Medical negligence is often unintentional and accidental. But the consequences can be severe for those at the receiving end. In such cases, you can demand compensation for the damages you’ve incurred.
Australian laws honor any person from any background who has suffered from medical negligence. But it requires evidence that there is indeed a case of medical negligence. In this article, experts at Law Advice Lawyers explain the procedure for filing for compensation.
How to Establish a Case of Medical Negligence?
Health professionals, caregivers, and service providers are under the common law duty principle to ensure their patients’ safety.
The general common law principle states that a plaintiff can establish a case of medical negligence if he or she can prove the following:
- The health professional owed the patient a duty of care
- There was a clear breach of the duty of care that might be because of an act or omission
- This resulted in the patient incurring physical and financial harm
Breach in Duty of Care
Establishing negligence can be tricky since most medical procedures involve specialized and technical processes.
The court will first demand the correct medical procedures usually followed for a particular medical condition. Then it will compare the practices followed in your specific case. A divergence between the two won’t guarantee a breach. The court will consider if the divergence was necessary for your case.
In some states, the common law has been modified to include “Peer professional opinion defence.” This defence checks whether or not the health practitioner acted in a manner that can be considered competent professional practice by peer professionals. If that’s the case, then the court will dismiss your demand for compensation.
It’s impossible to standardize what exactly qualifies for a breach of duty. So you need to check with your respective state government to establish a breach.
To receive compensation, establishing a breach is not enough. You must show that you suffered from harm, and it was caused entirely by the defendant’s act or omission. If there is no harm caused, or it was caused by something else other than the plaintiff’s negligence, then the defendant will not be liable for compensation.
Thus, you will not receive any damages, defined as the compensation amount awarded to the plaintiff.
File a Medical Claim
Once you’ve established a breach of duty of care and damages at your end, you can file a medical claim. You can file a claim for the following scenarios:
- A misdiagnosis of your medical condition
- Inappropriate treatment and failing to refer to an appropriate practitioner in time
- Lack of adequate monitoring while you’re in their care.
- Lack of due diligence in performing medical procedures
- Administering incorrect medications
- Providing incorrect test results
- Lack of post-operative care
You must file the correct medical claim to strengthen your case. As per a study, the cases of adverse events and medication errors are increasing in Australia. So much so that it dwarfs the decreasing number of negligence claims. It suggests that people are either not filing negligence claims or filing them incorrectly. So often, they are not awarded the damages.
Therefore, it’s recommended that you get in touch with medical negligence lawyers as soon as you face complications after undergoing a medical procedure. Reputed professionals at Law Advice lawyers or any other law group will help you proceed with the case correctly.