MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE SOLICITORS COMPENSATION CLAIMS - LEGAL ADVICE
HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633634
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 helpline or email us or complete the contact form and an expert medical negligence solicitor will speak to you on the phone with no obligation.
Medical negligence 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 qualified lawyers operate nationwide and can assist you in every Australian location.
Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claim
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 negligence. If you have suffered damage, loss or injury, that is the result of wrongful treatment or bad clinical advice, then a firm of medical negligence solicitors may be able to claim a compensation payout on your behalf. Examples of treatment which may be considered negligent (depending on the circumstances of the case) by a 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
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 medical negligence compensation 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 patient’s 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 lawyer’s 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 medical negligence solicitors 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).
HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633634
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