The Australian healthcare system is one of the best globally, with hospitals capable of treating even the most complicated issues. Unfortunately, despite the medical system being one of the best, cases of medical negligence do still occur. According to stats, around 50,000 people suffer from permanent injury because of medical negligence annually. 

And many of those occurrences are significant enough to warrant legal action by medical negligence attorneys. So, what is medical negligence and what can you do about it if you think you’ve been impacted? Keep reading.

What is Medical Negligence?

Doctors and other medical professionals, have a duty of care to their patients to provide treatment that meets the “medical standard of care.” If this responsibility is breached, the patient may be able to pursue a medical negligence action. 

Therefore, medical negligence occurs when a medical professional’s actions fail to satisfy the acceptable standard of care, resulting in damage or loss to the patient. 

The three elements of a medical negligence suit are:

  1. There must have been a breach of duty – that is, the treatment you got was negligent (breach);
  2.  The negligent treatment must have caused you harm that would not have occurred otherwise (cause); and
  3. You must have been injured because of the carelessness (injury). 

When we talk with someone about a prospective claim, we will inquire about the treatment they had that they feel contributed to their injury to determine if all three of these factors are present. 

Common Types of Medical Negligence

The most common types of medical negligence claims are as follows: 

  • Misdiagnosis or a diagnosis that is done too late. 

A fast and precise diagnosis might be the difference between life and death. A doctor who is negligent with this procedure should be held liable. 

  • Inability to treat.

A doctor’s inability to treat is often caused by taking on more patients than they can handle. 

  • Errors with prescription medication.

If a pharmacist fills a doctor’s prescription wrongly, they may be held liable for causing injury to a patient. 

  •  Errors in surgery or procedures.

To avoid an error, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers must convey crucial patient information to one another during surgery. 

  •  Injuries sustained during childbirth.

This might be the basis of a medical negligence complaint if the mother was not informed about prenatal health issues prior to birth.

What Can You Do If You Think You Are A Victim Of Medical Negligence?

Have you been injured, or lost something as a result of your medical treatment? Was the treatment below the level of care and expertise that a reasonable professional in a similar situation would have provided? Would your injury or death have been prevented if you had received proper care? 

If you answered yes to these questions, you might be able to file a medical negligence lawsuit. 

The standards for filing a medical negligence claim differ based on your location. However, you might have a strong case for medical negligence if you relate to the following: 

  • The medical professional’s or hospital’s treatment did not meet Australian standards
  • The treatment was ineffective, resulting in damage or suffering
  • You suffered a psychological or physical injury because of medical negligence 

However, establishing it is not easy as the medical negligence law is quite considerate of healthcare workers. 

Patients must prove in court that a doctor has not only broken their duty of care by failing to give reasonable care, resulting in injuries but also that the doctor’s failure to take reasonable care was most likely because of their injuries. 

Given that most patients already have underlying illnesses and medical issues, proving that a patient would have had a better outcome or had a higher likelihood of a better end if a doctor had acted appropriately in the first place can be challenging. To avoid having to reimburse the plaintiff, insurers will frequently claim that a patient’s injuries and disability were caused by pre-existing conditions rather than negligence. 

Adults must file negligence claims within three years after the date of loss. In certain circumstances, the consequences of negligence may not be apparent for a long time after the occurrence. So, even if you believe you’ve run out of time to file a claim, reach out to medical negligence lawyers about it. 

What Professionals Can You Include In A Medical Negligence Claim?

Medical negligence in Sydney isn’t always confined to doctors. It can apply to a wide range of healthcare workers. This includes the following: 

  • Surgeons
  • Obstetricians
  • Nurses and other members of the hospital staff
  • Psychiatrists
  • Midwives
  • Physiotherapists
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists

How AJB Stevens Can Help

It’s critical to get legal counsel as soon as you believe or know that medical negligence has occurred. A medical negligence lawyer at AJB Stevens can research your case, identify accountable parties, and assist you in recovering damages for your physical and mental injuries. 

You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost money, and other damages. You could also be able to protect someone else from being hurt by a negligent doctor, nurse, or medical institution. Get in touch with our team today to discuss your situation.