Stroke Induced Disabilities: More Medical Malpractice Suits Predicted

When blood flow to the brain is restricted, it results in cell-death and what follows is known as a Cerebro-Vascular Accident (CVA) more commonly known as a “stroke.” Strokes can also be caused by bleeding inside the brain.

Some strokes can result in death, while others leave the patient temporarily or permanently disabled. They can also cause increased vulnerability to other conditions and diseases, emotional and cognitive disorders, mood swings, language and speech difficulties etc. The symptoms can range from dizziness, severe headaches, vision disturbances, numbness, weakness to difficulties in walking, slurred speech etc.

Surviving A Stroke

Immediate medical attention is required to limit the damage to the brain and also reduce the extent of resultant disability. Strokes are often misdiagnosed or the symptoms are disregarded by negligent or busy health-care professionals. This can result in huge consequences for the patient and families of such patients.

Fatal strokes have reduced considerably in number across Canada, and today, studies show that there is an almost 83% survival rate. However, surviving a stroke brings its own set of issues that the patient and family have to deal with. Severe physical, financial and emotional burdens are imposed on the patient and all those involved in caring for the patient.

Recent data shows that nearly 405,000 people have survived a stroke and are living with a variety of disabilities. The figures are projected to be even higher by 2038, where almost 750,000 Canadians may be living with stroke-induced disabilities.

One of the reasons for these alarming figures could be the rapidly aging population across the country. Improvements in medical care also result in higher survival rates, but as David Sculthorpe, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation warns, we need to do even more in “raising awareness of the signs of stroke and improving prevention and care.”

Stroke Treatments

When the stroke occurs, the immediate emergency treatment focuses on stabilizing the system. Following this, a rigorous and systematic treatment plan has to be put in place to limit the destructive effects of the stroke.

The treatment for dealing with strokes should include:

  • Early intervention in a stroke rehabilitation unit attached to a hospital
  • Subacute treatment
  • Rehabilitation
  • Home-based therapy
  • Outpatient therapy
  • Long-term patient care for onsite treatment or nursing care if required

Often doctors focus on helping the patient survive the stroke, but where they may fall short is in providing the appropriate follow-up care. This can lead to prolonged periods of disability, deterioration in brain function, failure to fully recover etc.

If you or a dear one has suffered a stroke due to misdiagnosis, or failed to receive the proper follow-up treatment, it’s important to consult an experienced, qualified and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who has dealt with similar cases earlier.

Types of Misdiagnosis

Health-care workers/Doctors may fail to:

  • Analyze patient history/records
  • Monitor patient in the hospital
  • Perform CT/MRI scan
  • Discharge patient without proper work-up
  • Consult neurologist/neuro-surgeon
  • Provide clot-dissolving medications

Keeping these factors in mind, in some cases, failure to prevent, diagnose or treat strokes can be construed as medical malpractice. An experienced personal injury lawyer can advise/assist/advocate for you in such a situation.

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Drivers’ Responsibilities: Right Of Way vs Exercising Proper Care and Safety

A decision by a trial court judge, which was upheld on appeal brought into sharp focus the fact that right of way rules do not in any way provide protection against liability for an accident.

The City of Ottawa was ordered to pay $2 million in damages in a 2008 crash that caused the death of three people. An OC Transpo bus on a green light had T-boned the SUV in which five youngsters were traveling. Though the SUV driver had been drinking heavily, driving erratically and running a red light, the judgment still held the bus driver responsible partially for not applying proper safety measures.

The Gardiner v MacDonald Case

Ben Gardiner and four of his friends had visited the Carleton University graduate students’ bar, another pub, and a karaoke bar prior to the accident. Mark MacDonald, the driver of the SUV in which they had been traveling was reported by eyewitnesses to have been driving erratically and running several red lights before the fatal collision which occurred at an intersection at 2 am.

The bus driver who had more than two decades’ experience was found to have been moderately over the speed limit, though he had right of way on green at that intersection. He was also found to have briefly checked his rear-view mirrors at the intersection (as the drivers’ manual in fact enjoins him to do) thus taking his attention away momentarily from the road.

Two of the passengers and the driver, MacDonald, were killed while two passengers survived. Gardiner and his family sued the city, the  pubs and MacDonald’s estate for compensation due to negligent driving. Another deceased victim’s family also sued.

Since toxicology reports confirmed that MacDonald had been drinking, his insurers declined coverage and had to pay only the minimum $200,000 which was split between the plaintiffs. Hence, though the municipality was apportioned only 20% of the fault in the accident, it was the City which had to pay the bulk of damages, as all other parties were unable to pay. This is due to the principle of joint and several liability contained in insurance regulations.

The bus driver and the city appealed, but their application was turned down and the trial judge’s decision was upheld.

Right of Way vs Safe and Alert Driving

In this particular case, the judgment was based on important factors that include:

  • Drivers with right of way must still exercise proper care and proceed only when it’s safe to do so
  • Professional drivers are to be held to a higher standard of care than the general public. The bus driver in question was a highly experienced driver.
  • The bus driver was driving above speed limit in poor weather and road conditions.
  • The speed rendered the bus driver unable to react quickly enough at the intersection.
  • Drivers with right of way may also be found partially responsible for accidents.

If you or a dear one has been injured, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to advise and assist you with claiming the compensation you deserve. Our knowledgeable and skilled car accident lawyers can help safeguard your rights and protect your interests.

Mississauga Personal Injury Lawyer – Singh Barristers

Yield To Pedestrians – It’s The Law!

 HEAD OFFICE: 2250 Bovaird Drive East, Suite: 406, Brampton, ON, L6R 0W3

OFFICE: 905 495 7333

Mississauga personal injury lawyers at Singh Barristers are with you every step of the way if you or a dear one has been injured in an accident. 

Pedestrians, like cyclists and motorcycle-riders, are among the most vulnerable of road-users. They have no barrier against impact forces when collisions happen and horrific injuries can result. 

Apart from being injured in motor-vehicle collisions, people are also at risk of slipping/tripping and falling on sidewalks, driveways, inside and outside private homes and public spaces, parking-lots, entertainment and amusement parks, restaurants, clubs, etc. Though most of us assume that these accidents can only cause minor sprains, cuts or bruises, the truth is that many of them can even be fatal. 

Contact a Mississauga personal injury lawyer in case of an accident without delay. You may be entitled to compensation. 

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Accidents Don’t “Happen” – They’re Caused! 

Most accidents, as our experienced mississauga car accident lawyer and mississauga slip and fall injury lawyer know, are not merely unfortunate events. They’re usually preventable and avoidable. Accidents are caused by someone’s fault or negligence. Many car accidents are caused by distracted/drunk/careless drivers, while slip and fall accidents are caused by lack of adherence to reasonable safety norms. 

Do I Really Need A Lawyer? 

When people are injured in accidents, their main focus is on getting medical attention and ensuring that the injured are safe and being treated properly. 

Victims and their families assume that insurance companies will adequately handle all matters regarding compensation. 

However, as our 24 hour injury lawyers know from experience, insurance-companies may not always act in good faith as their core interest would be to preserve their business bottom-line. 

They may adopt various strategies to delay, dismiss or deny your claims or minimize the extent of liability of the at-fault party. Often, they may compel you to make statements, submissions or admissions that prove you were partially or wholly at fault in contributing to the accident. 

We ensure that your rights are fully protected, deal with the complex paperwork and procedures and assist you with advice till full and satisfactory settlement is achieved. 

If you, your family or a friend has been injured in an accident, please feel free to speak to one of our injury lawyers for a free consultation about how we are able to assist in making a personal injury claim. We consult in all cities across Ontario with a no win no fee guarantee. Our personal injury lawyers have helped victims secure millions of dollars in personal injury cases. Call us Toll Free On our 24/7 Injury Hotline: 1 – 844 495 7333 or Text a Personal Injury ‎Lawyer 24/7 and get instant help. (416 931 5015)