Medical Negligence Claims
Medical negligence occurs when a health provider such as a doctor, dentist, surgeon, anaethetist, pathologist, radiologist, nurse, hospital, pharmacist or other allied health professional provides treatment or advice that falls below an acceptable standard of care (Rosenberg v Percival (2001) 205 CLR 434). This is a well-established fact in Australian law (Rogers v Whitaker (1992) 175 CLR 479).
Negligent medical treatment may occur as a result of:
- a misdiagnosis;
- a late diagnosis;
- aggravating an existing medical condition;
- providing the incorrect treatment;
- providing the incorrect test results;
- failing to provide adequate post-operative care;
- operating on the incorrect part of the body;
- conducting a procedure without the patients informed consent
Medical negligence can have devastating consequences and may require a lifetime of care and financial assistance as a result of a health provider’s negligence. If you have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, you may be entitled you to receive compensation. A & E Legal can assist.
Our experienced solicitors will engage on your behalf (by submitting a claim) with the relevant person and/or their insurer for the compensation that you deserve resulting from your personal injury or loss, which should ultimately resolve by settlement or progression to a trial.
Therefore, anyone who has suffered a loss and or damage as a result of the negligent actions, care and/or advice of a health care provider may be entitled to claim.
You can claim for:
- past and future lost earnings;
- pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life;
- past and future medical expenses;
- hospital expenses;
- rehabilitation expenses;
- daily medical necessities e.g. a wheelchair
- home care and assistance;
- alterations and modifications to your home;
- modifications to your motor vehicle.
A recognized psychological or psychiatric condition arising as a result of a mistake performed by a health provider is as much an injury to the body as what a physical injury is and is claimable and compensable (Mount Isa Mines Ltd v Pusey (1970) 125 CLR 383). Even if you had a pre-existing condition of mental illness and such condition was aggravated by the negligent treatment, you can still claim.
There are strict time limits prescribed by law for you to commence proceedings in the District Court of WA, namely:
- 3 years from when you become aware that you have sustained a not insignificant personal injury i.e. when the incident occurred; or
- 3 years from when you first experience the first symptoms, clinical signs or other manifestations of a personal injury that is not insignificant.
We do, however, recommend that you contact us immediately in order for us to assist you with your claim process.
Most claims are settled without having to go to Court on trial. However, pre-trial conferences are held at the District Court building in a more informal basis and we will be there to represent you through this process.
We will attempt to get through the claim procedure as quickly as possible by seeking the relevant expert advice from your doctors and other relevant professionals to ensure that your claim is settled at the right time. We will answer all your questions about legal costs at the first free consultation with you. However, in the event of a successful resolution of your claim, the negligent party or its insurer will cover most of the costs.
The first consultation with us is free with no obligation on your part to proceed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.