Doctor Negligence – How to Claim Compensation.
We place a lot of faith in doctors to act professionally and in our best interests, and the majority of them do. But mistakes are sometimes made that result in a worse outcome for the patient, and those mistakes can amount to doctor negligence.
If you’ve suffered medical problems or losses due to doctor negligence in Australia, you may be able to sue your doctor for medical negligence and claim compensation.
What is considered doctor negligence?
Doctor negligence in Australia is when an injury, illness or worsening of a condition has occurred as a result of medical treatment by a doctor that was below the expected standard of care. The type of injury you’ve suffered will determine whether or not doctor or GP negligence has taken place.
You can also make a claim if you’ve suffered an illness, psychological injury, or other loss that can be tied back to medical neglect by doctors or a breach of their duty as medical professionals.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve been a victim of doctor negligence, ask yourself these three questions:
- Did the medical treatment I received from my doctor result in an injury or loss?
- Was the treatment below the standard I’d expect from a doctor?
- If I had better care, would this injury or loss have been avoided?
If you’re able to say yes to these questions it’s likely you’ve got a claim and you could be able to sue your doctor for negligence. This means that you could be awarded financial compensation.
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When does a doctor breach their duty of care?
Before doctor negligence can occur, there must be a duty for the doctor to take care of you, known as a “duty of care”. If the doctor didn’t meet the appropriate standard of care when treating you, and you suffered an injury or loss as a result, this duty could have been breached. This is known as a “breach of duty”.
Whether or not a breach of duty has occurred in your doctor or GP negligence scenario will depend entirely on the unique circumstances of your situation. Overall, doctor negligence is a legally complex area that is best handled by an experienced doctor negligence lawyer. It’s best to talk to a lawyer before you decide if you’re going to proceed with your claim.
Examples of medical negligence by doctors
Many things can go wrong in hospital when you’re being treated and figuring out whether you’ve received a substandard level of care can be difficult. Here are some common examples of medical negligence by doctors:
- A failure to check equipment
- Administering the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage
- Inadequate monitoring
- Making mistakes when drawing blood or putting IV lines in
- A failure to diagnose a condition, especially if it should have been obvious
- Not acquiring informed consent for a procedure
- Not providing adequate warning of the risks
This is not an exhaustive list. Even if you haven’t experienced one of these problems but have still sustained an injury or loss due to negligence, you may still have a claim. The key point is that the doctor’s negligence must be the cause of your injury or loss—this is crucial if a claim is to be successful.
Can I sue a doctor for negligence?
Yes, you can. Unlike with other medical claims like those involving nurses where you claim against the hospital’s insurance, claims involving doctor negligence go directly against the doctor’s own indemnity insurance. All practicing doctors in Australia are required to hold this to cover them against being sued for negligence or malpractice.
The need for strong medical and scientific evidence and the costs associated with obtaining professional testimony, among other things, make it difficult to sue alone, however. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult a no-win, no-fee doctor negligence lawyer for an initial assessment of your case.
Making your doctor or GP negligence claim
Suing a doctor for medical negligence can be complex. For example, there may be multiple parties involved, and it can also be difficult to determine who’s at fault if another medical professional was involved in your treatment.
If you think you’ve got a claim, the first thing to do is speak to an experienced doctor negligence lawyer. They’ll get to know your case and advise you on whether you’ve got a claim and how much compensation you might be entitled to.
To find out how much you can claim or to get free legal advice, speak to a medical negligence lawyer at Law Partners today.