Medical Negligence

Maurice Blackburn are the leading Medical Negligence lawyers in Australia, with over 20 experienced lawyers in our national practice working exclusively for injured patients and their families.

We have a long and proud history of achieving fair and just results on behalf of our clients.  We have acted in landmark cases in the High Court and State Supreme Courts, achieving multimillion dollar settlements in catastrophic injuries cases which have involved negligence at birth, injuries during operations, improper drug treatment and failure to diagnose illnesses.

Our well regarded Medical Negligence lawyers have also had a number of articles published in leading health and legal publications. Sometimes, our medical cases are of interest to the public and are reported in the news.

In an area as complex as Medical Negligence, the advice and assistance of experienced and committed legal professionals is essential in protecting your legal rights and those of your family members.

What is medical negligence / medical malpractice?

Medical negligence (also known as medical malpractice) occurs when the treatment provided by a health service provider (such as a hospital, doctor, dentist, pharmacist, etc.) falls below an acceptable standard. Medicine is a complicated practice and health service providers are not expected to be perfect. Medical treatment is sometimes unsuccessful and injuries can sometimes result but that does not necessarily mean that there has been any negligence. Negligent treatment is that which goes beyond being a simple reasonable mistake or error.

Negligent treatment may involve the following:

  • failing to or delay in diagnosing a condition
  • failing to or delay in providing the appropriate treatment or referral for the condition
  • failing to perform surgery with reasonable care and skill
  • failing to report correctly on test results, or
  • failing to provide post-operative care with reasonable care and skill.

Medical negligence  / malpractice claims

The law relating to medical negligence varies between States and Territories within Australia but broadly the law in Australia allows a person to claim compensation if they have suffered physical, psychological or financial harm as a result of negligent medical treatment. This is known as a medical negligence claim.

Broadly speaking, two requirements must be shown in order to bring such a claim:

  • that there was negligent medical treatment, and
  • that this treatment caused an injury or some harm that would not have otherwise occurred.

This means that even where a person receives negligent treatment, they cannot bring a compensation claim if they have not suffered a harm or injury as a result of that treatment. Furthermore, the law sets a threshold determining how severe or significant an injury must be, before a person is entitled to claim damages for the pain and suffering sustained as a result of this injury.

Medicine is a complicated practice and health service providers are not expected to be perfect. Medical treatment is sometimes unsuccessful and injuries can sometimes result but that does not necessarily mean that there has been negligence. Negligent treatment goes beyond being a simple reasonable mistake or error.

Medical negligence / medical malpractice claims can involve:

It's important to get advice from experts

Medical negligence litigation requires specialist knowledge and experience. The law relating to medical negligence varies between states and territories within Australia. For example, time limits vary in each jurisdiction and are extremely complex.

At Maurice Blackburn we have a dedicated team of professionals who handle only medical negligence / malpractice claims. Our medical negligence team has successfully handled hundreds of cases including catastrophic injuries due to negligence at birth, injuries during operations, improper drug treatment and failure to diagnose illnesses.

We also have extensive experience in acting in the Coroner's Court and in informed consent to medical procedures cases.

No matter who you are up against, Maurice Blackburn will fight to protect you.