A physiotherapist accused of failing to meet their duty of care obligations looks set to face a medical negligence claim in NSW Supreme Court.
The plaintiff in the case alleged that the physiotherapist made a number of errors when treating him for neck and left arm pain with associated motion problems in September 2013.
According to court documents, the defendant treated his patient using a cervical traction unit on three separate occasions during the month in question. Cervical traction relies on a light stretching of the neck to try and create space between an individual's vertebrae.
However, the plaintiff claims that he developed a number of symptoms one week after his final treatment on September 10 2013. He was transported to hospital and underwent multiple tests and investigations to discover the cause of his injuries.
Seeking medical negligence compensation
Following MRI, brain and MRA scans, doctors diagnosed the plaintiff with a cerebellar infarct with or without left vertebral artery dissection, which the patient argued resulted in significant injuries.
He filed a medical negligence claim against the physiotherapist, alleging that the defendant had a duty of care to exercise reasonable skill when offering physiotherapy management, advice and treatment.
The plaintiff suggested that the physiotherapist also didn't inform him of the necessary precautions and recommendations before, during and after the cervical traction treatment. Ultimately, the defendant was accused of failing to take reasonable measures to prevent harm coming to the plaintiff.
The physiotherapist denies that he breached a duty of care to his patient and rejects the negligence claim. He also believes the plaintiff did not experience the injuries and disabilities laid out in the case.
What happens next?
The case is likely to go before a NSW Supreme Court judge, who will weigh up the relevant factors of the claim and make a decision.
Should the plaintiff be successful, he could receive significant compensation, particularly if his injuries are severe enough to constitute a total and permanent disability, preventing him from ever returning to work.
Medical negligence claims can provide damages for a range of economic and non-economic costs, including lost income and superannuation, past and future care expenses, and pain and suffering.
But proving medical negligence in court can be difficult, which is why many claimants turn to expert compensation lawyers to help them build a strong case.
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