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Understanding the language of NSW medical negligence cases

Medical negligence may seem straightforward enough, however, the exact laws surrounding who can file such a claim and when it is appropriate to do so are filled with language that may not be so easy to understand.

Here's a breakdown of a few terms you'll need to know as you look into filing a medical negligence claim.

First, it's important to understand that medical negligence claims are used to show the physicians and other medical professionals did not offer a "reasonable" standard of care to a patient.

When a doctor fails to take reasonable care in a situation in which it would have been possible to do so, or when they may have known their decisions could harm the patient, there may be the potential for a case.

Medical negligence also arises any time patients say the received care was below a reasonable standard, and this led to an injury or ailment. Under this definition, many types of medical professionals can be negligent in their work. Doctors or nurses, an entire hospital, a chiropractor or physiotherapist, a midwife, a dentist or a pharmacist could all be held liable for their actions.

A few examples of medical negligence

Australians have filed medical negligence cases in several circumstances. Many of these have to do with diagnoses and testing that have led to unfortunate outcomes.

For example, a doctor may neglect to tell a patient about known risks or side-effects of a proposed treatment. This could lead to an adverse health reaction that the patient could have avoided by opting out of the treatment, provided the doctor had outlined the potential side-effects.

These cases may also arise after a doctor misdiagnoses a patient or misses the diagnosis altogether. It's important to note, though, that in theses cases it must be determined that the signs of a disease were obvious, but the doctor still missed them.

Patients may also have a case if the doctor does not make the diagnosis in time to perform the proper treatment. Moreover, if the results of diagnostic tests are not accurately reported, the patient may have grounds for a medical negligence case.

This is just a broad overview of typical medical negligence cases, however, the laws differ between each state and territory. To learn more, get in touch with New South Wales medical negligence lawyers with years of experience in the field.

© 2014 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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