The most difficult and challenging area of legal practice, Samuel A. Mossman has successfully handled many complex medical malpractice claims and has several multi-million dollar awards to his credit. Mr. Mossman has been active in this area of legal work throughout his more than 35 years as a lawyer.
Medical malpractice claims require thorough investigation, research and detailed preparation.
If you feel that you or a loved one has been seriously injured through the negligence of a medical doctor or other health care provider you should consult with a lawyer who has experience in this area of legal work.
You Need to Know
- There is a cost to investigating any medical malpractice claim. These costs include obtaining all relevant medical records and obtaining an opinion from one or more qualified medical experts. The cost usually runs from $2,000 to $5,000 to gather the required records and secure an initial expert opinion.
- Before obtaining a medical opinion, consideration must be given to the potential value of the claim and the anticipated cost of pursuing it. An appropriate balance must be struck between the value of the claim, the cost of pursuing the claim and the perceived chance of success.
- It is rarely worthwhile to pursue a medical malpractice claim that is thought to have a value of less than $50,000 to $75,000; however, in cases worth relatively small amounts, if the healthcare provider’s liability is obvious, it may be reasonable to pursue such a claim.
- In any case, but particularly in medical malpractice cases, there should be a reasonable relationship between the cost of pursuing the claim, the risk (the odds of winning or losing) and the amount at stake (the potential value of the claim). Few medical malpractice claims are risk-free. The amount of risk you should be prepared to accept is directly related to the value of the—the higher the value of the claim, the more risk you may be prepared to tolerate.
- Malpractice claims against medical doctors are defended by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). The CMPA vigorously defends all such claims and usually will not settle a claim that they believe is “defensible.” Nevertheless the CMPA will settle claims where they believe there is a good chance they will lose at trial. This is especially so for cases involving very serious injuries and substantial monetary damages.
- There is a time limit for commencing a court action against a healthcare provider. Any such claim must be commenced within two years of when the claimant knew, or ought to have known, the facts upon which his/ her claim is based. In cases involving infants (persons under the age of 18) or incompetent persons, that time limit may not apply. If you are contemplating any court action, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to insure that your claim is not defeated by the passage of time.
You Can Expect
- An initial meeting will take place, at which Mr. Mossman will personally interview you to obtain the basic facts of your case.
- Mr. Mossman will consider whether he has a “gut reaction” to the case; in other words, he will determine whether he believes it is "winnable."
- Mr. Mossman will discuss with you his initial impression of the potential value of the claim.
- Based on his “gut reaction” and the perceived potential value of the claim, a decision will be made as to whether or not to proceed with an investigation.
- If an investigation is to be undertaken, Mr. Mossman will require that a retainer be provided to cover the cost of the investigation.
- Mr. Mossman will order and review the relevant medical records. If the records reveal facts or issues that cause him to reconsider the appropriateness of further investigating the claim, he will discuss his concerns with you.
- Assuming that the investigation proceeds, Mr. Mossman will find an appropriately qualified medical expert or experts who are willing to review the claim and provide an opinion as to the merits of the claim.
- Mr. Mossman will discuss with you the findings and opinions of the medical expert and will review with you again the cost of pursuing the claim, the potential value of the claim, the chances of success and the risks of pursuing the claim.
- Mr. Mossman’s fee, to this point, is typically $500 to $1000.
- In most cases, if the decision is made to go ahead with the claim, Mr. Mossman will invest his time pursuing the claim but will require that all out-of-pocket expenses will be paid by you. In some circumstances, financing arrangements may have to be made and Mr. Mossman may, in a special case, share in the financial burden of pursuing a claim.
Assuming that a decision is made to pursue the claim, a statement of claim will be issued to commence a court action and the litigation will proceed from that point (unless the matter is settled before trial) through:
a) Exchange of “Pleadings”
b) Document Production
c) Oral “Discovery”
e) Pre-Trial Settlement Conference
If you feel that you have a claim that merits consideration, call or email the law office of Samuel A. Mossman to arrange a consultation.