Medical Negligence Solicitors - Personal Injury Compensation Claim Lawyers
Our medical negligence solicitors are specialists who deal with personal injury compensation claims using a no win no fee arrangement which means that if you don't win then you don't pay your lawyers professional charges. If you would like advice at no cost on personal injury compensation claim law just use the MedNeg helpline or email us or complete the contact form and an expert Australian negligence lawyer will speak to you on the phone about medical malpractice with no obligation. Our medical negligence solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme which means that our compensation claims are totally risk free for the client.
Our lawyers have offices situated in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney. Do yourself justice - give us a call.
The law varies depending on which state or territory the incident took place. There are often different rules, protocols and practices and differences in time limits. It is important that you receive advice from a specialist solicitor who is an accredited personal injury expert in your own area. Our solicitors operate nationwide and www.medneg.com.au lawyers can assist you in every Australian location including Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney.
A medical negligence solicitors compensation claim is a legal action for the award of damages for injury caused by the negligence of a health care provider (such as a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, nurse, midwife, hospital). Health care providers must provide treatment that is in accordance with a reasonable standard of care. If your health care provider fails to take 'reasonable care' then they have breached their duty of care to you. Failing to take reasonable care, in circumstances where the health care provider could or should have foreseen that their actions could injure you, is clinical negligence. If you have suffered damage, loss or injury, that is the result of wrongful treatment or bad clinical advice, then our medical negligence solicitors in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin or Sydney may be able to claim a compensation payout on your behalf.
Proving a breach of the duty of care which is the central platform of a medical negligence compensation claim is often attainable however the most difficult part of succeeding in a medical negligence claim thereafter relates to a legal concept known as 'causation'. Many claims fail at the causation hurdle. Causation relates to the necessity to show that a breach of the duty of care was responsible for the patients current condition. There are many instances where negligence has been proved however the patient is in no worse condition than they would have been had there been no breach of the duty of care. As an example there have been cases where treatment has been carried out on a terminally ill patient in the hope of reversing the condition which failed due to negligence. In order to claim damages it is necessary to show on balance of probabilities that the treatment would have succeeded had it been carried out diligently and that the patient would have recovered which is a very difficult task bearing in mind that the patient was already very ill when the failed negligent treatment started.
Compensation awards for medical negligence are intended to put the victim back into the same position that they would have been had the incident and injury not occurred. Clearly this is not a realistic proposal as financial benefit can never adequately compensate for the pain and suffering of physical injury or death. The amounts ordered by the courts for personal injury are assessed by a judge after hearing representations by medical negligence solicitors for both sides who each put forward their own estimates of the value of the injury usually based on similar injuries in previously decided cases. Unfortunately it is rare for two sets of personal injuries to be identical and the judge must come to a conclusion based on the lawyers representations, consideration of previously decided cases, government guidelines and their own experience as practicing lawyers. Once the figure for pain and suffering has been decided there are other damages to be considered and assessed which include all other losses and expenses incurred by the claimant. These secondary losses may eventually make up the majority of the financial value of the claim and can include elements of wages losses, physical care and loss of previous lifestyle in addition to many other categories which may be considered depending on the individual claimant's previous life style. Damages may be paid as a lump sum at the end of the trial however there are occasions where ongoing monthly or annual payments also may be awarded for a certain period or for the lifetime of the claimant known as a periodical payments order in addition to a lump sum.
Australian Doctors Legal Obligations
In some parts of Australia, the common law applies, so that courts do not judge a doctor's competence by reference to the generally accepted practices of his profession. To obtain judgement Australian lawyers must show that the conduct did not conform to the standard of reasonable care demanded by the law.
Recent legislative changes to the common law in some States, have changed the law so that a doctor is not negligent if it is established that they acted in a way that (at the time the service or advice was provided) was widely accepted by peer professional opinion by a significant number of respected doctors in the field as competent professional practice. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, peer professional opinion cannot be relied on if the court considers that the opinion is irrational. The fact that there are differing peer professional opinions widely accepted in Australia concerning a matter does not prevent any one or more (or all) of those opinions being relied on. Furthermore, peer professional opinion does not have to be universally accepted to be considered widely accepted.
The court will determine what is the reasonable standard of care and competent professional practice, after hearing all the evidence (including the opinion(s) of independent medical experts).
No Win No Fee Solicitors
Our medical negligence solicitors in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney operate the no win no fee scheme. You will only pay our professional fees (as a pre-arranged percentage) if the case is won and you are awarded compensation. In the event that the claim is lost we do not ask for payment of our professional fees. Our medical malpractice lawyers are experienced in winning fair and reasonable compensation on a no win no fee basis. All of our terms will be outlined in writing before we start your claim however our initial advice on medical negligence compensation claims is offered at no cost once you have provided the information necessary for us to take a professional view on liability and quantum. Our offices are situated throughout Australia both in the major conurbations and in many other towns. Please don't hesitate to call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices for advice at no cost and with no further obligation. Examples of treatment which may be considered negligent (depending on the circumstances of the case) by a clinical negligence lawyer under current law involve failure to:-
- diagnose a condition
- provide the appropriate treatment for the condition
- refer to a specialist
- diagnose in a reasonable time frame
- advise of risks associated with treatment
- perform surgery with reasonable care and skill
- report correctly on test results
- provide adequate post-operative care
We will always give your medical malpractice case the care and attention it deserves and will act in your best
interests at all times. We will obtain the best possible result and will maximise any damages that are payable to
you. We will provide accurate legal advice and will speak to you in plain English with no legal jargon or
gobbledegook. We will always ensure that we have your best interests at heart and will ensure that you are aware of
your legal rights from day one. We will always be upfront about legal charges and professional fees and will maintain
the utmost professional confidentiallity in all our dealings with you and any third party. We will always try be
available to speak with you or if we are unavailable or if its out of normal office hours, we will return your call
within 24 hours.
In the unlikely event that your medical negligence claim is lost, we will consider taking matters further by way of
appeal to the High Court and will leave no stone unturned in our quest for fair and reasonable compensation. Do
yourself justice and give us a call.
Overview of Medical Negligence
Medical negligence is a legal term that occurs whenever a patient is harmed by a medical professional, usually a doctor. Legal rules around medical negligence vary from state to state but there are some general rules that apply to all cases.
There are a number of situations that need to be held true before a malpractice claim can be heard. These include the following:
- You need to prove that there was a doctor-patient relationship at the time of the incident. You must have presented to the doctor and the doctor must agree that you are the patient. It can't be a situation such as you'd find at a cocktail party when the doctor gives you off the cuff medical advice. Sometimes there is a situation where there is a consulting physician that gave advice to your doctor and this led to an injury. This is a sticky situation and one that has to be worked out in the court system.
- The doctor must have been negligent. You must show that the doctor behaved in such a way that a skilled and reasonable doctor in the same specialty would not have done. You must show what the standard of care should have been in your situation and that this standard of care was not met. This usually involves finding one or more expert witnesses who practice medicine in the field of medicine the doctor is in who can say what the standard of care should have been in the situation you were in.
- You must show that the act of negligence resulted in your injury. It is a big problem sometimes to prove this aspect because many people are already injured or sick prior to seeing the doctor so it may not have been negligence if the injury was more a factor of the patient's prior condition. For example, if a person had stomach cancer and the doctor was negligent in treating the patient. What was the bigger factor in the patient's subsequent death: the doctor's actions or the cancer itself. This is a case that medical experts have to argue out.
- The injury has to have led to specific damages. There must have been some harm as a result of the healthcare provider's actions. Some examples of harm include prolonged physical pain, additional medical bills, mental anguish and loss of work or future earning capacity.
There are many categories or types of this problem. They fall into one of the categories defined below:
- When the doctor fails to diagnose the illness. If the doctor missed the diagnosis or if the doctor made a diagnosis different from the correct one, this represents medical malpractice if the diagnosis made correctly would have led to a better outcome for the patient. If this is the case, the patient may have a claim against the doctor.
- If the doctor fails to warn the patient of known risks. This can happen if the doctor fails to warn the patient of a surgical risk and the patient suffers an injury. This can also occur if the doctor fails to tell the patient of common side effects of a drug and the patient was injured by taking the drug.
- If the doctor performs treatment that was improper. If the doctor performs a treatment that no competent doctor would have done, there may be a case involving the doctors treatment. The doctor can also pick the right treatment but can do it incorrectly, resulting in injury.
There are specific rules and requirements involving medical negligence cases that are important for you to know. Some of these include the following:
- There is a specific statute of limitations for this type of case. Sometimes the statute of limitations is when the doctor performed the negligent act and other times it is when the patient should have reasonably discovered the damage.
- Most cases involve expert testimony and in fact, it is crucial to the case to have this type of testimony. An expert is required so as to state what the doctor should or should not have done in the case. Expert testimony exists on both sides of the law suit and they often disagree. It is up to the court to decide which expert was the most credible. The state must decide which constitutes a qualified medical expert and in which field of medicine.
This website is not intended for viewing or consideration by residents of Queensland (QLD). Legislation prohibits the advertising of
personal injury legal services in Queensland (QLD). Our legal service is not available for any Queensland (QLD) accident claims.