Making a claim for obstetric, paediatric or gynaecological negligence and malpractice
If you or your child have been harmed by inadequate medical advice or treatment from your medical provider, our expert medical negligence lawyers can help to clarify your situation and assist you in understanding your legal options.
Why Maurice Blackburn?
At Maurice Blackburn, our specialised obstetrics and gynaecology compensation lawyers have a wealth of knowledge and experience working on cases of medical malpractice.
As the leading patient’s rights and medical malpractice firm in Australia, we are the best choice to fight for compensation following poor gynaecological treatment. Many Maurice Blackburn lawyers are women, so you always have the option to speak to a woman if you prefer.
We also are representing many families affected by Bacchus Marsh Hospital's perinatal deaths and injuries - an ongoing investigation into medical negligence.
If you think you have experienced medical malpractice, talk to us today to find out how we can help you. Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and throughout Australia.
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.
Types of medical negligence
Dimitra DubrowNational Head of Medical Negligence, Melbourne
"I enjoy interacting closely with my clients and helping them to access their full entitlements. It is truly rewarding knowing that we are helping empower people."
Tom BallantynePrincipal Lawyer, Melbourne
"I’m inspired by helping people achieve a measure of justice and financial stability."
Frequently Asked Questions
You may be eligible to claim obstetrics, paediatrics & gynaecology medical negligence compensation if you or your child have been hurt by inadequate medical advice or treatment from your medical provider.
A provider can include a hospital, doctor, nurse, assistant, lab personnel, pharmacist or other employer or allied health professional.
The most common types of negligence obstetrics, paediatrics and gynaecological malpractice claims can involve:
- unexpected pregnancy due to failed sterilisation (either through the use of metal clips, rings or tubal ligation)
- vaginal and abdominal hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
- oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries)
- hormone replacement therapy
- management of uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts
- prolapse repair
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- failure to diagnose pregnancy (including ectopic pregnancy)
- injuries during termination of pregnancy procedures
- assisted fertilisation (IVF)
- ureter damage during hysterectomy
- urinary or faecal incontinence after surgery
Medical providers owe you a 'duty of care' to exercise skill, judgement and reasonable care when examining, diagnosing, treating and advising 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.
Your obstetric medical negligence claims can be made against doctors or hospitals for failing to investigate and monitor the pregnancy, and for failing to advise you of abnormalities discovered during a pregnancy and offering you the option to abort.
Common negligent treatment that you may be able to claim medical negligence compensation for include:
- cases where a newborn baby has been badly injured due to the mother's labour or due to the delivery being poorly managed.
- brain damage caused by allowing labour to continue when signs indicated an urgent need for delivery, including by caesarean section.
- brain damage caused to a baby by poorly managed delivery with forceps.
- cerebral palsy from hypoxia or lack of oxygen to the foetus during delivery.
- brain damage caused by failing to recognise a high-risk pregnancy and properly manage it.
- death of a baby by failing to treat the mother and baby for Group B streptococcal infection.
- death of a baby by Keilland's forceps rotation.
You may be able to claim obstetrics, paediatrics & gynaecology malpractice compensation If your health care professional, hospital or other facility has breached their 'duty of care' to you under general Australian law. This also applies if the obstetrics, paediatrics & gynaecology medical negligence 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 obstetrics, paediatrics & gynaecology medical negligence claim, you need to be able to prove that:
- there was negligent medical treatment
- the treatment caused an injury or some harm that would not otherwise have occurred
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.
You will only need to pay our fees if you receive a settlement for your obstetrics, paediatrics & gynaecology malpractice compensation claim, 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.
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 obstetrics, paediatrics & gynaecology negligence or malpractice, contact us today to find out how we can help you.
In order to make an obstetrics, paediatrics & gynaecology medical negligence claim, 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.
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 obstetrics, paediatrics & gynaecology medical negligence claim is for a child, time limits can vary more and differ between states.
The timeline for your obstetrics, paediatrics & gynaecology medical negligence claim 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.
Your medical negligence claim and the legal process may take up to several years, especially if you have to wait for injuries to stabilise.