How do I know if I have a claim for medical negligence in New South Wales?
If you, or a family member, have suffered an injury or illness you believe has been caused through the negligence of a medical practitioner, a hospital or any other provider of health care services, you may be entitled to make a claim for medical negligence (also sometimes called malpractice).
You may be entitled to compensation for your injury or illness if a medical practitioner has:
- failed to diagnose your condition within a reasonable timeframe (delay in diagnosis);
- failed to provide medical treatment, follow up care or advice;
- failed to advise you of the risks associated with treatment including surgical procedures;
- performed a procedure without your consent;
- failed to refer you to a specialist or for further investigation;
- misinterpreted or failed to correctly report on your test results; or
- failed to provide post-operative care with reasonable skill.
Who can I sue for medical negligence?
Usually a medical negligence claim is brought against the practitioner or institution that caused or contributed to your injury or illness. Claims are not just limited to general practitioners and hospitals; you can make a medical negligence claim against any health care provider or medical professional including, but not limited to:
- general practitioners;
- public and private hospitals;
- nurses and midwives;
- pharmacists; and
- allied healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists and chiropractors.
When should I seek legal advice?
In our view, as soon as possible.
Medical negligence claims are, by their very nature, complex and require significant knowledge and expertise. Our investigations (e.g. obtaining your medical records and history, research, liaising with experts, etc.) can take a fair bit of time to complete so the sooner this process begins, the sooner your claim can be resolved.
Although procedural laws differ from state to state within Australia, generally speaking, there are strict time limits that apply to medical negligence claims. In most situations, you would have three (3) years from the date of injury or the date of “discoverability” to bring you claim. Therefore, it’s critical that you seek early advice and assistance from a lawyer experienced in these types of claims to avoid potential limitation issues.
Hall Payne provides a free initial consultation. If you’re unsure about whether you have a claim or not, you’ve got nothing to lose by contacting us.
How do I prove a medical negligence claim?
In order to succeed in a claim for damages for personal injury in New South Wales, a claimant must demonstrate four (4) elements:
- the provider, at the time the treatment was provided, owed a duty of care;
- that duty was breached;
- that breach was the cause of damage; and
- that damage was suffered (injury).
Every claim will require different evidence for the best chance of success. Our lawyers have extensive experience in getting clients the compensation they deserve in medical negligence cases, and work with you to achieve the best results possible. Contact Hall Payne for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
What can I claim for?
If all four (4) elements, above, have been demonstrated, you may be entitled to claim both past and future damages in four (4) categories (called ‘heads of damage’):
- Non-economic loss – pain, suffering and loss of life enjoyment
- Out-of pocket expenses – including hospital and medical expenses, surgical costs, rehabilitation expenses, medications, travel and equipment, home and vehicle modifications;
- Economic loss – time off of work, use of annual and/or sick leave, reduction in earning capacity and or opportunities; and
- Domestic assistance – including both paid and gratuitous care provided by friends or family with activities of daily living.
Every individual has a different situation and it is important that your particular circumstances are considered. Remember, your claim is about you. Your best course of action is speaking to Hall Payne about what compensation is right for you.
How long will my claim take?
The length of your claim will depend on your injury, the intricacy of the investigation and the type of expert evidence required to present your claim. That being said, a thoroughly prepared claim can’t be rushed but our experience allows us to progress your claim in a timely manner so as to provide you with the compensation you deserve to help you get your life back on track.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. One of our dedicated medical negligence lawyers can discuss your particular circumstances and give you guidance on the timeframes that apply to medical negligence claims.
How much will it cost me to make a claim?
We will provide you with a free initial consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.
We will provide an estimate of legal costs, the likely time frames that will apply to your claim and whether representation is available on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.
I can’t travel – can you come to me?
If you are in bed or in hospital, we can come to you or call you, to discuss your matter as part of our free initial consultation.
Call us on 02 8280 4100 to speak with a medical negligence lawyer in New South Wales.