Every day, doctors, General Practitioners and other professionals in the medical field work hard to treat those in need and save lives. However, just because the medical profession as a whole is a noble field, it doesn’t mean there isn’t still potential for malpractice and neglect. Every year, thousands of Australians suffer adverse effects as a result of medical negligence, with outcomes including permanent disability and preventable death.
While proving medical negligence in Australia is challenging, the legal experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners have proven themselves to be up to the task time and time again. If you or a loved one has suffered because a practitioner did not provide reasonable care, our solicitors and barristers can help you to secure a compensation payout that gives you the closure and support you deserve.
Winning Medical Negligence Compensation
That translates to billions of dollars for our clients.
Doctors may be negligent in a situation where the care provided fails to meet basic accepted standards and therefore resulted in harm.
This kind of claim can be lodged against both the responsible individual, such as a general practitioner, nurse or surgeon, and the institution they work for. In many cases, the institution will be responsible for paying out the claim if you are successful.
The specifics of what falls under the umbrella of medical negligence may vary from state to state.
Doctors aren’t always successful in their work, and protections are in place to shield them from some litigation.
In general, to prove medical negligence, you must show that a practitioner or hospital failed in their duty of care to you.
In Australia, medical professionals have a moral and professional imperative to keep their patients safe from harm. This does not mean that a doctor is responsible anytime something goes wrong, but simply that they must make every reasonable effort to prevent or limit harm.
To prove that duty of care was not met, you will have to collect evidence that shows the care you were provided was outside the scope of what would be considered “competent practice.” Competent practice is the level of treatment that is the norm in the medical field. Examples of failing to meet competent practice would include not performing standard testing before a surgical procedure or misdiagnosing a serious illness. The most common way to demonstrate in court that a doctor did meet the level of competent practice is through the expert testimonial of another medical professional in a relevant field.
To make a successful legal case against a doctor, you should keep diligent records of your treatment and expenses. One of the challenges of proving medical negligence is showing that the treatment you received, in addition to coming up short of what is considered competent practise, directly caused or contributed to your injury. This is often the most difficult part of making your case, and establishing a firm timeline of treatment is essential.
If all of this sounds challenging to figure out on your own, never fear. A qualified personal injury solicitor can help you to put together the legal evidence and expert testimony necessary for an airtight case against a medical specialist.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, a successful medical negligence compensation package will be determined in court or mediation. Once your case is filed, a judge will often request that you attempt to reach a settlement with the defendants in mediation. Reaching a settlement this way can help you save on legal costs but may result in you being offered an amount too low, particularly if you have a clear cut case.
Ultimately, however, your settlement amount will mostly depend on what you have lost as a result of the negligent medical treatment. Like many other personal injury cases, damages that you can claim as a part of a medical negligence case include:
This covers your initial visits to a hospital and related specialists for treatment as a result of your injuries.
This includes medical treatment that will continue for an extended period of time or possibly indefinitely, such as physical therapy or at-home care.
If your injury has forced you to miss time at work or has hindered your ability to work at all, you can claim for lost wages and superannuation. If your injuries will prevent you from working for an extended period of time or permanently, you can also make a claim for wages and superannuation that will be lost in the future.
You may be able to attain an additional lump sum for the physical and psychological distress known as “pain and suffering” caused by your injury. The threshold to receive pain and suffering damage is typically far higher than the other categories and is given out in truly extreme circumstances.
Download your guide today for free and make sure that you are aware of the facts and information you need to maximise your damages claim.
The damage from medical negligence can be lasting and serious, but Gerard Malouf & Partners may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact our lawyers for an initial, no obligation consultation where we will discuss your claim, the steps we will need to take and the potential compensation you may be eligible to receive.
We fight for people like you on a “no win, no fee” basis and always take the care and dignity of our clients to heart. In one recent case, from August 2020, we secured a $100,00 payout for the estate of a man who had been the victim of medical negligence.
The man had undergone a coronary angiogram that had not gone as planned. During the operation, the angiogram catheter broke through the vascular wall, forcing a dissection of the right artery. As a result, our client was forced to undergo open-heart surgery and live with devastating side effects, including periodic arrhythmia issues and a required defibrillator, for the rest of his life. Frustrated, he turned to the professional solicitors at Gerard Malouf & Partners to see if he had a case against the doctors who had permanently altered his life.
Our team of medical negligence specialists called on the expertise of an esteemed cardiologist, who determined that a review by a heart team previous to surgery would have uncovered heavy calcification in the arteries. With this information, medical practitioners could have recommended a coronary artery bypass surgery, rather than the coronary angiogram our client ultimately underwent. By failing to perform this standard review, the man’s medical team had fallen short of their duty of care. Armed with this information, we commenced proceedings in Magistrate Court of the Australian Capital Territory, where our client lived and the procedure occurred.
While our client ultimately passed away before mediation could be completed, our team was able to secure a large settlement for the man’s family and loved ones. Despite tragic circumstances, our lawyers stayed focused and delivered justice in the best way they could.
In another recent case, from June 2020, we helped a man who had suffered immensely as a result of the mismanagement of a diagnosis by his general practitioner. Our client had undergone a colonoscopy that found a stricture formation in his colon. To treat the issue, he underwent a hemicolectomy which seemed to have initially resolved the problem. However, several days after the procedure, the man began vomiting black fluid and suffering intense abdominal pain. While a medical team drained some fluid at that time, a diagnosis for the problem was not given.
Eventually, the man became ill again and it was determined he was suffering from general peritonitis. Because of the delay in diagnosis, the man lost a section of his colon and was required to use an ileostomy bag from that point out. The experience also left him suffering psychologically, including with a diagnosed case of Persistent Depressive Disorder. Looking to understand his options, the man contacted Gerard Malouf & Partners. Upon learning of our client’s situation, we brought in expert supporting opinion from two general surgeons and a psychiatrist who was able to demonstrate that the man’s injury was the result of negligence. We eventually settled on a $1,750,000 compensation package for our client through a mediation process.
The road back from any medical setback is challenging. If your situation was made worse by medical negligence, you deserve compensation to assist with the additional treatment needed, time lost and pain and suffering caused. Our legal experts are standing by and ready to be a part of the solution.
Download your guide to understand the steps you need to take to prove medical negligence, and what you should do first to improve your chance for success.
Meet some of the diverse and dynamic compensation lawyers that support our clients with their Medical Negligence claims.
Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of our compensation experts, or make an enquiry online now.
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