FAQ: What is Professional Malpractice?
When you seek the services of a professional (doctor, accountant, or lawyer), you have the right to expect they will provide those services in a reasonable manner. That means they will proceed with your best interests in mind. If for any reason you feel that a doctor, accountant, or lawyer did not act in your best interests, you might have recourse by filing a professional malpractice lawsuit. But how do you know if there was professional malpractice?
What is Professional Malpractice?
Doctors, accountants, and lawyers are human before they are anything else. With that in mind, you cannot expect them to always be perfect when servicing your needs. By law, they are only required to provide services in a way that a reasonable professional would provide the same services. Professional malpractice only occurs under certain circumstances and when they fail the reasonableness standard.
What is professional malpractice? To meet the standard for filing a professional malpractice lawsuit, two criteria must be present. First, you must have suffered some kind of damages. If it’s a doctor you are dealing with, something the doctor did or didn’t do must have caused you some kind of physical or mental harm.
If an accountant were to provide you or an outside organization with erroneous or missing information, that information must have caused you legal or financial harm. If it’s a lawyer that you are questioning, the harm must be in the form of an adverse judgment or conviction that was caused by something your lawyer did or did not do properly in handling your case.
You need to also keep in mind that you too must have acted reasonably in dealing with your doctor, accountant, or lawyer. If you were to fail to disclose important information that led to an adverse result, it would not be reasonable that the professional would be held accountable for your lack of disclosure.
Professional Malpractice Example:
You go to your doctor about a pain issue, expecting the doctor to prescribe an opioid pain medication while diagnosing and treating the related condition. If you were to neglect to tell the doctor you have an addiction to painkillers and would happen to overdose, you would not be able to sue the doctor for professional malpractice. However, if you did disclose your addiction and they prescribed the medication anyway, you might well have proximate cause to file a professional malpractice lawsuit against the doctor.
How to File a Professional Malpractice Lawsuit
If you feel you have met the above standards for a malpractice lawsuit, you are well within your rights to test the waters. Professional malpractice or negligence lawsuits touch on some very completed laws and issues. It is not something you are going to be able to handle on your own. Your best recourse would be to enlist the services of a top negligence lawyer.
Depending on the damages you feel you have suffered, a large settlement might be in the offering. With so much on the line, you would be well advised to secure the services of a Canadian lawyer who specializes in professional malpractice lawsuits. Yes, a general practitioner could probably handle your case. However, it would be better to get a professional malpractice lawyer if there is any chance your case is going to get complicated.
Here are the advantages of hiring a good professional malpractice lawyer:
- Based on the information you would provide, they would be able to reasonably determine whether you have cause for a lawsuit or not
- They will have a thorough understanding of the professional malpractice laws in your jurisdiction
- They will be able to effectively and efficiently file the lawsuit, handling all the paperwork on your behalf
- They will have an understanding of how the court system works
- They will have the ability to call witnesses and expert witnesses and effectively questioned them
- They will get all due respect from the court system (judge and jury if applicable)
- They will have a reasonable idea of what damages you should seek in your lawsuit
If you are wondering about professional malpractice lawyers near me, you will find you have several choices. First, you can always try the phone registry. However, that option has become a bit antiquated because it really offers people very little information about the lawyers they will be contacting.
If by chance you have read about or know someone who has used a really good professional malpractice lawyer, referrals can be very reliable. The person giving the referral can offer useful information about a specific lawyer, which might help put your mind at ease.
Finally, scouring the internet for a lawyer in your area of Canada has become the best available option. It gives you a chance to learn more about the professional malpractice lawyers in Montreal and those in your area, which gives you a fast means of comparing those who are available. Also, most web pages for lawyers will offer up referrals from people who have had a good experience with the lawyers in question.
NOTE: This article does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. It is only used to inform readers about certain aspects of law.