In a perfect world, every time a person seeks health professionals they would be be 100 per cent happy following treatment. But the world is not perfect, and as such, like all service providers, doctors can make mistakes.
Unfortunately, these mistakes can range from unprofessional behaviour to incompetence or a lapse of judgement that results in the doctor making a bad decision.
It is important to not accept poor treatment. Instead, a medical negligence lawyer can help you understand your rights as a consumer and help you seek compensation. Additionally, seeking damages does not just help you, it can also benefit the community as it means there is less likelihood someone else will experience what you did in the future.
Your rights as a medical consumer
Health consumers have a number of rights that guarantee them:
- Acceptable service that ensures both dignity and privacy.
- Satisfactory information and due skill.
- The ability to seek redress if the above are not met.
The rights of health consumers are codified within codes of conduct and enshrined in legislation, such as the Medical Practice Acts that can be found in each of the states and territories. Additionally, consumers can use common laws that relate to personal injury to seek redress.
In the past, health practitioners were protected by health bodies, courts and even state legislation. For years there had been a general reluctance to admit doctors’ mistakes and act on them. However, in recent times this has changed and patients can seek damages following medical malpractice.
When should you seek litigation?
If a health professional has acted in a way that leads to medical malpractice, Australian common law allows a person the right to sue. Usually, this must be based on a failure to exercise reasonable skill and care in diagnosis, treatment as well as the failure to pass relevant information to the patient.
Damages might include a sum of money used to cover medical expenses, loss of income due to impairment, domestic and nursing care and an amount to cover the pain and suffering experienced.
If you would like to know more about the options you have, talk to the experts in medical negligence. Alongside expertise, the lawyers at Gerard Malouf and Partners offer a no win no fee guarantee. So instead of upfront costs, we receive our payments on the basis you receive a settlement.