Medical Negligence Claims

If you feel that you have been poorly treated by a health professional and suffered injury you may have a claim for medical negligence and compensation.

Medical negligence might not be an operation that has gone wrong.  Medical negligence can include a number of different situations:

SituationExample
Failing to diagnose a condition or delay in diagnosing the conditionFailing to diagnose Melanoma at an early stage when it could have been treated effectively, leading to a situation where it spreads throughout the body and it becomes a severe and life threatening condition
MisdiagnosisDiagnosing appendicitis when in fact the correct diagnosis is mesenteric adenitis
Failing to provide proper advice and all appropriate options regarding treatment of a conditionNot being made aware of there being more than one option for treatment and investigation.
Not being referred to a medical professionals In the relevant area of expertise in time (or at all) and the person then suffers worsening health due to poor treatment or delayed treatment
Failing to treat a condition properly and in doing so making it worse.Not prescribing the accepted medication for a particular condition
Making errors in medical documentationInaccurately reporting on medical results
Failing to provide ongoing care and management following initial investigation, treatment and opinionAllowing a patient to undergo complex dental surgery and failing to inform and put in place a timetable for regular check-ups to monitor any unusual change – such a deterioration in the patient’s condition

The heads of damages which can be claimed are:

  • General damages for pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Superannuation benefits
  • Commercial value of care and assistance
  • Out of pocket expenses

Contact us for a free case assessment. Seek advice from a lawyer that is highly experienced and an accredited specialist in personal injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth investigating a possible medical negligence claim? How much will it cost me?

We provide a free initial case assessment and we act on a “no win, no fee” basis.  Contact us to obtain preliminary advice, free of charge.

Will I recover any compensation by making a complaint to government bodies about the medical negligence that I suffered?

Generally speaking, government bodies do not provide any lump sum compensation. Government bodies such as the Queensland Ombudsman can investigate claims for the purposes of determining whether there was any conduct of a medical practitioner which fell below the expected standard of care.  This procedure exists for the purpose of attempting to prevent the same conduct reoccurring and imposing particular penalties or limitations on that practitioner in terms of their medical practice.

Who is responsible for payment of any lump sum compensation in a medical negligence claim?

In the majority of cases, doctors and other health professionals are covered by insurance. Accordingly, upon successful completion of the claim, it is usually the insurer that makes the payment.

I don't want to take my case to court. Is there a chance of my case settling out of court?

In our experience, the vast bulk of these types of cases settle out of court. There is always a small risk that your case will go to a court hearing.  However before this occurs, there are many steps in the claim process that allow a claimant to negotiate with the other parties involved in the claim in order to attempt to resolve it at an early stage.

There is a mandatory pre-court process in Queensland which means that any claim for medical negligence must go to some form of negotiated settlement before it reaches a court hearing. If the claim is not resolved at the settlement conference, there is still an opportunity to resolve the claim after the settlement conference and before it reaches a court hearing.

Do any time limits apply to medical negligence claims?

Yes. There are time limits that apply to claims for medical negligence. In Queensland, there is a pre-court process which means that certain claim forms must be lodged within certain periods following the date of the incident or the first date on which the claimant consulted a lawyer.

In addition, it is generally the case that there is a three year time limit from the date of injury to file court proceedings. This limit is strictly enforced and failing to commence a claim within this time frame would likely mean that you would be barred from claiming damages.

It is best to seek expert legal advice from an experienced medical negligence practitioner as soon as possible.  Any delay in investigating such a claim should be avoided.

Contact Rogalski Lawyers and a reputable legal professional, will be able to provide you with the expert advice you need to work out where you stand.