Is communication a factor in a medical negligence case?

PUBLISHED 25 Jul 2016

A doctor's visit is an intimate affair. When you enter their office, you sit down – maybe even undress – you receive tests and talk to them about your life, often revealing secrets in the hope of a diagnosis.

Like all relationships, the basis of patient/doctor relations is mutual trust and open conversation. Whether you have been diagnosed with asbestosis or bumped your head, your doctor must be upfront and honest about your condition and the possible options available to you.

However, this is not always the case and in some instances, poor communication can lead to personal injury. The failure to pass on information can be a basis for a medical malpractice claim.

What is a "failure to warn" case?

When a medical professional fails to warn the patient about the risks associated with a specific therapeutic treatment, which caused an injury, a patient can seek compensation.

These medical malpractice cases do not allege that the treatment was below acceptable standards of care. Instead, the issue lies with the fact you did not receive all the information required to make an informed decision.

What must be proven?

To be able to prove a failure to warn case, you must show that the healthcare professional did not warn you of the material risk associated with the treatment. Risk is defined as material, if a reasonable person in the same situation, if properly warned, would most likely attach significance to it.

Additionally, a case will have to be able to show causation among treatment, the risk and the injury you sustained. A compensation lawyer will also have to provide evidence that if properly warned of the risk, you would not have undertaken treatment and thus would have avoided injury.

How can a compensation lawyer help?

Unlike many medical negligence cases, the failure to warn medical malpractice claim can be hard to prove. This is why it is essential to have a personal injury lawyer with experience in medical negligence law.

At Gerard Malouf and Partners, we offer a no win no fee guarantee that can ensure you are not put off by any obstacles. Our lawyers do not take payment from upfront costs, instead they are remunerated based on the successful settlement you receive following a your claim.

If you would like to know more about failure to warn cases, make sure you contact a representative of Gerard Malouf and Partners today.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.