Can I make a compensation claim for negligent medical treatment or advice?
If you have suffered a physical injury or psychological harm due to the negligent treatment, advice or misdiagnosis from a doctor or other medical provider, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim for compensation.
Medical negligence law can be complex and each state and territory has different requirements when it comes to proving:
- there was negligent treatment on the part of your medical provider (more than a reasonable mishap or mistake)
- the treatment caused an injury or harm that otherwise wouldn't have happened
Speak to our expert medical negligence lawyers, we specialise in medical malpractice and can help you understand your legal options and if you have grounds for a compensation claim.
What is considered negligent medical treatment?
Some common examples of negligent medical treatment that you may be able to claim compensation for include:
- making an existing condition worse
- failure to obtain informed consent, including adequate warning of the risks and possible complications
- injury due to surgical mistakes
- medication errors, incorrect drug treatment or drug reactions
- failure to provide the appropriate treatment or referral
- failure to provide post-operative care with reasonable care and skill
- incorrect reporting on test results
Misdiagnosis can also be considered medical negligence.
What is medical misdiagnosis?
Medical misdiagnosis is when a doctor or medical professional:
- diagnoses a patient with an incorrect medical condition (wrong diagnosis)
- does not diagnose a medical condition within an accpetable amount of time, such as after a bowel screening, breast screening or other diagnostic test (delayed diagnosis)
- fails to make any diagnosis at all (missed diagnosis)
Misdiagnosis can often lead to worse outcomes for patients as it may result in them not receiving correct or timely treatment for their actual medical condition. This also commonly occurs with treatment or advice relating to cancer, including:
- failure to detect early signs of cancer
- non-cancerous condition being wrongly diagnosed as cancer
- failure to refer for testing or specialist review
- not providing prompt and adequate follow-up care to assess treatment
- incorrectly interpreting test results
We know that medical misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a serious or progressive illness such as cancer can have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed, we can help you understand your legal options to achieve the best possible outcome.
What compensation and benefits can I receive for negligent medical treatment or advice?
The compensation and benefits you may receive for suffering due to medical malpractice depends on the law you're covered by and the state you live in. In some states there's a threshold that determines how significant or severe an injury has to be before you’re entitled to claim damages for pain and suffering.
The medical negligence compensation you may receive is usually awarded as a single lump sum payment. Your compensation can cover past, present and future expenses and losses including:
- direct medical expenses
- allied healthcare expenses
- medical and domestic assistance
- loss of income and future earning capacity
- payment to compensate for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
Our medical negligence lawyers will be able to advise you on what laws apply to you and any evidence that may be required to make a claim in your state, get in touch today.
Frequently asked questions about negligent medical treatment
Yes. If you have suffered injury or harm due to misdiagnosis from a doctor (or any medical provider) - whether that be wrong diagnosis, delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis - you may be able to make a claim for compensation and they may be liable for any harm caused.
If you have suffered a physical injury or psychological harm due to the negligent treatment from a medical provider, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim for compensation and the medical provider may be liable.
A medical provider can include any individual or institution providing medical treatment or advice, including a hospital.
Yes. You may be able to make a claim for compensation if you have been injured or harmed as a result of medication or prescription errors, including:
- being prescribed the wrong medication
- incorrect drug treatment or dosage
- adverse drug reactions
Yes. You may be eligible to claim medical negligence compensation if you were not properly informed of the risks of a procedure or if you did not give permission for a procedure.
Before a planned procedure, the surgeon will ask you to read and sign a medical informed consent document. By signing the legal document, you give the surgeon permission to perform the procedure. However, the form is only legal if you have been adequately warned of and understand the risks and possible complications.
A nurse or administrator may not get your consent—this has to come from the doctor.
A medical provider can include any individual or institution providing medical treatment or advice, such as:
- medical assistants
- lab personnel
- or other allied health professionals.
Time limits for making a medical negligence claim vary under the different state and territory laws. In most cases, you need to take legal action within three years. There are exceptions to this, including for children, who generally have a longer period of time. Further extensions of time limits may be possible in some cases.
It's important to get help as soon as possible from someone who understands the complexities of medical negligence law that applies in your state or territory. Speak to one of our medical negligence lawyers today about your options.
Making a medical negligence claim
Our medical negligence lawyers will assist you with your claim and make sure you know about your rights and options if you have suffered due to negligent medical treatment, advice or misdiagnosis.
We'll keep you informed throughout the whole process and provide you with legal advice that is easy to understand.
Get in touch with our medical negligence lawyers.
Tell us your story, we're here to listen. Our experienced medical negligence lawyers will review your circumstances to provide you with the best advice.
We’ll prepare your medical negligence claim.
We take care of the legal process on your behalf. You will be kept informed of all stages along the way, including what fees are payable.
We process your payment.
If your medical negligence claim in successful and damages are awarded, we'll process your payment as soon as we receive it.
We’re here to help. Get in touch with your local office.
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We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.