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How to seek compensation following medical malpractice?

Do you believe you’ve been the victim of medical negligence or medical malpractice? Gerard Malouf & Partners can bring you the expertise that wins negligence cases. Your medical malpractice claim could result in significant compensation, so you aren’t left worrying about finances while dealing with the aftermath of poor medical treatment. 

Medical negligence vs. medical malpractice cases

Medical practitioners have a duty of care to their patients, like all professionals. When a medical standard of care is failed due to negligence, leading to personal injury, there’s an assumption that it was unintentional. Of course, carelessness on the part of medical practitioners cannot be tolerated, as they hold lives in their hands. 

Medical malpractice is an even more egregious issue than medical negligence. In medical malpractice cases, there’s an assumption that the practitioner was aware they were failing the standard of medical care, or putting their own interests above that of their patient, and they did it anyway. Medical malpractice cases have a narrower scope and are harder to prove than medical negligence claims. 

What is required to file a medical malpractice claim? 

If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you need to seek the advice of a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. You want to move quickly to file a claim, but you also need to gather as much evidence as possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Your medical negligence lawyer can advise you on what documentation may be needed.

There is typically a statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice or medical negligence claims. This is usually counted from the time you were made aware of the negligence or malpractice, not the date it occurred, especially as some surgeries could be done improperly and the results not be apparent until some time has passed.

How do you prove medical malpractice?

The main goal will be to prove that the injury to you was caused either by negligence or by malpractice, and not by your own action or inaction.

For example, if you have surgery to implant a medical device to better your health, and then you fail to attend follow-up appointments or comply with your discharge care instructions, and you develop an infection, that is not negligence or malpractice. 

If the surgeon did not take proper precautions to prevent infection, and you develop an infection despite obeying all aftercare instructions and attending your follow-up visits, there could be a medical negligence claim. 

If the surgeon used an implant model that has been known to have a risk of infection, disregarding their duty of care, and the implant caused an infection, that could be malpractice. If the surgeon had a stake in the company manufacturing the risky implant, and put their financial gain above your health, it’s almost certainly malpractice.

This is why it’s so important to have a law firm on your side. We can work with medical experts to determine if your doctor or nurse failed the duty of care, and if so, if they did so through negligence or deliberately.  

Types of medical negligence

Medical negligence can be said to occur any time a health care worker provides treatment that is below a reasonable standard applicable to their job, including:

  • Carrying out treatment in a manner that causes you or a member of your family immediate or later onset of injury, harm or death
  • Taking the wrong action, or no action, or delaying action in a situation where a reasonable doctor would have provided treatment, directly contributing to harm or injury  
  • Making a wrong diagnosis leading to harm, in situations where a reasonable doctor would have made a correct diagnosis
  • Causing harm prescribing a wrong or inappropriate medication 
  • Negligently undertaking surgical procedures or surgery, thus causing harm

Duty of care

When injury or harm is caused, it’s not automatic to assume a medical professional was negligent or that they committed malpractice. The prognosis, diagnosis, treatment or procedure will be considered by unbiased medical experts. 

If it’s consistent with accepted medical practice (meaning the reviewers would likely have done the same in the same situation), the duty of care was upheld. If, however, the diagnosis, treatment or procedure was below standards that apply to the provider, they may have breached a duty of care.

Who can you file a medical malpractice claim against? 

Medical negligence and medical malpractice can be filed against appropriate parties based on their duty of care. You may be able to file a claim against professionals including but not limited to:

  • Dentists
  • Midwives
  • Nurses 
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Specialists
  • Surgeons

What can be covered in a medical malpractice claim

A successful medical negligence compensation package can be determined in court or mediation. Mediation may be a faster, easier path to a settlement, but usually means you’ll accept less than you might get in court. 

Since most medical professionals cover themselves with personal indemnity insurance, you will be up against a big insurance company, and they will do their best to reject your claim. This is another strong point in favor of engaging a legal team with medical malpractice case experience.

Your medical malpractice attorney will work with you to estimate what your compensation should be, based on your losses. Damages that you can typically claim as a part of a medical negligence case include:

  • Cost of immediate treatment for personal injury caused by malpractice or negligence
  • Ongoing medical costs for the same
  • Economic damages (loss of wages and super)
  • Non-economic damages (pain and suffering)

Pain and suffering may be part of your claim if the malpractice caused significant, long-lasting damage to your health and your future. Examples of cases in which pain and suffering damages might be awarded would be if there was loss of reproductive ability, mobility or you were disfigured due to a practitioner’s action or inaction. 

You can seek compensation for both loss of income while recovering, and for any loss of future earnings as a result of the negligence or malpractice. These costs will be calculated according to your level of impairment. 

Have you or a loved one suffered harm or injury as a result of medical malpractice? The expert legal team at Gerard Malouf & Partners can help you document the evidence, file your claim and achieve a successful outcome that maximises your compensation. This will allow you to focus on your recovery, while not being forced into an out-of-pocket situation because of their negligence. Contact us today to discuss your potential medical malpractice claim.

Why choose Gerard Malouf & Partners?

  • GMP is not a giant, publicly listed law company but one of the largest private, highly specialised and focused law firms in the area of personal injury and will disputes Australia-wide.
  • GMP is small enough to care intimately for their clients and large enough to have the financial, medical and expert resources clients need to receive maximum compensation.
  • GMP is one of the largest, most highly specialised personal injury and will dispute law firms in Australia winning close to $4 billion in compensation for our successful clients. There would be less than a few law firms in Australia with this enviable record and as a direct consequence, insurance companies take our demands most seriously.
  • GMP has a dedicated client care service team to ensure that you are kept up-to-date at all stages and you receive the triple “C” compassion, commitment and competence from all our staff.
  • GMP is unique in offering a totally transparent, simple and fair cost agreement with the written undertaking to reduce fees where you are genuinely dissatisfied, subject to terms and conditions.
  • GMP Offers a 90-day free trial period allowing you to withdraw without any costs upon giving five days written notice if you are dissatisfied.
  • GMP has a culture that is unique where “simply winning” is not enough but achieving “maximum justice in the minimum time using any resources available notwithstanding the efforts involved” is the requirement for any staff employed.

Contact us for no-obligation legal advice about your claim. 

© 2021 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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