Medical negligence causing injury
Medical practitioners have a duty to exercise reasonable care and skill in the provision of medical treatment. If you have been injured as a result of negligent medical advice or treatment, you may have a Common Law claim for damages.
Medical negligence in Victoria
Although Australia is generally considered to have a very high standard of medical care you might be surprised to learn that we also have one of the highest rates of clinical errors in the developed world according to a health care study. Thousands of people are injured (often permanently) or die as a result of negligent medical professionals. Many are also hospitalised due to errors in medication.
A few examples
There are many different situations where a doctor, dentist, specialist or other health-care provider could be negligent and a malpractice suit is launched as a result, such as:
- Anaesthetic errors
- Birth related complications including C-sections, stillbirths and cerebral palsy
- Incorrect prescriptions
- Failure to adequately follow up
- Failure to provide appropriate after-care
- Errors made during surgery
- Unnecessary surgery
- Laboratory results misread or not acted upon
- Failure to refer for specialist advice
- Symptoms not recognised
- Wrong dosage for medications
- Mistakes made in medical treatment, such as during surgery
- Delay in diagnosing or treating your condition
- Failures to adequately warn of the risks involved in medical treatment; or
- Failures to provide adequate treatment.
A Common Law claim for damages usually includes compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Past loss of earnings
- Loss of future wages
- Past and future medical expenses; and
- The cost of care provided to you by family members or professional care providers.
In order to pursue a claim for damages for pain and suffering it is necessary to establish greater than 5% permanent impairment for a physical injury (other than spinal injury) or a permanent impairment of 10% or more for a psychological injury.
How to prove medical negligence causing injury
A bad outcome from a medical procedure does not necessarily mean the doctor was negligent. It basically comes down to whether the doctor failed to provide treatment to an acceptable standard and that the failure to do so is the cause of your injury. This can be difficult to prove, but it’s why you need specialist medical negligence lawyers and solicitors on your side. We are experts in this particular area of law and know exactly what it takes to achieve a successful outcome.
Time is critical
As time limits generally apply for filing a claim you should not delay. In most cases a claim needs to be bought forward within three years, although exemptions can apply. If you are not sure if your circumstances would give rise to making a claim contact our team as soon as possible after the negligent act occurred and we will assess your situation free of charge.
Why choose Arnold Thomas & Becker?
As leading medical negligence lawyers in Victoria our team of fearless, dedicated and experienced experts have a proven track record in achieving excellent outcomes. With offices in Melbourne CBD, Richmond, Craigieburn and Werribee we have been achieving exceptional results for over 50 years. We will help you obtain the justice and full compensation you deserve.
Call in or phone us on 1300 333 300 to speak directly with a lawyer. There is no obligation or consultation fee. In most medical negligence cases our no fee policy applies meaning you don’t pay any legal fees unless we win your case. In some circumstances we may arrange funding to cover any out of pocket costs.