Hospital Negligence Claims Guide.
Medical professionals have a duty of care towards you and must ensure your safety and wellbeing. If they’ve failed to do this and you’ve suffered injury, illness, or worsening of a condition as a result, you could be a victim of hospital negligence and entitled to make a compensation claim.
Can I make a hospital negligence claim?
You can make a negligence or hospital malpractice claim if you’ve suffered physical or psychological injury, developed an illness, or if an existing condition has been made worse because of negligent or subpar treatment by a medical professional in a hospital.
A medical professional is anybody who’s involved in or responsible for providing healthcare treatment or advice, such as a midwife, doctor, radiographer, dentist, pharmacist, nurse, or any other allied healthcare professional.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve been a victim of hospital negligence, consider these questions:
- Did my treatment at hospital result in an injury, illness, or other loss?
- Was my treatment below the standard I’d expect from a medical professional?
- Would my injury, illness, or loss have been avoided with better medical care?
If you answer yes to these questions, it’s possible that negligence has taken place and you could be able to make a compensation claim.
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What is hospital negligence?
Hospital negligence, sometimes called ‘medical negligence‘ or ‘medical malpractice‘ occurs when a medical professional’s behaviour falls below the standard of care expected and it causes a patient to suffer an injury, develop an illness, or makes their condition worse.
Common examples include:
- Misdiagnosis that causes a condition to worsen
- Negligent treatment by doctors or nurses
- Administration of incorrect medication
- Wrongful death
- Delayed diagnosis
- Substandard examinations that cause a condition to go unnoticed
- Misreading or ignoring laboratory results
Hospital negligence claims can involve any area of medicine, including:
How much compensation could I get?
Hospital negligence claims payouts in Australia can fall anywhere between tens of thousands to millions of dollars. The final figure depends on the severity of your injuries and losses and will generally account for:
- Income that you’ve lost through time off work
- Expenses that have been caused by your injury (e.g. medical and travel)
- Pain and suffering
- The cost of any domestic assistance to help you at home
- Estimated future losses, for example if you can no longer work
According to data obtained by the Northern Daily Leader**, the average compensation payout by the Hunter New England Health Service in NSW between October 2016 and October 2018 was more than $650,000. However, this figure is considered high and it’s likely that the average across NSW is lower.
How long do I have to make a hospital malpractice claim?
It’s important that you act as soon as you know or think that hospital malpractice has taken place and that it’s caused you an injury, illness, or loss. Hospital negligence claims in Australia need to be brought within 3 years of the date of injury. Time limits for compensation claims involving children can vary.
Depending on your hospital negligence case, however, your time limit may be longer. It’s best to contact a hospital negligence lawyer as soon as possible so that your situation can be assessed.
Can I submit a negligence claim on my own?
Yes, you can. However, the laws surrounding hospital malpractice and negligence in Australia are very complicated.
Even if you’ve clearly received negligent treatment, you can only make a claim if you’ve suffered harm, injury, or loss. And if you do fall into this category, you’ve got to prove that the hospital medical negligence is more than an acceptable mishap or mistake because Australian law recognises that medical providers aren’t expected to be perfect.
To get the maximum hospital negligence claim payout you’re entitled to, it’s recommended that you don’t attempt to make a claim on your own.
Speak to a hospital negligence lawyer
Everyone’s situation is different, as are all hospital negligence claims.
The first thing you should do if you think you’ve got a claim is speak to a hospital negligence lawyer. They’ll take the time to get to know you personally, learn about your case, and advise you on how to proceed. This means that you’ll find yourself in a much better position than if you go it alone.
To find out how much you can claim or to get free legal advice, speak to a hospital negligence lawyer at Law Partners today.