A civil action must be commenced within the limitation period prescribed by legislation. The limitation period for a particular action cannot be determined without careful consideration of the relevant facts, legislation and case law. If you are considering whether you should commence a malpractice or product liability action (or any other action), you should immediately seek legal advice with respect to the limitation period for that action.
A plaintiff in a civil action may recover compensation by a settlement, or by judgment granted by the court. In our experience, it is much less likely to recover compensation by settlement in medical malpractice cases than in other types of civil litigation suits (such as motor vehicle accident lawsuits). However, many medical malpractice and product liability actions result in fair settlements when the plaintiffs are advised and represented by counsel who are willing and able to effectively prosecute those actions through examinations for discovery, trials, and appeals (if those steps are justified by the probability of obtaining judgment and the likely amount of any judgment that may be obtained).
In order to obtain a judgment in a medical malpractice action, it is not sufficient for the plaintiff to establish that the treatment of the patient (for example, by medication, surgery, or other procedure) was ineffective or harmful. Rather, there are a number of specific elements that must be established in each particular case. Thus, the plaintiff can obtain judgment by establishing the elements of a cause of action:
The probability of the plaintiff obtaining a judgment should be assessed on the basis of the evidence available to establish the elements of the cause of action.
In advancing a malpractice action to trial, the plaintiff will incur at least the following expenses (unless their lawyers agree to cover some or all of these costs):
The plaintiff will also be required to pay the legal fees of the lawyers who prosecute the action unless those lawyers agree to a contingency fee (a fee based on a percentage of recovery from the defendant).
GST (Goods and Services Tax) will be payable on the legal fees of the lawyers who prosecute the action and on most of the expenses incurred to prosecute the action (the exceptions include the fee charged to file the statement of claim and the charges for other services provided by government agencies).
In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, effective March 23, 2020, the majority of our lawyers and employees will be working remotely. All lawyers and employees have the ability to work remotely with access to electronic mail, telephone systems and electronic files. We remain dedicated and committed to helping our clients and providing a high level of legal services.
Whichever lawyer represents you, your case will be supported by the collective knowledge of our entire firm.Learn More