Southwestern Sydney GP’s basic failure to examine leg wound leads to $50,000 compensation claim

Published 01 Jun 2016

Our client was a 56 year old man with a history of heart problems and hypertension. He fell off a ladder at his home and suffered a laceration to right shin in 2014. He attended upon his regular GP who gave him a tetanus injection, dressed his wound and booked him for a follow up consult. 4 days later he returned for review at which time the GP noted that he had cellulitis and prescribed antibiotics but did not examine the wound or take note of his pre-existing conditions.

Despite taking the antibiotics our client’s condition deteriorated and he returned to the GP a week later for further treatment. He complained of the wound becoming worse and increasing pain. The GP again did not examine the wound and continued to prescribe the antibiotics.

When his condition deteriorated even further our client attended hospital for treatment where he underwent an emergency drainage of a haematoma and a split skin graft. As a result of the GP’s failure to properly review our client he suffered a serious infection, had to undergo more complicated treatment and was left with substantial scarring on his leg.

We obtained a report from an expert General Practitioner who confirmed that the treatment provided by our client’s GP was below the standard of care required under the law.

In additional to his physical symptoms and pain, our client also suffered mental harm. As part of his claim we had our client examined by an expert psychiatrist who identified symptoms of anxiety as a result of what had happened.

With this evidence we commenced proceedings in the District Court against the GP to obtain compensation for the damage suffered by our client. However, there were significant hurdles to success in the matter. In particular our client’s heart condition and other health problems had impacted on his life and ability to work to a greater extent than the laceration.

We advised our client that we should attempt to settle the claim in order to minimize the time, cost and risk involved in pursuing the matter to hearing. At the informal settlement conference we were able to negotiate a settlement of $50,000, a good result considering our client’s poor health overall.

In Medical Negligence claims it can often be difficult to quantify the damage suffered by clients who have multiple prior illnesses. To maximize your claim you need to be represented by solicitors who are experts in the field. At Gerard Malouf and Partners we are committed to obtaining the best results for all our clients. Speak to one of our Accredited Specialist Medical Negligence Lawyers today to find out how we can assist you.