Mistakes to avoid when you suspect medical negligence.

“I think that most people tend not to realize that once a significant error has occurred, it may be very difficult for them to continue with the medical services with the person who potentially was the cause of the error.

And most people are actually really quite forgiving especially if the medical person tells them ‘this was an error, this was a mistake, if I had done this instead of that, then this would have been the result.’

“It is at that point, unfortunately, that they have to stop and go somewhere else for further medical treatment. It doesn’t make it better to say that the doctor apologized for the mistake. Because litigation has a different set of criteria, most people should, at that point, ask for a referral to another expert for further treatment either through the doctor, which may be problematic, but certainly through their family physician. In most cases, the family physician is understanding and will guide them to some other medical expert who can help them on an ongoing basis.

“That is probably the biggest problem that I face with people who have had significant medical malpractice. They stay with the doctor who caused the problem and that causes litigation problems. We only have two years from the date of the occurrence when the medical malpractice was known or ought to have been known to commence the claim in court and we have to be very mindful of that timeframe.

“Because of that deadline, I really urge the people who come before me to instruct me to get started right away on retrieving the medical information (the hospital records, the family doctor’s records) viewing them, sending them off to an expert, and doing the thorough work-up we have to do in order to advise our client that they have a case.

“If that is not done within two years, the person who suffered the medical negligence is forever barred from bringing the claim, subject to certain very specific exceptions having to do with the inability to discover that you have been a subject of medical negligence.”


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Strype Barristers LLP.

This article is taken from a July 4, 2007 interview with Jeff Strype LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Strype Barristers LLP in Toronto , a Personal Injury Law Firm.

Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.