Have you experienced negligent obstetric treatment?
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Why Maurice Blackburn?
At Maurice Blackburn our specialised medical negligence lawyers are here to fight for you. And while we understand that monetary compensation can’t ever replace quality of life, the needs and future wellbeing of you and your family are our top priority, and we’ll work hard to make sure you receive the best possible outcome.
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 pregnancy & childbirth complications medical negligence compensation if your pregnancy or childbirth resulted in permanent and debilitating injuries to you or your child by inadequate medical advice or treatment from your medical provider.
You may also claim medical negligence compensation on behalf of a child, as a parents or guardian of the child. This compensation is normally managed by a trustee, the parents or guardians.
The most common types of pregnancy and childbirth complications claims can involve:
- injury to you, the mother, by failing to recognise serious emergency conditions
- injury to you, the mother, by poorly managing post-partum haemorrhage
- injury to you, the mother, by failing to recognise the extent of a vaginal tear
- injury to you, the mother, by failing to manage pre-eclampsia after delivery, resulting in seizures and kidney failure.
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 pregnancy & childbirth complications 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 pregnancy & childbirth complications 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.
- brain damage to a baby resulting in cerebral palsy
- 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.
- brain damage caused by drugs given during pregnancy or by the mismanagement of labour and delivery
- nerve damage, cervical cord injury and skull fracture during delivery
- Erbs palsy/shoulder dystocia
- inadequate management of hypoglycemia after birth.
- inadequate resuscitation at birth
- 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 pregnancy & childbirth complications 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 pregnancy & childbirth complications 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 pregnancy & childbirth complications 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 pregnancy & childbirth complications 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 pregnancy & childbirth complications 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 pregnancy & childbirth complications or malpractice, contact us today to find out how we can help you.
In order to make a pregnancy & childbirth complications 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 pregnancy & childbirth complications medical negligence claim is for a child, time limits can vary more and differ between states.
The timeline for your pregnancy & childbirth complications 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 pregnancy & childbirth complications medical negligence claim and the legal process may take up to several years, especially if you have to wait for injuries to stabilise.