Under general Australian law you may be able to claim for medical negligence against a medical professional, or team of medical staff, who you consider have been negligent in their duty of care towards you as a patient.
A medical provider can include:
- A doctor
- A specialist
- Dental assistant
- Pathology lab
- And others…
What Constitutes Medical Negligence or Malpractice?
Medical professionals have a duty of care towards their patients and all those that depend on their professionalism and areas of expertise. Medical negligence occurs when that level of care and diligence falls below expected levels.
This applies just as much to a diagnosis as well as things like procedures, treatments and surgeries.
A case of misdiagnosis is just as critical (potentially even more critical) as making an error while the patient is unconscious on the operating table.
Any breach of a patient’s trust or care can be a grounds for claiming for medical negligence.
If you feel you have a case for medical negligence, then you’ll want to enlist the aid of a medical negligence lawyer to assist you with a successful compensation claim.
Let’s Look At Some Medical Negligence Examples
Imagine going to your doctor or specialist with a persistent sore throat, only to be diagnosed and treated for a common cold. When treatment doesn’t work, you go to a different doctor who conducts further tests and discovers you in fact have throat cancer, only by now it’s more advanced than when you first visited your doctor and is now at a critical stage and much harder to treat successfully.
This would be a classic case for medical negligence due to misdiagnosis or lack of due diligence to investigate the problem more thoroughly.
Something we often hear about on television on the news is a case where a surgical instrument was left inside a patient following surgery. The foreign object obviously caused major post-operative complications, including intense pain and likely severe illness. This type of malpractice could even lead to the death of the patient.
Another possible case for negligence is where the treatment from a medical professional exacerbates a condition rather than helps to heal or eradicate it. This could be due to misdiagnosis or using experimental medications that are yet to be fully proven to be effective.
Misinterpreting test results is also another example, along with incorrectly reporting on the results.
Even a medical receptionist could be held accountable if they were instructed by the doctor to call a patient in regarding test results, but the receptionist fails to take action in a reasonable timeframe.
Not all medical procedures and medications can guarantee a successful outcome. Therefore not every instance of an injury or ongoing condition is due to a case of a medical professional being negligent. Sometimes everything that can be done has been done, but the results are negative rather than positive.
Claiming for Medical Negligence Helps Keep the Profession Accountable
If nobody claimed medical negligence when there was a definite case for making a claim, then there would be nothing to hold the medical community accountable for their actions or inaction.
It may sound harsh, but the threat of possible lawsuits helps keep everyone on their toes and focused on doing the very best job possible. This applies to all industries and not just medical professionals and their staff.
Talk To An Expert About Medical Negligence
If you feel you’ve been treated inadequately and have a claim for medical negligence, then the best people to talk to about it is a law firm that specialises in negligence and personal injury claims.
You don’t want to talk to a family lawyer or a criminal lawyer, or even a firm that “does a bit of everything”. You really want an expert who truly knows the law on your side.
A specialist lawyer will also know just how to deal with the big insurance companies, so you receive every cent of compensation that you deserve.
You can call the law firm and get some free advice before taking things to the next level, and most will offer that first in person consultation to discuss your case free of charge.