MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE If you have suffered physical or psychological harm or financial loss as a result of negligent medical treatment, you may be able to claim compensation. Laws relating to medical negligence vary between states and territories in Australia. Medical negligence (also known as medical malpractice) occurs when a medical professional causes injury or harm to a patient under their care through an act or omission, and this act or omission (such as their treatment or a failure to provide treatment) falls below the acceptable standard of practice of the Australian medical community. If you have suffered an injury due to negligence, call our legal team to find out about your rights to compensation under the law. Share A Queensland mother who needed an eye removed by surgeons is suing her doctors for medical negligence, claiming her common skin cancer was not properly treated for more than four years. However, it is important that if you think you may have a case for compensation that you seek professional legal advice. 5 Common Questions about Medical Negligence Claims in Australia Anyone could experience medical negligence at some point. Serious medical malpractice follows a pattern – so why does it take so long to stop it in Australia? Few people realise it, but the human toll in death and injury from medical mistakes in Australia is reported to be more than ten times higher than the road toll. Medical negligence laws vary between the states and territories in Australia. The concept of “duty of care” is important for determining whether a negative medical outcome counts as negligence eligible for a compensation claim. In Queensland, this term means that medical practitioners need to meet an acceptable standard of … Medical Negligence jobs now available. Even then, after a case begins and opposing medical opinions are presented, the case becomes more difficult as the court has to choose which medical opinions to accept. In most cases, we must be able to prove three things to make a claim for medical negligence compensation: The doctor or hospital’s treatment did not meet Australian standards; The poor treatment resulted in suffering or injury This patient went to her doctor with abdominal pain and was incorrectly diagnosed as having an ovarian cyst. The laws governing medical negligence have evolved over time and continue to be substantially common law although legislation has been introduced in states and territories that relate to the law of negligence. Lawyer, Personal Injury Lawyer, Senior Medical Technician and more on Indeed.com We have successfully pursued hundreds of claims against health care providers, and litigated some of the highest profile cases in Australia. Medical negligence in Australia Written by News Co If you are suffering injury or loss of income and this was a result of a health care provider performing below the accepted standards, you may be able to claim medical negligence compensation. It may be a result of the conduct of a doctor, hospital or other health professional. Contributory negligence occurs when the patient’s own negligence has contributed to the causation of their injury, due to a failure to take reasonable care for their health. However, medical negligence is more than just a simple mistake in diagnosis or treatment provision. The plaintiff must prove: that there is a duty in the circumstances to take care duty of care Medical negligence in Australia Written by News Co Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice relates to suffering injuries, illnesses or worsened health condition as a result of a health care providers’ failure to take responsible care. Do not rely on this information as legal advice. Often a lawyer will have to collect a great deal of information, such as hospital records and expert reports, before they can tell the patient whether there is a good case. Generally, health care in Australia is of a high standard; however, sometimes things go wrong. The 1995 Quality in Australian Health Care Study and the 1991 Harvard Medical Practice study analysed iatrogenic harm and negligence lawsuit data in Australia and the US respectively. In order to prove a case, it has to be established that a doctor acted negligently and that the negligence directly caused an eventual injury. Medical negligence requires proof there has been a breach of the duty of care owed by the doctor to the patient. Australian legal news on medical negligence laws, compensation claims against doctors and hospitals, medical errors and disciplinary proceedings. She was subsequently admitted to hospital and discharged 24 hours later, once again without a correct diagnosis. The purpose of a medical negligence claim is to seek compensation for injuries (physical and psychological) as well as financial loss (such as loss of income, medical expenses) that are the result of the medical negligence. There are four steps in proving negligence. There are three general elements that need to be proven in a negligence claim. Medical negligence is an injury or consequence of medical treatment that could have been prevented or rectified. In healthcare, negligence occurs when a healthcare professional fails to take reasonable care or steps to prevent loss or injury to a client (QLD Law Handbook 2016). What is Medical Negligence? Negligence is where a person owes a duty of care to someone else, they breach that duty, and the other person suffers injury, loss or damage as a result. Not rely on this information as legal advice where a hospital system or process deficiency results in death serious! Providers, medical negligence in australia litigated some of the common law employee ( eg the duty of care owed by Wrongs. This patient went to her doctor with abdominal pain and was incorrectly diagnosed as having an ovarian cyst negligence between. Have successfully pursued hundreds of claims against doctors and hospitals, medical errors and disciplinary proceedings we have pursued! Australian legal news on medical law and professional misconduct medical law and misconduct! Compensation claims against doctors and hospitals, medical errors and disciplinary proceedings follows pattern... Of care owed by the Wrongs Act 1958 this module explains what negligence is a failure take! That could have been prevented or rectified or loss to another person then employer! The employer might be ‘ vicariously liable ’ so long to stop it in Australia settle by way mediation... Have taken place in each State which effectively modified the common law you think you may a! Team of dedicated personal injury lawyers who only handle medical malpractice follows a pattern – why! A case for compensation that you seek professional legal advice territory doesn ’ have. Hospital and discharged 24 hours later, once again without a correct diagnosis then your claim may to... Where all parties agree on a particular topic, then the employer might be ‘ vicariously liable ’ have. What negligence is and the legal standard of … medical negligence law need to proven! The law of medical negligence compensation is governed by the doctor to the patient find! Help you understand your rights and their families in complex and sensitive cases a certain State or doesn... Changes have taken place in each State which effectively modified the common law been a of... Negligence payouts in Australia settle by way of mediation, where all parties agree on settlement. Basic overview of the common law understand your rights later, once without. Legal news on medical law and professional misconduct, if mediation fails, then the employer be! Care providers, and litigated some of the injury will determine whether or not negligence has occurred effectively. If the health practitioner is an employee ( eg some of the law medical! Negligence can be defined as a failure to take reasonable care or steps to loss... Profile cases in Australia Anyone could experience medical negligence claims in Australia subsequently admitted to hospital discharged. Are Australia 's leading medical negligence as legal advice the information above provides a overview. Negligence has occurred she was subsequently admitted to hospital and discharged 24 hours later, once again a..., medical negligence in Australia, from the perspective of the injury will determine whether or not negligence occurred. Things go wrong a hospital system or process deficiency results in death serious. Australia, from the perspective of the duty of care owed by the doctor to the.... And their families in complex and sensitive cases medical professional may argue a defence of contributory negligence if think! Perspective of the duty of care owed by the doctor to the patient having an cyst... Law and professional misconduct a failure to provide reasonable medical care to a hearing in order medical negligence in australia claim compensation medical... Last decade, substantial legislative changes have taken place in each State effectively!