Medical Negligence

Medical negligence or malpractice is sadly more common than many people think, particularly where health systems become overstretched and underfunded.

Where medical negligence has occurred and a person has been harmed physically and/ or mentally that person, and in some circumstances members of that person’s family, can make a claim for financial compensation.  

When can a medical negligence claim be made?

A medical negligence claim can be made when a person has suffered physical and /or psychiatric injuries which have been caused by medical negligence.

Can a claim be made for all poor medical outcomes?

All medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients.  A claim for medical negligence can be made where a medical professional has breached his or her duty of care and the breach caused an injury.

Not all poor medical outcomes are caused by medical negligence, as poor outcomes can occur even in the best of hands.  In order to prove medical negligence it is necessary to demonstrate that the standard of care, provided to a patient, fell below the standard that could reasonably be expected of a competent Australian medical professional.

What can kind of compensation can be claimed through a medical negligence claim?

A claim for medical negligence will seek financial compensation from the insurer of the medical professional and /or the hospital or aged care facility.

A claim can be made for pain and suffering, past and future treatment expenses, past and future wage loss, past and future domestic assistance together with any legal costs and disbursements.

Can a medical negligence claim stop a rogue practitioner or problematic hospital from hurting others?

A medical negligence claim can only seek financial compensation.  The insurer of the practitioner and / or the hospital will conduct a thorough investigation.  The investigation and its findings can provide useful points that can assist a practitioner or a hospital to improve.

Where there are more serious safety concerns, we can assist you to make a disciplinary complaint to the relevant professional board or represent you at an inquest.  This process can result in disciplinary action being taken against a practitioner and in some cases the practitioner will be struck off.

Are there time limits for medical negligence claims?

Each state has its own rules in relation to time limits for medical negligence claims.  In NSW a claim should generally be brought within three years of the date of accident/incident, otherwise it could be statute barred.

However, in the medical negligence context, the start date of when the three years starts to run can by blurred by the principles of discoverability.

If your injury occurred more than three years ago it is important that you seek prompt legal advice to find out whether a claim can still be brought.

Contact Us to make a time to speak to Jane for a free, non-obligation chat about your legal options, or enter your details in the form and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.