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3 examples of medical negligence payouts

Medical negligence claims can be difficult to prove, but the payouts can be significant after a successful case. Especially if the damages were substantial. However, the process of filing a medical negligence claim or malpractice claim is difficult to do on your own and can be both time-consuming and overwhelming. Knowing whether your case has the potential for success can be helpful when deciding if it’s worthwhile or not. 

We’ll help you understand how to file a medical negligence claim, and give examples of successful claims we’ve helped our clients win.

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What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence and medical malpractice occur when you’re under the care of a medical specialist who breaches their duty of care for you. What this means is that the healthcare provider makes a mistake or purposefully does something wrong that results in personal damage. Physical or emotional harm from medical negligence could fall under one of two categories, either a worsened condition because of the wrong medication, or a completely new injury.

A medical negligence claim states that your doctor or clinician did not perform their duty to you in a way that is on par with a similarly trained medical specialist in the same or a similar situation. If the nurse deviates from an acceptable medical standard, then this is considered medical negligence. This can also include inaction as well, or a failure to proceed similarly to what another nurse would have.

Examples of an eligible medical negligence claim include:

  • Misdiagnosis such as diagnosing someone with typical period cramping when they have ovarian cancer.
  • Mistake in the laboratory.
  • Failure to get informed consent.
  • Botched surgical procedures.
  • Improper use of medication.
  • Not offering all of the consequences of a medical choice.
  • Leaving a surgical instrument inside of a patient.
  • Wrongful death
  • Surgical error.
  • Birth injury.

These are just a few examples of mistakes a medical professional can make while taking care of a patient. Medical negligence is measured by whether or not a doctor, or other healthcare provider, with the same skill set would make the same mistake if put in a similar situation.

What can’t I file a medical negligence claim for?

There are many instances where you might not qualify for a clinical negligence case such as:

  • The clinician did not do anything wrong throughout their care.
  • The medication or procedure could have helped someone else’s same condition but did not work for you.
  • You did not realise you had an allergy to a type of medication until it was prescribed to you.

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How do I prove medical negligence?

Medical negligence is notoriously difficult to prove because often, hospitals will attempt to blame your injury on a prior condition. This is why it’s important to work with a medical negligence lawyer. They understand the steps necessary to prove your case — especially what a successful case looks like. 

Proving your case involves the four Ds:

  • Duty: There was a clear and established patient-practitioner relationship. This means that just because someone works at the same facility, doesn’t mean that they are responsible for your injury. You can only file a compensation claim against someone or people who took care of you directly. 
  • Deviation from a standard of care: The standard of care that a reasonable person in the same situation would have provided was deviated from.
  • Damages: The healthcare provider’s action or inaction resulted in injury including physical, psychological or financial. 
  • Direct cause: It is the burden of the victim to prove negligence. This part is not as straightforward as the others and it’s necessary at this step to seek the advice of another general practitioner with the same medical focus to offer their opinion on what they would have done differently.


You must act quickly in a medical negligence case because strong proof is critical in this type of claim. Contacting a lawyer for legal advice and to handle your case can help you maximise your payout and chances for success.

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What payout can I expect for my medical negligence claim?

Your medical negligence payout will greatly depend on how the injury affected you post-surgery. Like all claims, your level of injury will determine how much compensation payout you’ll need. 

This includes your:

  • Level of permanent disability.
  • Ability to return to work.
  • Salary.
  • Age.
  • Lifestyle,
  • Medical expenses past and in the future.
  • Treatments.
  • Pain and suffering.

What is the average payout for medical negligence in Australia?

While the payout for medical negligence claims varies greatly based on the circumstances of the particular claim, the Australian Government Actuary points out that the majority of medical negligence cases settle for less than $100,000. However, some larger claims settle for as high as $500,000 or more. 

Payouts are calculated based on need. If you have a total whole-person impairment of 5% or more, the insurer will award you compensation. To get non-economic coverage for a psychological or trauma-related injury, you must prove 10% or more impairment.

New South Wales

The average payout in NSW changes from year to year. In one area of NSW, the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, medical facilities paid out over $23.5 million over two years. Cases involved misdiagnosis and treatment failure, with averages of over $230,000 to compensate for the seriousness of the injuries. 

As we examine the averages for medical negligence, it’s important to understand that every case is different, and your injury and circumstances may not be the same.


Statistics on medical negligence payouts in Victoria is not offered as public information, but the state follows similar guidelines around compensation to NSW. Payouts can range between $50,000 to hundreds of thousands depending on the case and needs of the victim.

Maximum payouts for medical negligence

The largest payout in Australian history amounted to $9 million for Zachary Quinn whose botched surgery resulted in “cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia and respiratory problems,” according to a report by The West.

What is the average payout for a cancer misdiagnosis?

Learn more about compensation in delayed or misdiagnosis claims. 

3 examples of medical negligence payouts

Here are three medical negligence payouts we’ve helped our clients win:

1. $180,000 for wrongful diagnosis and procedure

Our client had signs of pre-syncopal and syncopal episodes, with associated low heart rates, dizziness and loss of consciousness. The medical specialist suggested a pacemaker, but the insertion had gone wrong. Once the device was removed, our client’s condition improved and we helped her win $180,000 for damages.

2. Fistula patient earns $700,000 in medical negligence compensation

Our client went to the doctor’s to treat the fistula, when the general practitioners clamped her catheter and caused irreparable damage that caused her to retire. We worked hard to earn her $700,000 in compensation for damages.

3. Negligent Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy claim earned our client $200,000

Our client went to the doctor for laparoscopic cholecystectomy when the doctors and medical staff caused bowel perforation and intra-abdominal sepsis post-operation. This mistake caused him pain, suffering and an additional 50 days in the hospital to recover. Our client was awarded $200,000 for his injuries.

case summaries

Successful Medical Negligence Claims

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About Us
Gerard Malouf & Partners have provided friendly, experienced legal advice to communities across Australia for over 35 years. Our Personal Injury Lawyers have taken on ten’s of thousands of cases and we are proud to have won billions of dollars for our clients.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.

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