A report from the Grattan Institute in 2018 revealed some concerning medical statistics: one in every nine patients who goes to hospital in Australia experiences complications. If they stay overnight, the figure increases to one in four.
The risk of suffering a complication depends heavily on which hospital a patient is treated in. In the worst-performing hospitals, the risks can be up to four times as high as the best-performing ones. And the statistics are kept secret not only from the public but also from hospitals and medical practitioners.
While not all of these complications are avoidable or the result of medical negligence, Shine Lawyers Clare Eves, National Special Counsel- Medical Law has said “the injured person is put to a strict standard of proof meaning these cases are complex, expensive and take time. The legislation has evolved to protect the rights of the practitioner to ensure frivolous claims are not pursued and ongoing financial management of such claims can be met.”
If you suspect you may have a claim for medical negligence, this blog post will inform you on how Shine Lawyers may be able to assist you.
What is medical negligence?
In legal terms, negligence is defined as a failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm to another person. Medical professionals have a common law duty to take reasonable care of their patients’ wellbeing and safety.
It’s important to remember that not all errors count as negligent. Simply suffering a bad outcome during treatment doesn’t automatically give you grounds to make a compensation claim. Medical treatment is only considered “negligent” if the practitioner has failed to take “reasonable care”. However, reasonable care doesn’t mean perfection.
Do I need a lawyer?
It’s not easy to win a medical negligence claim in Australia, even if your case is legitimate. Claimants and their solicitors have to prove in court that the doctor failed to provide reasonable care resulting in injuries and that this lack of reasonable care was the most likely reason for these injuries.
In order to claim the compensation you’re entitled to, you need a competent, properly trained lawyer to fight for justice on your behalf. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries after medical treatment and you’re sure that the treatment was the cause of these injuries, you may have a claim and should certainly seek a lawyer.
I’m a victim of medical negligence, what now?
If you’ve been a victim of medical negligence, Shine Lawyers can help. Get in touch with us to see how we can assist you in making a claim for compensation.
Shine Lawyers take the stress and the expense out of your medical negligence claim as much as possible. Our expertly trained medical negligence lawyers work on a “no win, no fee” basis, so you won’t have to pay us anything until we win your case. We’ll cut out the legal jargon and keep you in the loop in Plain English as we fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: February 1, 2019.