By doing so, the Court of Appeal found that those limitations were an unjustified breach of the rights of married or older children under area 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Liberty (see here).
The interest granted on damages
Following the Judgment Interest Act, interest is often awarded on non-pecuniary damages for any discomfort, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, loss of the ability to perform family services, and on pecuniary damages for any expenses that have occurred and for the previous loss of earnings and family services.
Interest is calculated at the rate of 4% annually on non-pecuniary damages as decided by regulation on budgeting damages, and is not incremental.
Expenses for the Plaintiff in the Execution of an Action Suit
Before a malpractice case goes to trial, the plaintiff will be expected to pay for expenses, unless their legal representatives cover some or all of the costs. These include:
- the fee charged by the Clerk of the Court to submit the statement of claim ($ 200.00).
- the costs to get copies of physician and hospital records, usually between $60.00 and $100.00 for each requested document, plus the amount charged for photocopying which can be considerable if there are many records.
- any charges from specialists who offer their opinion which vary depending on their area of expertise, the time spent evaluating medical and other records, research, or literature that must be consulted related to the case to reach a conclusion on their part.
- the charges for court reporters and transcript services or assessments requested on behalf of the plaintiff, and providing copies of all records for the evaluation of the defendant.
- any costs charged by experts, doctors and other specialists who have diagnosed and treated the plaintiff’s injury, their preparation for and attendance of the trial. These costs vary from hourly to daily, plus any other costs witnesses have if they are required to travel.
- miscellaneous expenses for long-distance phone calls, internet fees, faxes, shipments, copies, etc.
The plaintiff could also be required to pay the legal costs of the prosecuting lawyers, unless they consent to a contingency charge, meaning the fee is payable only if the result is in favour of the defendant.
Necessary Steps to Advance Medical Malpractice Action
An action in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta involves the following:
– Notices to confess
– Affidavits of records
– Examinations for discovery
– Service of the statements of specialists
– Pre-trial conferences
Expenses the Defendant Pays if the Plaintiff Receives a Judgment
Generally, costs for the case are passed on to the non-successful parties in a court ruling. If the plaintiff obtains a judgment, the defendant will be required to pay the plaintiff’s expenses.
Although doctors are widely respected individuals, malpractice lawyers will represent the plaintiff’s rights when their lives have been seriously affected by negligence, errors, or oversights.
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