One of the common fears we at BILA hear from families when they are contemplating bringing a legal claim for compensation for injuries to their child at birth, is whether pursuing a legal claim against doctors or nurses will compromise their child’s future medical care. Families may be particularly concerned if they live in a smaller community and are thinking about bringing a claim against the same doctors and/or facility where your child will be receiving care.
This is a perfectly understandable worry for parents, especially where their child may require a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, and therapists to help them with their child’s future medical care. We want to put your mind at ease that this should not be a worry for your family .Bringing a legal claim against doctors or nurses should not result in any compromised or substandard future medical care for your child.
The birth injury lawyers of BILA understand that parents are often worried about whether pursuing legal action will impact their child negatively. We will work with you to address these and other fears, all while pursuing justice for your family.
Advocating for Your Child Should Not Affect Their Care
As an initial matter, it is important to remember that in most instances, the doctors, nurses or other health care professionals that would be named in the lawsuit would not likely be the same doctors or nurses involved in the future care of your child. Your child’s future medical care in most instances will be provided by different doctors, nurses and therapists that had no involvement in the events that would be the subject of the legal claim and are unlikely to have any affiliation with or direct involvement with the doctors or nurses being sued. In fact, in many cases, your child’s treating doctors, nurses and therapists may not even know that a legal claim has been commenced.
Further, and perhaps more importantly, doctors and nurses are professionals that have both ethical and legal obligations to uphold a proper level of care for any patient that they treat. Doctors and nurses cannot ethically provide a substandard level of medical care and treatment to a patient simply because of their personal circumstances. For instance, doctors are ethically required to treat a patient that is a convicted murderer with the same level of care as a patient who is an upstanding law-abiding citizen.
For this reason, it is extremely unlikely that a doctor or other care provider would compromise their ethical duty and provide a substandard level of care to your child simply because you have commenced a claim against another doctor or health care professional. If anything, healthcare professionals may be even more conscientious in providing your child with high quality care because they know that you are a fierce advocate for your child.
This also extends beyond an ethical duty to being a legal duty on doctors and nurses to maintain and uphold what is described at law as a reasonable standard of care for all of their patients no matter their background or circumstances. Again, health care professionals cannot provide a lesser or substandard level of care or they could be legally negligent for doing so.
Beyond these protections for all patients, we can further assure you that in our considerable experience at BILA in representing families with children who have suffered injuries at birth, it is almost unheard of to find another doctor, nurse, therapist or other health care provider that has provided substandard care to a child simply because they are upset or offended that the family has decided to pursue a legal claim for injuries suffered. In fact, in our experience, most doctors and other health care providers can be quite supportive of families that are seeking ways to improve the lives of their child, including through legal means. This can be especially so where their child has suffered life-altering injuries at birth and will no doubt have substantial care needs for the rest of their lives.
Seeking Justice for Your Child
Doctors and nurses are professionals. They will usually understand why a family would consider pursuing a claim for compensation and that there are likely significant financial needs for the family and sacrifices that they will have to make in their lives to care for their injured or even disabled child. In fact, the healthcare professionals who are treating your child’s developmental delays or other disabilities probably have a greater understanding about the challenges that you will face as a family.
Doctors and nurses understand that their medical colleagues are not perfect. Like all humans, they may have made a mistake, error or lapse in judgment that could have led to the child’s injuries. That does not make the doctor or nurse any less of a person or professional. They would know that unfortunately, even the best doctors or nurses can make a mistake or error in their practice.
That is also why doctors, nurses, and hospitals carry insurance or other means of coverage to address compensating victims of medical malpractice. For doctors, they usually have coverage through the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). For nurses and hospitals, the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) or other provincial insurer will usually provide insurance coverage for them. Doctors, nurses and hospitals carry such coverage as a means to ensure that when negligent mistakes occur, there is a means to address compensation to those that have been injured.
Therefore, doctors and nurses will usually not be surprised or even offended if they learn that you have decided to pursue a legal claim to seek compensation for your child’s injuries. They have coverage to address and respond to that. And it is certainly one of the reasons we simply do not see issues arising with the ongoing medical care of children that we represent in these cases.
We hope this helps you better understand that bringing a claim for compensation almost never results in any stigma or substandard medical care in the future from health care professionals. This is certainly not a typical or common occurrence in our experience.
How BILA Can Help
If your child has suffered injuries at birth and you are having any hesitation about whether to pursue a legal claim for compensation because of concerns or fears of how your child’s future medical care may be impacted, please reach out to us at BILA. We would be happy to discuss your concerns in more detail. Remember, there is no obligation to pursue a lawsuit just because you have reached out to us, there is no cost for reaching out to us, and all of our discussions are completely confidential.
BILA is an alliance of seasoned birth injury lawyers who have substantial experience handling all types of birth injury cases throughout Canada. We also have tremendous compassion for our clients, and an understanding of the concerns and fears that they may have about pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you are interested in learning more about your legal rights and options for pursuing a case, call us at 1-800-300-BILA or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation with a birth injury lawyer in your province.
- Ethical: https://www.cma.ca/cma-code-ethics-and-professionalism
- CMPA: https://www.cmpa-acpm.ca/en/home
The Birth Injury Lawyers’ Alliance of Canada (BILA) was formed in 2016 by a group of lawyers from across Canada with considerable experience in birth injury cases to promote the effective representation of children and families affected by avoidable injuries occurring at or around the time of birth.