Medical Negligence

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Common Questions

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence is the failure of a health-care provider to treat you with reasonable skill and care, causing you injury as a result.

Your doctor, hospital or medical service provider has a legal duty to treat you in a competent and professional manner. If they fail in this duty, they may be held liable for any resulting injury or loss.

Medical negligence can include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Inappropriate treatment
  • Surgical errors
  • Defective medical products
  • Anaesthesia errors
  • Prescription and medication errors.
  • Medication errors
  • Injuries sustained during birth, including stillbirths and neonatal deaths
  • Failure to refer for investigations, specialist advice or emergency treatment
  • Defective medical products
  • Injuries as a result of medical care overseas
  • Cerebral palsy claims

It may also include a failure to:

  • Return correct test results
  • Provide crucial post-operative care
  • Monitor pregnancies correctly

Do I have a claim?

You can make a claim against a medical service provider if you can show that:

  • The medical service provider owed you a duty of care.
    • While all doctors and hospitals owe a duty of care to their patients, the nature and extent of that duty will change depending on the facts of the case.
  • The medical service provider breached their duty of care to you.
    • For example, your general practitioner owes a duty of care to investigate any health complaint properly. If they fail to do so, they may have breached their duty of care to you.
  • Any injury you have suffered was caused by the negligence.
    • In other words, you need to show that the health condition, injury or loss was caused by your medical service provider providing you with inappropriate or inadequate care.

As you can see, medical negligence is much more than a simple mistake. Most people, therefore, engage an expert compensation lawyer who has the knowledge and expertise to help guide a case to a successful outcome. It is important to obtain legal advice sooner than later.

Call us on 1300 769 665 for a free consultation to discuss your options and see how we can help you.

What should I do if I believe my medical service provider has been negligent?

If you believe your medical service provider has been negligent, you should take the following steps:

Step 1: Get legal advice as soon as possible.

Step 2: Collect copies of your medical records, X-rays and scans, as well as any correspondence between you and medical practitioner (we can request these for you).

Step 3: Collect copies of all your receipts relating to the medical and other expenses associated with your injury (again, we can help with this).

Step 4: Obtain appropriate expert medical evidence before commencing court proceedings (once again, we would handle this for you).

How can we help with your claim?

We manage the entire claims process for you.

Step 1: You call us or meet with us, explain what has happened to you, and we tell you whether we believe you have a valid legal claim.

Step 2: If we believe your claim is valid and agree to take on your case on a No-Win – No-Fee basis, we will arrange an appointment at one of our offices. If it is difficult for you to travel, we can arrange a home visit.

Step 3: We collect evidence to support your case. In medical negligence claims, this involves collating clinical notes and medical reports from your doctors as well as other material such as an accurate record of what happened to you.

Step 4: We also collect any additional evidence relevant to your claim, including documents from accountants, actuaries, occupational therapists and other experts.

Step 5: We file your claim with the appropriate court or tribunal.

Step 6: We communicate with you in a language you can understand and support you at every stage of your claim, including settlement conferences, mediations and court hearings.

What do I need to know about the claims process in NSW?

In New South Wales (NSW), medical negligence law falls under the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW).

If you are thinking of making a claim, you should be aware that the legislation:

  • Defines the types of compensation you can claim
  • Establishes time limits for bringing a claim against the medical service provider
  • Limits the compensation you can recover in certain situations.

The legislation is complicated, and as there are time limits, it’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to find out if you have a claim.

How long will it take?

In our experience, most medical negligence matters settle before they go to court.

The courts ‘case manage’ matters so that they move through the system as quickly as possible. We find that the average case will usually be finalised within 10 to 12 months from the time it is filed in court.

For a free initial consultation to find out if you have a medical negligence claim, please email us or call us on 1300 769 665 to speak directly to one of our lawyers.

What sort of compensation am I entitled to?

In a medical negligence claim, the objective is to put a monetary value on the losses you have suffered as a result of your medical service provider’s action or inaction.

You are entitled to recover compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering (non-economic loss)
  • Past and future wage loss or loss of earnings
  • Past and future loss of superannuation entitlements
  • Past and future expenses (such as medical and travel, as well as the cost of home and vehicle modifications)
  • Care and help provided by friends or family
  • Commercial care costs

What else can I claim? Total and permanent disability (TPD)

In addition to your claim for medical negligence, you may also have a claim under your superannuation and your personal insurance policies.

Many superannuation insurance policies provide cover if you are totally and permanently disabled. This is referred to as a TPD claim and payments  under these policies will usually be in the form of a lump sum.

In addition, you may also be able to make a third claim under a personal insurance policy if you have life insurance, income protection insurance, or sickness and accident insurance.

At MCL, we have a team of lawyers who specialise in superannuation, TPD and life insurance claims. They have the skills to determine whether you are covered under these policies, and if you are, the experience to pursue your rights with the insurance companies who are not always ready to pay in the first instance.

If you'd like to find out more about making a superannuation or TPD claim , then please call us on 1300 769 665.

Why choose MCL to handle your medical negligence claim?

MCL is one of Australia’s premier medical negligence law firms.

With over 20 years experience, our lawyers are experts in this area. And they need to be. With the rapid evolution of medical science and technology, medical law is becoming more and more complex.

Our medical negligence team is lead by a Law Society Accredited Specialist and is supported by an extensive panel of medical experts who have the knowledge to tease out the vital details of your case.

At MCL, we have the experience to navigate your case through the court system in order to get the best possible result for you as quickly as possible. Your case will be assessed, valued and prepared so that you get the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Our lawyers have what it takes to meet the large insurance companies that usually represent the medical service providers head on. Just as importantly, we have the financial muscle to go the distance against the limitless resources of these large insurers.

Our reputation for being tough, experienced and well-prepared means that the insurance companies respect us and are more likely to offer you fair and reasonable compensation for your injury or loss.

We provide a ‘No Win No Fee’ guarantee to all our clients. This means that you only pay us for our work after the successful conclusion of your claim.

Finally, if you entrust your matter to us, you will have your own lawyer, who will always be available to answer your questions and support you through the claims process.

If you would like a free initial consultation with a lawyer who is an expert in medical negligence claims, call us now on 1300 769 665.

Claim Process in 4 Simple Steps

Free consultation
We listen to your story and provide Free Case Assessment and advice.
Investigation of your claim
We obtain your medical records and carefully consider whether you have a claim against the doctor.
Court proceedings
Commencing court proceedings and building a strong case.
We manage all negotiations with the insurer and get the best possible settlement for you.

10 Reasons To Choose Us

No Win No Fee Guarantee

You can afford high quality legal representation without having to pay any upfront costs. We will never charge unless we successfully recover compensation. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you don’t have to reimburse us for any of the legal fees and expenses associated with your case.

Free advice from a solicitor

You can get free advice from one of our expert lawyers both on the phone and or in person. How does it work? You simply call us at 1300 769 665 and you will be transferred to one of our lawyers who will provide you with clear and comprehensive advice free of charge. You can also submit an enquiry online and, again, our written advice to you will be obligation free.

98% cases won

We win the overwhelming majority of our cases. Obviously, this doesn’t happen by chance – only hard, diligent work gets results. What does it mean for you? It means that nothing is left to chance and no stone is left unturned in getting you the successful result you deserve.

Award winning law firm

At MCL we take pride in our work and work tirelessly to be the best in the industry. We have been voted Personal Injury Law Firm of the Year 2018 (ACQ5 Global Awards) and Most Outstanding Australian Compensation Law Firm (AI 2019 Excellence Awards).

4.8 Star rating on Google

Don’t just take our word for it – look at independent Google reviews from our clients. In fact, Monaco has the highest Google rating within the industry.

Leaders in our field

For over 20 years MCL has been a leader in the field of compensation law. With 43 offices nationwide, we can deliver our services to you wherever you are. No matter how big or small your claim, we have the expertise to handle it successfully.

We are specialists in compensation

At Monaco, our lawyers are some of the best trained and qualified in the industry. We have a team dealing exclusively with Medical Negligence claims, headed up by Accredited Specialist So no matter how complex your claim, we have the expertise to handle it successfully.

Maximum compensation

Don’t let insurance companies pay less than your claim is worth. You deserve substantial compensation for your suffering and it is our responsibility to get it for you. We have the training and expertise to ensure that nothing will be left to chance when preparing your claim. The result – maximum compensation recovered in every case.

We are in for the long haul

Compensation claims can be expensive to run. We have the financial muscle to go the distance against the limitless resources that can be deployed by the insurance companies. If we take your case, we’ll run it on a No Win No Fee basis, so you have nothing to lose.

Home and hospital visits

We have dealt with injured people over many years and understand that sometimes travelling to see a lawyer can be difficult. This is why we offer our free home and/or hospital visit service. All you need to do is ask!

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