Hospital Negligence

Hospital Negligence and Malpractice services

Hospital negligence occurs when treatment provided by a health professional such as a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, chiropractor or hospital/nurse falls below an acceptable standard as part of your treatment whilst in hospital.

The duty of care owed by a doctor or institution such as a hospital is high but it must be accepted that certain medical treatment is not always successful and injuries do result and one cannot blame the hospital or medical provider.  In other words negligent treatment is more than a simple reasonable mistake.

What counts as negligence in a hospital?

When a patient has a health issue and visits a public or private hospital, they have a right to expect a reasonable standard of service or treatment. This includes that:

  • Proper history is taken and that a diagnosis on the issue or condition is made within a reasonable period of time.
  • Referrals for treatment to medical specialists are correctly made
  • If surgery is to be performed, that it is done so in a reasonable period of time with the appropriate skill and care of required of that medical specialist.
  • Any post operative care provided by nursing staff and other health professionals minimises – and certainly doesn’t cause – any further ongoing complications.

In most hospital visits, people are treated with compassion, professionally and with appropriate skill and care. However, sadly, there are many occasions when the medical specialists fail in their duty of care, such as failures to diagnose or refer to specialists, or from surgical errors or poor post operative care.

Process for proving hospital negligence

Laws, and the proceed to sue a hospital or medical practitioner vary by state. For most states in Australia, there is a three year limit to bring action against a negligent medical practitioner and/or hospital. However, under specific situations this can be extended.

The medical field is complex, and one of the most challenging parts of medical negligence cases is proving causation between failures of the medical staff and any ongoing issues of the claimant. For this reason, it is highly recommended to consult specialist medical negligence lawyers who have experience and resources needed to pursue these claims.

When working with our clients, we investigate a wide range of factors to understand the eligibility of a claim and how much compensation if likely to be awarded, including:

  •  Should the patient have received other tests prior to any operation that may have suggested alternative forms of treatment.
  • Have the medical practitioners explained all risks of the operation, and ongoing recovery, in an informed manner so the patient can make an informed decision.
  • Whether the treatment or surgery performed in a manner that was appropriate for the standards set by peer groups of medical specialists, and if any further, unnecessary injury may have been caused.
  • Whether laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery could have been performed as an alternative to more invasive surgical methods that may risk ongoing subsequent injury or infection.
  • Whether or not a patient, during the course of surgery, was moved appropriately so as to avoid orthopaedic injuries during their surgery.
  • Whether cosmetic surgery was performed in an appropriate manner, covering breast surgery, rhinoplasty, liposuction if it was ultimately needed and whether the end result was worthwhile.
  • Any failure to diagnose heart conditions, meningitis, sarcoma, stroke, cancers or orthopaedic issues that would be reasonably expected during the cause of treatment.
  • Failure by hospital staff to provide adequate post-operative assistance in respect of medication, further investigations and additional surgery required, including if releasing the patient prematurely.

The Medical Negligence team at Gerard Malouf & Partners are experts when managing hospital negligence and malpractice claims against hospitals and medical specialists who fail to uphold the reasonable expectations of their field. For free over-the-phone advice call our team today on 1800 004 878.

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