In Part 1 of this article, you learned that all personal injury cases in Calgary—including medical malpractice cases—begin with an act of negligence, where someone’s actions create the risk of harm for others. You also learned that negligence in medical malpractice can be more difficult to establish than in other personal injury cases. Medical professionals and institutions have specific standards of care they must live up to, defined by the medical community at large as well as by certain laws, and establishing negligence requires showing that the care you received deviated from these standards in a significant way.
Even if you can establish negligence on the part of a Calgary medical professional, however, you may not have grounds for a medical malpractice case. Though there are many ways that negligence could occur in a medical setting—a missed or incorrect diagnosis for a condition that should have been caught, a surgical error that occurs out of carelessness, an infection acquired due to improper hospital procedures, medication errors, etc.—not all instances of negligence result in serious injuries or other harm.
Without any serious injury, there isn’t a viable medical malpractice claim.
Calgary Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Have a Financial Focus
We are fortunate to live in one of the safest cities in the world. Calgary is also home to many world-class healthcare providers and institutions, the vast majority of whom exercise a great deal of caution and care when treating patients. Mistakes are relatively rare, and when they occur they can frequently be resolved by discussing them with your doctor or other relevant medical staff—the cases that truly require the attention of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer are few and far between.
Still, when you have been the victim of a medical error it makes sense that you would want to hold your healthcare team accountable. You want them to acknowledge their mistake, and you want to ensure that they don’t make the same mistake again. But while a medical malpractice lawsuit is one way to accomplish this, it isn’t the primary focus of any medical malpractice case—or even any personal injury case—in the eyes of the law.
The primary reason medical malpractice and personal injury laws exist is to make sure victims of other people’s negligence are compensated for the costs of their injuries. This includes lost earnings, medical bills, long-term pain and suffering, and more. If an instance of negligence did not cause you serious harm, chances are it did not present you with any significant costs, therefore there would be no grounds for a lawsuit. Calgary’s courts and Canada’s laws are not interested in adjudicating cases where no real damages occurred.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious. Some injuries can take time to develop, and what may seem like a minor irritant can become a chronic problem. If you are concerned that you may experience long-term injuries due to negligence on the part of a healthcare provider, you are fully within your rights to seek a second medical opinion and to consult with a Calgary medical malpractice lawyer.
For a free initial consultation, please contact our office today.