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What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when your doctor, hospital or other medical professional provides treatment that falls below a reasonable standard, and you suffer as a result.

Some common examples of medical negligence are:

  • Paediatrics and gynaecology errors.
  • Improperly inserted implants.
  • Failure to advise of medical risks.
  • Referral errors by GPs.

If you don’t see your situation here, you could still have a claim. Our lawyers are always on standby to discuss your options.

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How to prove medical negligence

To make a successful medical negligence claim, you’ll need to establish 3 elements:

The medical service provider must have owed you a ‘duty of care’. Doctors, dentists, and hospitals all owe you this.

Their conduct fell below an acceptable professional standard, meaning no reasonable medical service provider would have done the same thing.

You need to show a direct link between your current health condition and the treatment (or lack of treatment) by your medical service provider.

There’s no doubt that proving medical negligence can be complex. That’s why our lawyers undergo years of training in both medicine and law. Their specialist skill means they can prove negligence in even the most difficult of cases.

How much compensation will I receive?

There is no set amount of compensation for medical negligence claims. Each case turns on its particular facts, circumstances, and relevant law.

At the lower end of the range, some claims are limited to $100,000 to $200,000 in damages. At the opposite end of the range, there are cases where the compensation exceeds $10 million.

Importantly, your compensation is not restricted to economic loss. You’re also entitled to claim for the negative impact of the injury on your life.

Your compensation can include:

  • Lost income: both past and future, including superannuation.
  • Pain and suffering: how your injury impacts your physical and mental well-being.
  • Care and support: professional care or support provided by family or friends. Also includes if you can no longer care for someone who depends on you.
  • Other costs related to your injury: medical expenses, travel and modifications to your home or vehicle.

Time limits

Time limits apply to every medical negligence case. The exact limit depends on the state you live in. In some states, you need to start court proceedings within 3 years of being injured. Other states give you 3 years from the date you realise your injury was caused by medical negligence.

While time limits are enforced, there are also major exceptions. If you’re outside the time limit, get in touch with our team as soon as possible. Over the years, we’ve successfully resolved many delayed claims for our medical negligence clients.

The claims process

During your free consultation, you’ll tell one of our team about your situation. It’s likely the lawyer you speak to will see your claim all the way through to its successful completion.

Your lawyer will review your clinical notes and analyse your medical history to start building your case.

We collaborate with our medical experts and collect the evidence needed to support your case. If you need to visit our doctors, we organise and pay for everything.

With the expert evidence to support your case, we begin the mediation process.

The overwhelming majority of cases don’t go to Court—they are resolved at a mediation. During mediation, your lawyer manages all the negotiations to get you the best possible result. This is where our preparation and experience pay off. In the rare instance that your case doesn’t settle, your lawyer will discuss further options with you.

How much does a medical negligence claim cost?

  • No cost to you: Your medical negligence claim is covered by our No Win No Fee Guarantee, meaning you pay nothing unless we win.
  • No upfront fees: Unlike other firms, we cover every expense related to your claim, including medical reports and expert evidence.
  • Lower legal fees: In most cases, we recover the majority of our fees from the other party. This means you keep more of your total compensation.
  • 90-day risk-free trial: We offer a 90-day free trial so you can evaluate our work before committing to your claim. If you cancel anytime during this period, there's absolutely nothing to pay.
Find out more about our fees

Frequently asked questions

You can bring a medical negligence claim against any medical professional or institution that is registered to practice in Australia. This includes registered:

  • Hospitals.
  • Surgeons.
  • General Practitioners (GPs).
  • Specialists.
  • Nurses.
  • Dentists.
  • Oncologists.
  • Radiologists.
  • Pharmacists.
  • Midwives.

Note: You cannot bring a claim against a practitioner performing cosmetic surgery or body modifications unless they are a registered plastic surgeon.

If you are unsure whether or not your medical service provider is registered, check the national online register of practitioners on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

That all depends on your case: how complex it is, and how long it takes for your condition or injuries to stabilise. As a guide, most medical negligence compensation claims take between 12 to 18 months to finalise.

Once we know the facts of your particular situation, we’ll be able to give you a more exact time estimate.

Yes, you can claim if your loved one’s death has significantly impacted your finances, mental health, or home life. There are 3 types of claims you may be eligible for:

  • Dependency claims compensate the deceased’s partner, children, and anyone else they financially supported.
  • Nervous shock claims provide financial assistance to people who develop a psychological illness due to the deceased’s passing.
  • Loss of services claims pay for caregiving or domestic assistance once provided by the deceased.

All 3 claims can provide vital financial assistance after a loved one’s passing.

Dependency claims

You are eligible for a dependency claim if you were a ‘financial dependent’ of the deceased. This means you relied on their money to meet your everyday living expenses.

Generally speaking, only close family members can make dependency claims. This includes spouses, de facto partners, children, parents and siblings. However, distant relatives or non-family members are eligible if they were financially dependent on the deceased.

How much compensation will I receive?

The exact compensation you receive depends on:

  • Your age
  • Your relationship with the deceased
  • The deceased’s income prior to passing
  • The deceased’s contribution to everyday living expenses
  • Future education and maintenance costs.

Your compensation is based on the amount of support you would have received had your loved one not passed away.

Nervous shock claims

You can make a nervous shock claim if a loved one’s death caused you to develop a psychological illness. People who witness the death are also eligible to claim for nervous shock.

Only recognised psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression or PTSD qualify. Unfortunately, you cannot claim for grief or distress alone.

How much compensation will I receive?

Your compensation will be based on:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering.

Loss of services claims

You can make a loss of services claim if the deceased provided you with ‘gratuitous services’ like cooking, cleaning, childcare, and school drop-offs. Gratuitous services must be non-financial acts of care.

How much compensation will I receive?

By definition, gratuitous services are unpaid, so calculating their value can be difficult. The Court can look at several criteria, including:

  • The deceased’s skills (especially if they had a trade)
  • The time spent on services
  • The burden on the remaining family members and other relevant people.

Probably not. Courts now require parties to meet and negotiate before a claim is given a court date. As a result, about 95% of cases settle out of court. If necessary, we will not hesitate to take your case to court.

Medical negligence is one of the most complex areas of law, and building a successful claim requires detailed knowledge of both negligence and medical law.

A specialist medical negligence lawyer can help you find out what kind of claim you might have and how to get the most out of it.

A good lawyer will:

  • Determine whether you have a claim and provide meaningful advice on its value.
  • Obtain strong evidence to prove that the medical professional was negligent.
  • Challenge medical and other evidence provided by the insurer.
  • Advise you on the right strategy to progress your claim, especially when the insurer is not offering you a fair settlement.
  • Find any additional claims you may be entitled to. These are often worth substantially more than your medical negligence claim alone.
  • Maximise your final compensation payout.

Our medical negligence lawyers are specially trained to take on the big healthcare insurers, using medical reports and expert testimony to get you the compensation you deserve.

With our No Win No Fee Guarantee, your claim is also risk-free. There are no upfront fees, and you pay nothing until we win your case.

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What our clients say

When you walk through our doors, our top priority is to help you as much as we can. This commitment is shown in over 200 5-star reviews.

4.8 out of 5
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For anyone facing medical negligence issues, I highly recommend Monaco.

I contacted Monaco in regard to a complex negligence claim. The team at Monaco were both approachable and professional. Their knowledge and commitment gave me confidence and a strong case, which ultimately led to a successful outcome.


I am forever thankful! God bless you for being there for me whenever I called.

Monaco Compensation Lawyers are second to no-one. Anthony and his team were there for me every step of the way. When I got disheartened or down, I would make one phone call to the team at Monaco Solicitors, and they were there for me instantly—reassuring me and consoling me.


They were always ready to help with paperwork and answer any questions.

The staff at Monaco solicitors are very respectful, courteous, knowledgeable and professional. They were always able to help me with the paperwork on my case and always available to assist with any questions I had. They explained all the details of the process as it came up. I have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone who has a medical issue.

Google Posted by Paulina Chapman

Easy and supportive define my experience with Monaco.

My experience with Monaco Solicitors has been very rewarding. My solicitor was Lucy, who was so easy to communicate with throughout the process. On mediation, she was so supportive. I certainly would recommend Monaco Solicitors to anyone who feels they may have a potential Medical Negligence claim.

Google Posted by Carol Dillon

Thank you for accomplishing so much in such a short time.

Great communication, empathy and understanding. My case worker Daniella was a saint, understanding and patient and always passing on any updates in record time.


Good result! We had a complicated claim but they got the job done.

My brothers and I had a complicated claim. I found Ben Ralph to be very helpful, himself and Sally Sutton worked hard for just over a year to get through our claim. They achieved a good result and got the monies paid to myself and my brothers.


I knew it from the very first phone call: I had found a compassionate law firm.

Monaco Solicitors, I have no hesitation in recommending Daniella Dababneh and her team. After I suffered a serious workplace accident, I was in need of legal help.


They helped me juggle my injury claim and my mum's full-time care.

I highly recommend Monaco Solicitors. I was claiming PI through my superannuation for workplace injuries. They were doing a no win no fee which was great as I am a carer for my mum and don’t earn much.


Monaco helped me get much more compensation than I expected.

Monaco Lawyers helped me to receive compensation for an ongoing injury I sustained after I was simply driving home from work and was driven into head on by an incompetent and negligent driver who I believe was texting at the time of the accident.


They gave it their all and the result was even better than expected.

At all times during this long process, I felt supported by the solicitors and barrister assigned to me. At mediation, it became clear that my team were doing all they could to get the best possible outcome for me. At settlement, they did better than I expected.

Google Posted by Stafford Ray
Leon Monaco & team member

Why choose Monaco

Medical negligence is one of the most technically challenging areas of law — so you need a law firm up to the challenge. Our dedicated medical negligence lawyers use proven legal strategies and specialist medical knowledge to prepare your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

We have an extensive network of medical experts providing independent examinations, reports and testimony to bolster your case.

Voted “Compensation Law Firm of the Year in Australia 2020”, we’re industry leaders with the expertise to win even the most complex of claims.

Speak to us today for free, comprehensive legal advice. Find out where you stand, how we can assist with your claim, and the best strategy to maximise your final payout.

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Millions won for our clients

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$10 million

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After Nora’s husband died from bad medical advice, she successfully sued the hospital for her depression

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Hannah's Story

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“Monaco got us an upfront payment to ease the financial strain.”

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