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Your complete guide to medical negligence claims

Medical negligence is not an easy thing to deal with. By law, a practising health professional has a responsibility to provide a duty of care, and uphold that duty to an outlined standard. When that standard of care is breached — usually unintentionally or due to a lack of concern — it can result in serious physical or physiological harm that warrants a medical negligence claim.

Here, we’ll take a look at how to identify medical negligence and pursue compensation if you’ve suffered while under the care of a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional who has failed to take reasonable care during your medical treatment.

What is medical negligence?

As mentioned, medical negligence is when a licensed healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse, breaches their standard of care, or otherwise deviates from that standard, and causes physical or psychological damage to a patient. In a worst case scenario medical negligence may lead to death.

This is different from medical malpractice, albeit they do appear similar. The difference is that a medical negligence claim is made when an unintentional, avoidable, mistake has caused injury or death. On the other hand, medical malpractice is the result of intentionally negligent medical treatment or action.

Some examples of medical negligence that we see the most often are when a patient is:

  • Prescribed the incorrect medication or dosage.
  • Misdiagnosed or failure to be diagnosed.

Or when a healthcare professional has:

  • Has failed to consider a patient’s medical history.
  • Has failed to properly inform a patient of any risks or side effects of a medication.
  • Made a mistake during surgery.

These are just a few common examples of times when we see medical negligence happen. The reality is that every patient has a unique experience with equally unique circumstances. To get a better idea of how much compensation you may qualify for in relation to any medical negligence you may have suffered, it’s best to get in touch with experienced medical negligence lawyers to discuss the scope of your claim.

Signs of negligence and how to prove your case

Medical negligence is not always apparent right away. Sometimes, it may take awhile for signs of negligent behaviour to come to light. In any case, it’s important to be aware of some common signs of negligence in a healthcare setting, so you can better understand when a medical practitioner may be at fault.

The following are some common signs of negligence:

  • A prescribed treatment seems to be ineffective, meaning that your condition does not improve.
  • Treatment worsens your condition, or a new condition develops as a result of incorrect treatment.
  • A lack of aftercare or communication, or poor follow-up.
  • You have received a second option from another medical professional and it is different from what your original practitioner has stated.

Even after identifying one or more of these signs, it still can be difficult to prove negligence. For your medical negligence lawyers to have the best possible chance at winning your case, there are a few criteria that may help you secure compensation. According to the National Library of Medicine, you should be able to prove:

  1. That there was an established duty of care.
  2. That duty of care was breached, and the standard was not upheld.
  3. Any causations that led to your suffering.

Download our free, comprehensive guide to medical negligence claims and understand the steps you need to take to prove medical negligence, and how to improve your chance of success.

How to file a claim

Medical negligence claims and the laws surrounding them vary by state. The following resources can help you understand how each state governs these types of incidents:

In general, however, anyone who has suffered injury, illness or loss as the result of medical negligence can thereby file a medical negligence claim in Australia.

Statute of limitations for medical negligence claims

There is a statute of limitations in place whereby a claim must be lodged within a certain time period for it to be valid. Across Australia, a medical negligence claim must be filed within three years of the incident. There are some cases where, depending on the circumstances, time may be measured from the point at which an injury or illness became apparent, however, it’s best practice to get in touch with a medical negligence lawyer sooner rather than later.

Successful claims

Successful medical negligence claim payouts can vary greatly and range anywhere between ten thousand to a couple million dollars.

People claiming medical negligence may be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • Any pain and suffering.
  • Medical expenses and bills.
  • Lost wages.
  • And more.

If your case is won, your medical negligence compensation will be paid by the insurer of the facility that you experienced the negligence.

Working with GMP Law for maximum payout

The first step to receiving compensation for medical negligence is to contact a professional compensation lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help ensure that you have everything you need to initiate your medical negligence claim. 

We will work with you to gather any necessary documents or proof that may increase your chance at securing medical negligence compensation for the pain you or a loved one has suffered under the care of a medical professional.

GMP Law has managed thousands of cases in Sydney and across Australia. If you’ve experienced medical negligence, contact our medical negligence lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can provide you with legal advice on how to proceed with your claim. Our firm works on a no-win, no-fee policy so that you don’t have to worry about any legal fees until your medical negligence case has been settled.

Get started by contacting us today.

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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