Medical practitioners often maintain high standards in Australia, and the country has one of the best health care systems in the world. Nevertheless, mistakes can happen, some of which are the result of negligence on the parts of nurses, doctors, surgeons and other professionals.
If you've suffered a bad health care experience, you may be wondering whether you're entitled to compensation. Pursuing a medical negligence claim means you could receive damages for any injuries, illnesses, or disabilities you develop due to a duty of care breach.
However, proving these claims can be challenging; plaintiffs must show negligence was a factor, which means simple errors or accidents may not result in a payout. Speaking with a medical negligence lawyer should help you ascertain the likelihood of success if you decide to proceed.
To help you gain an idea of the types of incident that could be considered negligent, here are a few examples of errors that may lead to compensation.
Medical practitioners who misdiagnose an injury or illness, particularly serious or life-threatening conditions, may be found negligent. You are more likely to receive damages if your doctor failed to carry out routine examinations or procedures that other professionals would have completed.
2. Failure to warn of surgery risks
Even minor surgeries come with an associated risk, and informing patients of these dangers is part of a medical practitioner's duty of care. If doctors or surgeons fail to adequately inform you of an operation's hazards – and you subsequently suffer problems – you may be entitled to compensation.
3. Birth complications
Sadly, not all pregnancies go to plan and complications may arise during your baby's birth. In situations where a child suffers birth defects or, tragically, passes away, you may feel doctors' poor decision-making constituted negligence.
4. Referral errors
It is fairly common to be referred to a specialist after visiting your local GP with an ailment. This process ensures you receive appropriate care from an expert in the necessary area. However, what if your GP delays a referral despite clear signs of a serious illness? Or forgets entirely? Compensation may be the only answer if you then suffer lasting injuries as a result.
These are just some examples of potentially negligent behaviour, but duty of care breaches can cover a wide range of scenarios. You should therefore discuss your specific circumstances with a qualified medical negligence lawyer to find out whether you have a legitimate claim.