If you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence, you're not alone.
In fact, according to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Australia has the highest rates of medical errors anywhere in the world. This has led to the emergence of some of the best medical negligence legal teams available.
A look at the statistics reveals some startling facts. For example, 18,000 people may die in hospitals every year because of incidents that could be prevented with the right care. What's more, about 50,000 people suffer a permanent injury every year that is specifically the result of medical negligence.
Another 80,000 people are sent to hospital every year because of the errors their doctors make in prescribing medication.
However, it's important to understand that just because a physician makes a medical error, this isn't immediately grounds for a medical negligence claim. It may be best for you to get acquainted with what is and what isn't considered "medical negligence" before you go about filing a complaint.
Understanding the definition of negligence
For a medical error to take on the definition of negligent, the practitioner must fail to take "reasonable care" of the patient. This term is of course open to much interpretation, which has led to the many medical negligence lawsuits that have come about.
There are laws in place that state a doctor does not have to act "perfectly" when serving patients. But a physician should always strive to take reasonable care. When this criteria isn't met, the potential for a claim becomes real.
Filing a medical negligence claim can lead to several different forms of compensation.
A successful medical negligence claim may entitle you to compensation for economic loss including wages and superannuation, as well as payments that must be made for any past and future care that may be necessary because of the alleged error.
You may even be entitled to compensation for non-economic loss, which would include pain and suffering. In these instances, your legal team will need to prove your injuries are found to be at least 15 per cent of a "most extreme" case.
Medical negligence is a tricky subject. Consulting with lawyers who are well versed in the matter may be the best way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.