Medical Negligence Lawyers Gold Coast

What is medical negligence?

Medical Negligence is when a practitioner is found to have provided negligent medical treatment or advice that has resulted in injury or worsened an injury. On the Gold Coast, Coolangatta and the Tweed Heads areas the law accepts that medical practitioners may need to make difficult medical decisions under significant pressure and mistakes can happen. However, Medical negligence is more than just a simple mistake and results in a misdiagnosis or treatment which doesn’t hold up to the standard required under duty of care.

Duty of Care and Medical Negligence

A medical practitioner such as a doctor has a duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and judgment in providing treatment to patients. This also includes examinations, diagnosing and providing information to their patients. Many consent forms specify an acknowledgement of the stated risks and complications that may arise from the provision of a given treatment or operation. However, this does not relieve the medical practitioner from their responsibility to provide reasonable care, skill and judgement.

The medical practitioner’s actions need to be considered to be unacceptable according to the opinion of a large number of respected medical practitioners in a similar field of practice, with this it may be difficult to prove the claim if the practitioner’s actions were seen to be reasonable

How To Prove Causation for Medical Negligence

Another element that needs to be proven in a medical negligence claim is that the doctor or practitioner’s actions and performance caused harm or injury. In saying this you will need to be able to establish to the courts that it is more likely than not the doctor’s actions were responsible for the injuries that you sustained. 

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What Damages can you claim for in a medical negligence claim

If you have suffered an injury as the result of medical negligence you may be eligible for compensation for any losses and harm suffered by the practitioner’s negligent actions. Usually, claims are awarded as lump-sum payments to cover the costs of past, present and future expenses and losses due to medical negligence. Some of the damages that may be awarded can include:

Loss of income and earning capacity

Medical expenses, prescriptions, equipment aides, etc.

Attendant care or domestic assistance

General damages such as pain and suffering (loss of enjoyment of life)

Death claims. Relatives of a person who died from medical negligence may be able to make a claim for compensation.

Learn more about claiming compensation for car accident injuries on the Gold Coast

Do you need to go to Court for a Medical Negligence Claim

In Queensland, medical negligence matters have a pre-court procedure that must be complied with before attending before a Judge in a Courtroom. Such a process will involve you attending various medical professionals, depending upon the number, and extent, of your injuries. The pre-court procedures conclude (after the parties have obtained their necessary evidence) with the parties attending a compulsory conference.

Such a compulsory conference may involve an insurer attending for the medical negligence insurer (or their representatives). You are required to participate and attend such a conference, but will generally not be required to speak. That is our role or, in some instances, the role of a Barrister who we will brief in your matter.

Over 50% of all medical negligence matters would settle at Compulsory Conference. This is primarily due to most client’s being reasonable and the medical negligence insurer making a fair and reasonable assessment of the claim and the parties making offers accordingly. Sometimes, as with anything in life, two sides cannot agree on the evidence before them and in those cases, the parties must seek a Judge’s intervention. It is only after the Compulsory Conference is unsuccessful that the parties commence Court proceedings.

Only a small percentage of medical negligence matters end up before a Judge (less than 2% of all matters).

What’s the Timeframe for Negligent Medical Cases

There are timeframes that expedite Medical Negligence claims to the Compulsory Conference relatively quickly. Assuming that all your injuries are stable and stationary (That is, not likely to improve or worsen with or without treatment) the claim may take approximately 12 – 18 months to proceed to a compulsory conference. That is because we are able to have you medically assessed by appropriate specialists almost immediately to have the specialists assess the damage you have suffered. We cover those legal disbursements for you until the conclusion of your claim.

If you have injuries (or all injuries) that have not become stable and stationary, then the timeframe may take longer. An estimated timeframe can be given to you at your first consultation.

Are there time limits that apply to medical negligence claims?

There are strict timeframes (known as limitation dates) that operate on any action in Queensland. For medical negligence claims that is three (3) years from the date you knew or ought to have known of the medical practitioner’s negligence incident occurred. The best advice is to seek legal advice as early as possible following suspected negligent medical treatment.

Medical Lawyers Gold Coast

At Main Lawyers, we offer a No-win No-fee service and service the Gold Coast, Southport, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads areas while providing the information our clients need to make informed decisions in their legal cases.

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland and/or New South Wales compensation law and is current at the time of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800112466​ for a free discussion of your matter with one of our experienced medical negligence lawyers Gold Coast.

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