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J. Arthur Cogan
Medical Malpractice
Why is medical malpractice different from any other type of personal injury claim? In most personal injury claims, the events that caused the damage are factual and most people can understand the how and why it has occurred. In medical malpractice however, the injury or damage results from the failure of a health specialist exercising a duty of care owed to the patient. Whether there has been negligence in failing to exercise reasonable care or not, is a question that is dependent upon expert opinion and knowledge of another person in that field. As a result, the lawyer must possess sufficient knowledge and experience in medical cases in order to advise you of the claim, determine which experts are needed, what and how to obtain all necessary medical records and finally to place a value of the damages and the causal link to the negligence.

The Importance of Communication
Due to the complexities of medical cases it is important that the Lawyer and Client review the medical records so that there can be a complete understanding of what may have happened. Often, once a tragedy has occurred the patient is abandoned or ignored. Communication seems to come to an end due to the fact that care givers are concerned with insurance issues and fear that by speaking to the patient they may inadvertently make admissions against their personal interest. Therefore, in the end a compassionate, experienced and knowledgeable lawyer will be the most reliable resource for the patient and their family.

Birth Injury Cases
This is one of the most tragic and devastating areas of medical practice for a patient to experience. The damages or injuries to the baby usually are permanent and catastrophic. It will impact upon every other member of the family for the rest of their lives as well.

The most important questions that need to be answered are "Why did this happen?" "Did anything go wrong?" "Could it have been prevented?"

Often medical providers shy away from answering these questions for fear they risk making admissions against their own interest and therefore are not forthright with the patient. This wall of silence exacerbates the situation even further and the notion of distrust increases moment by moment.

In many cases, birth injuries can be prevented and early detection possible.

The reason for this is due to the fact both mother and fetus provide symptoms that are observed visually and monitored by instruments. For example, the fetus' heart rate is a very sound indicator of it's well being. If the pattern suddenly changes and becomes non-reassuring, a sign of fetal distress is noted, close vigilant monitoring will result in either earlier delivery by caesarean section or the administering of additional oxygen and other steps depending on the duration for the distress. To do nothing is the first sign of potential negligence. Failure to communicate between nurses and physicians is also a sign of potential negligence. Failure of the obstetrician to be aware of what is going on, establish a working diagnosis and treatment plan for expedited delivery is another signal of potential negligence. Often poor notes are a deliberate attempt or signal to hide mistakes. Missing records or amended records must be noted when piecing the events together to see if negligence occurred. Many records show no diagnosis made.

It is our belief that a fetus speaks through its bodily functions and therefore care givers are responsible to listen, record and diagnose what the fetus is saying. Ignoring these all important signs usually spells disaster.

A lawyer must be experienced and knowledgeable in medicine in order to properly review medical records and advise the client accordingly. This experience results from handling hundreds of cases. There is no short cut.

Motor Vehicle Accidents
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and have sustained injuries, you should contact a lawyer immediately. There is new legislation in Ontario governing car accident victims and strict deadlines exist for making a claim for damages. You may be entitled to accident benefits, however, you may also have the right to sue for damages if you have a sustained a serious and permanent injury.

Slip and Fall
If you have been injured as a result of someone else's carelessness, such as in a slip and fall, you may be able to take legal proceedings. There are however different limitations to abide by and if these limitations are missed, you will be unable to pursue a claim.

Other Areas Of Practice
The Law Offices of J. Arthur Cogan can assist you in other areas such as:

* Personal Injury
* Civil Litigation
* Criminal Defence
* Product Liability
* Class Actions

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