In legal language, medical liability is generally understood as liability in the health sector (being a part of "Medical Law"), which includes not only the liability of the individual physician, but also the liability of hospitals (or private clinics), and the liability of other health professionals (chiropractors, dentists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, etc). We are constantly managing cases in which patients feel mistreated by doctors as well as by hospitals. By contrast, we are not called to deal with general maladministration in the health sector. In this regard, we refer to the patient advocacy installed in all provinces.
Liability issues in the health sector touch on a broad area of law, in which many detailed legal provisions as well as individual decisions of the courts are to be observed.
Medical treatment always requires special trust between patients and doctors. Patients rely on medically correct treatment, complete and accurate information about the risks and consequences of medical procedures, a safe environment when going to a hospital or health resort for treatment, as well as a humane approach by doctors and other personnel.
In this sensitive and complex area of law, not only legal expertise but also empathy and understanding are required - aspects that we seek to emphasize in our daily work. Clarification of facts is of special importance in this area, whereby we ask our clients to work with us to ascertain medical facts. It is only possible through this preparatory activity to clarify in some cases that either there is no treatment error in the strict sense, or that the chances of success are so small that a legal procedure would mean more effort and expense for a patient than he or she is willing to invest.
In the case of an error in treatment (also referred to as "malpractice"), inadequate, late or in the worst case not existing information, but also in cases of defective medical devices, or incorrect organization of a hospital, the patient may be entitled to damages, especially for pain, but also to compensation for medical expenses and loss of earnings. If, after consultation with other physicians, or after determination of the facts from the point of view of the client, there is a mistake in treatment or other facts justifying a claim, we help to quantify these claims. For that purpose we do not only rely on our broad experience, but of course also on an extensive library. We have already represented dozens of cases in the field of health liability and generally support the calculation of claims by referencing court rulings from the German-speaking area in order to avoid excessive claims and to keep the costs of proceedings to a minimum.
We represent patients in proceedings for damages not only in court, but also before relevant arbitration boards, whereby we invariably seek to achieve a pre-litigation or out-of-court solution. In many cases, however, this is not possible as unfortunately, in general, hospitals, but also medical professionals (and their respective liability insurance companies), are only willing to pay or satisfy legitimate claims of our clients, if these claims are determined by a court, usually after the appointment of a qualified medical expert.
We are familiar with both sides of such disputes, as we represent both doctors and patients, and we generally try to find an amicable and quick out-of-court solution in order to spare our clients time-consuming and potentially costly proceedings in front of courts or arbitration boards.