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2022 Guide to Medical Negligence Payouts in Australia.

Medical negligence payouts in Australia can be substantial, with some running into millions of dollars. But these cases can be complex, and if you’re planning to claim medical negligence it can be hard to know how much you’re entitled to.

This guide will help you understand medical negligence payouts in Australia, with examples of payout amounts and how to find out how much your claim might be worth.

Medical Negligence Payouts Guide.

What’s the average medical negligence payout in Australia?

In 2018 the average medical negligence payout for one Australian health region was more than $650,000.

Information on medical negligence payout amounts across all Australian claims isn’t readily available, but data obtained by the Northern Daily Leader* in a freedom of information request shows the Hunter New England Health Service made 105 medical negligence claims payouts between October 1, 2016, and October 1, 2018, at a cost of $69 million. However, this figure is considered high and it’s likely that the average across Australia is somewhat lower than $650,000, as payouts of this magnitude generally indicate quite serious medical negligence claims.

*Ref: https://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/6249086/hunter-new-england-health-district-pays-out-69-million-for-medical-mistakes/

What are some examples of medical negligence payouts in Australia?

Here are three examples of medical negligence claims payouts in Australia:

Case 1: Injury from pregnancy termination – $1.48M

In this medical negligence claim in NSW, the patient was injured during a planned termination of a pregnancy. She suffered a perforated bowel caused by the use of forceps, which then required further surgery and treatment over the next two years.

This patient was awarded a medical negligence payout of $1.48M.

Case 2: Delayed diagnosis of appendicitis – $750k

Many medical negligence payouts in Australia result from delayed diagnosis. This patient went to her doctor with abdominal pain and was incorrectly diagnosed as having an ovarian cyst. She was subsequently admitted to hospital and discharged 24 hours later, once again without a correct diagnosis. She was eventually diagnosed with a ruptured appendix seven days after her initial examination. As a result, she has suffered long-term physical and psychological issues, which could have been avoided had the diagnosis not been delayed.

This patient was awarded a medical negligence payout of $750k.

Case 3: Paraplegia caused by delayed diagnosis – $4.5M

The patient presented at hospital with severe neck pain, and the hospital incorrectly diagnosed him as having a muscle strain and prescribed morphine. The next day he returned to the hospital, once again with severe neck pain, however he was discharged and sent home. On the third day his limbs stopped working and he collapsed at home and became unresponsive. He was rushed into surgery where it was found he had a cervical spinal epidural abscess caused by a Staph infection. Despite undergoing surgery, the patient was left paraplegic and spent the next four months in hospital.

This patient was awarded a medical negligence payout amount of $4.5M to cover his losses and pain and suffering and to support his future care and treatment expenses.

Find out how much you can claim.

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How much is my medical negligence claim worth?

Past medical negligence claims that have settled, like the three examples above, are a good way to get an indication of what a claim may be worth. However, your payout amount will depend on your personal situation, taking into account factors like your age, pre-injury income, future earning potential as well as your level of impairment and the direct costs you’ve incurred from your injury. So medical negligence payout amounts can range from thousands to millions of dollars.

The only way to get a true indication of the value of your claim is to have a specialist medical negligence lawyer look into it, establish the likelihood of its success, and estimate the payout you may be entitled to. This can take some time and requires specialist medical reports.

The good news is, you can have your claim investigated at no cost to you. Law Partners will review your circumstances and if you have a potential claim, we’ll pay for the medical experts and reports needed to confirm the likelihood of your claim succeeding and estimate your medical negligence payout amount.

Read how a nightmare medical negligence ordeal ended with a $1.2 million payout to a former landscaper.

How are medical negligence claims payouts calculated?

Depending on the severity of your injuries, your total compensation amount can include:

For more detailed information, refer to our guide to medical negligence compensation.

What percentage of medical negligence claims are successful?

59% of medical negligence claims in Australia are successful. This is according to the latest data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare*, and this success rate is based on all medical negligence claims that were commenced across Australia over a 12-month period. It includes claims settled both in and out of court, however only 3% of claims were settled by a court decision.

At Law Partners, we win over 99% of our clients’ cases. So having one of our specialist medical negligence lawyers on your side will give you a much higher chance of successfully claiming a medical negligence payout.

*Australia’s medical indemnity claims 2012-13, page 19

How do you successfully claim a medical negligence payout in Australia?

Medical negligence claims are complex, so it’s important to get good advice and engage the services of a specialist medical negligence lawyer. Your lawyer will engage one or more medical experts who have experience in medical negligence to carry out assessments, review your medical records and provide a report detailing how your treatment was negligent.

Your Law Partners lawyer will manage this process for you and will run your case on a “no win no fee” basis. So we‘ll cover all the medical experts’ costs for you, and you won’t have to pay anything out of your own pocket.

If your medical negligence claim is accepted by the insurer, the next step is mediation – where all parties meet and try to reach an agreement. Most of our claims are resolved at this stage and a settlement (i.e. a medical negligence payout to you) is agreed upon. In the minority of cases where a settlement isn’t reached, your lawyer will advise you about taking your claim to court to pursue compensation.

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