Medical Malpractice: Family Doctor Negligence

Family Medical Doctor Malpractice in Ontario

In Ontario, most people have access to a family doctor to provide comprehensive care for illnesses and chronic conditions. If a patient is harmed while under the care of a family doctor and they believe that the doctor was negligent then they may have a medical malpractice case. But that doesn’t mean that it will be easy.

Canadian Health Care System

Canadian healthcare is a single-payer system, which covers most residents for a wide array of essential medical needs. Physicians in Ontario are typically paid a standard amount per service through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Many physicians and specialists are regulated as to what they can charge, making healthcare relatively accessible. In addition, physicians and many medical specialists are recognized by OHIP, allowing people to choose who provides diagnosis and treatment, in addition to what treatment they want to receive.

Most doctors are insured against medical malpractice with help from Government subsidies. Per this National Post article, Ontario was expected to pay the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), who provide liability coverage to healthcare professionals, $335 million out of the reported $384 million charged to doctors in Ontario in 2017.


If a physician was negligent in their care of a patient, then they could be held legally responsible. Healthcare providers must deliver the required healthcare with the utmost care for the wellbeing of their patients.

Successful claims require that the plaintiff prove that the healthcare provider failed in adhering to and providing a reasonable standard of care. Common negligence claims in the healthcare field include: improper diagnosis, delay in diagnosis and/or treatment, failure to report abuse, and of course, treatment that does not meet the standard of care set out for physicians by regulatory bodies.

Standard of Care, Duty of Care and Foreseeable Injury

Medical malpractice, like most personal injury cases, require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, that he/she breached that duty and that his/her breach caused injury to the plaintiff and that the injury is not too remote.

A family doctor has a trusted role in society. If he/she fails to act in the best interest of their patient, or fails to act in accordance with the proper standard of care, they may be liable for medical malpractice.

Does Canada Discourage Medical Malpractice

Suing for medical malpractice in Canada is complicated by Canada’s healthcare system. Since family doctors are supported in some capacity by both the CMPA and their provincial Government, they have resources to mount a strong defense against claims of medical malpractice. This leads to an aggressive approach.

If medical malpractice insurance premiums spike, then taxpayers could be stuck footing the bill. Many have argued that the Government and associations like the CMPA are extremely aggressive in protecting the medical community from malpractice suits.

Compensation Cap

In Canada, the Government has also instituted a maximum amount (or cap) on the amount of non-pecuniary damages that a plaintiff can receive for pain and suffering, if successful. The cap is adjusted each year for inflation and is roughly $360,000.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Victims must prove that the defendant, as a medical practitioner, breached their duty to the plaintiff, and that breach lead directly to the plaintiff’s injuries, illnesses, further harm or even death. This is not an easy task and it’s important that victims are represented by strong legal minds who have experience with medical malpractice lawsuits.

For any person seeking damages from a family doctor, it can be a long and arduous road. Regardless of the challenges, the personal injury lawyers at Mackesy Smye will leverage our experience and expertise to build a strong case that can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss you case.

Get started today with a free consultation

If you believe your family doctor was negligent, contact us for a no-obligation consultation to review the details of your case. Complete our secure online contact form, or call us at 1-905-525-2341 today.

Related Articles

what if my doctor prescribes the wrong medication?

When Medicine Makes Us Sick – Medical Malpractice Law

If you’re injured by a third party, what rights do you have? Can you sue for pain and suffering as you would in an auto accident? It’s different for both off-road vehicles and watercraft. In this article, we explain the differences and also give some great advice for staying safe off-road and on the water.

Read Article
TBI - traumatic brain injuries & personal injury law

Medical Malpractice & Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury while under the care of a medical professional, you need to determine if malpractice occurred. This article offers an in-depth look at Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) - click to read more.

Read Article
medical malpractice, personal injury, surgical mistakes

Medical Malpractice - Surgical Negligence

Surgical negligence is not to be taken lightly. We trust medical professionals to take care of us and adequately warn us of risks and complications. We expect them to operate on the correct area of our bodies, and with equipment that is in working order. We trust surgeons with our lives. Read this post to learn more.

Read Article
personal injury law and spinal cord injury

Spinal Cord Injuries & Medical Malpractice

Whether you have suffered a spinal injury as a result of a car accident, an accident at home or another cause, the impact on your and your family’s life can be devastating. When the injury occurs at the hands of a medical professional, it can be particularly devastating. Read this post to learn more.

Read Article
hamilton, ontario medical malpractice suits

Medical Malpractice - Standard of Care in Ontario

If you have sustained injuries or other complications after medical treatment and you have reason to believe that the facility or doctor played a role in your injuries, you may have a case and will need an expert medical negligence lawyer to help. Read this article to learn about the lawsuit litigation process, and know what to expect.

Read Article
Refusing Medical Treatment - Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Cases: Can I Refuse Treatment?

Let us consider this simple scenario: a minivan driver rear-ended Lynn, 46, when she was driving home from her job. After a brief hospital stay, Lynn has chronic low back pain that does not respond to medication.

Read Article
Templates Library
Loading, Please wait...
The Library cannot be open, please try it again later.
This field is required.
Invalid email format.
Some of the fields are not filled or invalid.
Form Template
Select a Form Template
Available fields in the selected template: