Sometimes doctors or other health professionals make mistakes and injure their patients. If this has happened to you, a compensation claim may be needed. The first step is to work out what has happened and gather evidence in the form of medical records and witness statements. Your case might need a timeline of events prepared from both the medical records and what you and other witnesses recall to check if all the medical records have been provided by the defendant.
Medical Negligence Investigation
Your case might seem very difficult. For example, if you had surgery and ended up with a devastating infection, but you can’t prove the hospital had a recent history of having too many infections such that it should have been closed down for cleaning, how will you win? The first step would be to investigate what surgery should have been done, the maximum time it should have taken, and in many cases if it took more than twice as long as it should have, you will be able to prove the delay probably caused the infection and win.
Then your lawyer will need to work out what the medical literature, guides and policies say should be done in your circumstances. It might be necessary to look at what they said a number of years ago if you were not injured recently. Medical standards improve with research and advances in technology and what is acceptable today might not be the same as what was considered competent 10 or 20 years ago. Your lawyer may need to seek the opinion of other independent medical specialists to work this out as well as conduct their own research and draw on their past knowledge and experience from similar cases.
Duty of Care to the Patient
Often there is a strict medical rule about how a doctor should deal with your situation, but sometimes this is not the case and there may be different schools of thought between doctors, where one theory has not been shown to be better than the other. In the case of medical services where you, the patient, have choices available – it is very important that your doctor give you proper advice about the pros and cons of one surgery, medication or procedure over another. For example, a mother giving birth will have to choose between a C-section (cesarean section) or natural birth. She should know the pros and cons for her and her baby in their particular circumstances, then choose from the appropriate options, once she understands all the relevant risks and benefits.
Medical Malpractice Claims can be Time Sensitive
Time limits apply to medical negligence claims and they vary greatly from state to state. They may also vary depending whether the claim is based on negligence or breach of statutory guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law. If you think your injury has been caused by a medical mistake, you should immediately seek confidential legal advice. We also specialise in medical negligence time extensions where the initial time limit to make a claim has already expired. If that has happened to you, do not delay, contact us immediately!
We would be happy to discuss whether we can assist on a no win no fee basis and provide the funding needed for independent expert reports to prove your case.
Contact us for a confidential, free, no-obligation initial consultation about your medical negligence case.