The relationship between patients and doctors is a complicated one – ultimately, it is rooted in trust. Patients trust medical professionals to provide accurate diagnoses and adequate care. It isn’t just patients that demand that, medical professionals are held to a higher standard by the law as well. You have the right to trust people in the medical field to look after you properly. Unfortunately, there are times when medical professionals cause injury or harm due to negligent treatment.
If you believe you are the victim of medical negligence, you need to learn more about how it is defined and what it takes to prove your case.
Medical Negligence Defined
Medical negligence or malpractice is when a medical professional causes harm or injury to a patient in their care. Specifically, as a result of their failure to act or take reasonable care, for example, a failure to provide treatment. This failure must fall below the Australian medical community’s acceptable standard of practice. The harm or injury must be reasonably foreseeable to a medical professional.
How To Prove You’re a Victim of Medical Negligence
There are several steps to proving that you are a victim of medical negligence. You have to prove that a duty of care existed, that it fell below the standard of care, as well as causation and damages.
· Duty of Care
You need to be able to establish you were owed a duty of care by the medical professional in question. By law, the medical professional has to exercise reasonable care when treating patients and rely on their judgement and professional skill to offer competent advice and medical treatment.
· Standard of Care
To prove your medical care was negligent, you have to prove their treatment fell below the acceptable standard of care. The court will consider whether the standard of care was acceptable to the Australian medical community’s standards. The court will take medical professionals’ opinions into account.
· Causation & Damages
The action or omission of care must result in psychological or physical harm that was reasonably foreseeable. You must also establish that the injury or harm was a result of negligent treatment.
If you still aren’t sure whether you have a medical negligence claim, some examples include:
· A misdiagnosis or failure to provide the correct diagnosis in a timely manner;
· An error in medications or prescriptions;
· Performing surgery or treatment without the necessary skill or care;
· The treatment results in further injury where it should not;
· A failure to advise the patient of all of the associated risks;
· A faulty medical device or product.
Why You Need A Legal Expert
If you believe you have been the victim of medical negligence in Sydney, you need to speak to a legal expert at the first opportunity. The law can be complicated and the best way to navigate it is by allowing an expert to take the helm. A lawyer can test the veracity of your claim and obtain all of the documents and evidence you need to make your case.
You can bring a medical negligence claim against any medical professional involved in your treatment, whether it was the nurse, doctor, surgeon, pharmacist, radiologist, midwife, or even the dentist. All medical professionals have indemnity insurance to cover them in the event of a negligence lawsuit. Your compensation will not be paid by the medical professional, rather by their insurance company. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the harm incurred and the loss you suffered. Every case is unique, but you can pursue compensation for a loss of income, home assistance, hospital and rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering, as well as loss of life enjoyment.
How AJB Stevens Can Help
There are time limits when it comes to claiming medical negligence claims, and though they vary from state to state, in New South Wales you have three years from the date of injury. The exception is if you were not initially aware of an injury as a result of medical negligence, in which case you have three years from when you become aware of it. If a child is an injured party, you have three years from their 18th birthday. It is sometimes possible to secure an extension on the time limit, but this is why it’s so important to enlist a medical negligence lawyer.
If you have experienced complications as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim. If you have been given a misdiagnosis or experienced a surgical mistake or a medication error, then you may be able to make a claim. If a loved one has died and you believe it is the result of medical negligence, then you may be successful in making a negligence claim. Our team can help determine whether you have the grounds to make a successful negligence claim and help you pursue your legal options. At AJB Stevens, we are experts in medical negligence law. If you need medical negligence lawyers to help you file your medical negligence claim, get in touch.