Informed consent
issues

Making a claim for informed consent issues

Before a planned procedure, the surgeon will ask you to read and sign a consent form. 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.

We know that informed consent issues can have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one has experienced this type of malpractice, our personal injury lawyers can help you understand your legal options to achieve the best possible outcome.

Why Maurice Blackburn?

We are Australia's leading medical negligence law firm and have a team of dedicated professionals who only handle medical malpractice claims. This team has successfully represented hundreds of patients and their families in complex and sensitive cases.

Medical malpractice laws are different across states and territories, so it's important to have a local lawyer with national resources. That's why Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and throughout Australia.

If you think you have experienced medical malpractice, talk to us today to find out how we can help you.

All you need to know about medical negligence

If your health care professional, hospital or other facility breaches what’s known as their duty of care, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a medical negligence claim for informed consent issues?

You may be eligible to claim medical negligence compensation from your medical provider if you were not properly informed of the risks of a procedure or if you did not give permission for a procedure.

A provider can include a hospital, doctor, nurse, assistant, lab personnel, dentist, pharmacist or other employer or allied health professional.

What types of informed consent issues can I make a medical negligence claim for?

The most common types of medical negligence claims can involve:

  • obstetrics
  • paediatrics
  • gynaecology
  • emergency medicine
  • surgery
  • orthopaedics
  • misdiagnosis of medical conditions
  • delayed diagnosis of medical conditions (for example after a Pap smear, breast screening or other diagnostic test)
  • drugs and drug reactions
  • cosmetic surgery

Who can I claim medical malpractice compensation against for informed consent issues?

Medical providers owe you a 'duty of care' to exercise skill, judgement and reasonable care when examining, diagnosing, treating and advising you. Before performing a procedure, medical professionals are required to properly explain the risks and get consent as part of their 'duty of care' to you.

If they breach that duty, you may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim and they may be liable for any harm caused.

Common informed consent issues that you may be able to claim medical negligence compensation for include:

  • lap-band surgery for weight loss
  • scarring and injury following breast surgery
  • unimproved or worsened vision following eye surgery
  • change in skin pigmentation after facial laser treatment
  • nerve damage.

However, it can be acceptable for a professional to perform a procedure without consent—such as in an emergency or under mental health legislation.

What compensation can I expect to receive for my medical negligence claim for informed consent issues?

You may be able to claim medical negligence compensation for informed consent issues by a medical provider under general Australian law. This also applies if medical negligence or malpractice results in an unexpected death.

The law in some states has a threshold that determines how significant or severe an injury has to be before you’re entitled to claim damages for pain and suffering caused by this injury. Each state and territory has its own laws that apply to medical negligence cases.

To make a successful medical negligence claim for informed consent issues, you need to be able to prove that:

  • you would not have consented to the procedure if you were properly warned of the risks and potential complications.

If you do have a case, we will help settle it outside of court or represent you in court. Contact us to discuss your claim.

What expenses are covered and what benefits am I entitled to under my medical negligence compensation claim for informed consent?

You will only need to pay our fees if you receive a settlement for your medical negligence compensation claim for informed consent, as we provide our medical negligence services on a 'no win, no fee'* basis.

If your claim is successful, you will be charged for the costs of the investigation and the legal work performed after issuing proceedings. This will be a charge on the appropriate court scale, and you will be given more information about this at the time when the decision is made to issue proceedings.

You won't be charged our fees if your claim is not pursued. In most cases, disbursements (the out-of-pocket expenses that we pay to other people) must be paid whether you win or lose.

Can I represent myself when making a medical malpractice claim for informed consent?

Yes. However, medical negligence law is complicated. Even if you have received negligent treatment, you cannot make a negligence claim if you haven't suffered harm or injury.

As medicine is a difficult practice, your medical providers aren't expected to be perfect. Sometimes medical treatment is unsuccessful and injuries occur, but that is not enough to show that you were treated with negligence. You will need to prove that your negligent treatment is more than a reasonable mishap or mistake. 

It's important to get help from someone who understands the complexities of medical negligence law, with experience in your area. Maurice Blackburn is Australia's leading and largest team of medical negligence lawyers, with all the resources and experience that come with being a national firm.

If you think you’ve experienced negligence or malpractice, contact us today to find out how we can help you.

How do I make a medical negligence claim for informed consent?

In order to make a medical negligence claim for informed consent, you will need to:

  • Contact Maurice Blackburn to speak with our medical negligence team.
  • We will gather information from you about what has occurred and then provide you with a preliminary assessment.

We will help you understand if you have grounds for a claim by investigating your case and getting an independent medical expert's opinion. If we believe you should proceed further, we will then lodge your legal claim and represent you at mediation and settlement hearings.

If your case doesn’t settle, we can represent you in court. We also manage coroner's inquests by liaising with the court on your behalf, preparing the case and representing you in court. Contact us today.

How long do I have to make a medical negligence claim for informed consent?

Time limits vary under the different state and federal laws. In most cases, you need to take legal action within three years of the injury. If your medical negligence claim is for a child, time limits can vary more and differ between states.

The timeline for your medical negligence claim for informed consent may be shorter or longer depending on the case, so it's best to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Extensions of time limits are sometimes possible.

How long does a medical negligence claim for informed consent take?

Your medical negligence informed consent claim and the legal process may take up to several years, especially if you have to wait for injuries to stabilise.

No win, no fee*

Our medical negligence lawyers are experienced in winning fair compensation for our clients on a no win, no fee basis.

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