Surgery & emergency
What you need to know
Maurice Blackburn has successfully represented hundreds of patients and their families in medical malpractice cases arising from areas including surgical malpractice, misdiagnosis, failure to obtain informed consent and medication errors.
Surgery negligence claims are usually focused on four main issues. These issues focus on whether the:
- patient was an appropriate candidate for the surgery
- surgery was performed with reasonable care and skill
- medical professional gave proper post-surgical care (including detecting and treating infection)
- patient was properly advised about the risks of the surgery and could give informed consent.
Claims around negligent surgical procedures include:
- cardiac surgery complications
- injuries from orthopaedic surgery such as back surgery, hip replacement or osteotomy (bone realignment)
- hypoxic brain damage following cardiac bypass surgery
- damage to the bowel or blood vessels, or other injuries from laparoscopic ('keyhole') surgery
- injuries during abdominal surgery such as hernia repairs, gall bladder removal and hysterectomies, as well as lap-banding for weight loss
- arthroscopy complications
- complications of eye surgery (including laser surgery)
- anaesthetic accidents and awareness (such as regaining consciousness during an operation)
- post-operative infections
- injuries from dental procedures.
Many claims about cosmetic procedures are brought against surgeons because they failed to adequately explain the potential risks of a performed procedure or because of inadequate post-operative care.
Cosmetic surgery claims often arise from:
- unexpected and unsightly scarring from breast-reduction or breast-uplift surgery
- poor outcomes from dermabrasion, chemical peels and laser surgery
- injury to the accessory nerve or unexpected scarring due to face-lift surgery
- scarring or a bowel tear due to liposuction
- poor outcomes from rhinoplasty
- surgery performed without proper consent.
Courts can be reluctant to award compensation when a procedure is elective with potential benefits and the claim is based on an inadequate explanation of the risks.
Emergency medical treatment
Claims for negligent emergency medical treatment can include failure to diagnose and treat:
- meningitis or some other serious disease
- compartment syndrome
- a cerebral haemorrhage or aneurysm
- cardiac arrest or heart attack
- a stroke
- severed or damaged nerves.
They also can include failure to properly clean and dress wounds and failure to perform or adequately interpret diagnostic tests (such as blood tests, urine analyses, x-rays, and CT and MRI scans).
Time limits apply to medical malpractice claims, so contact us today if you think you have experienced negligence or malpractice.
Why Maurice Blackburn?
We know that surgery and emergency treatment malpractice can have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one have experienced this type of medical negligence, our surgery compensation lawyers can help you understand your legal options to achieve the best possible outcome.
We are Australia's leading medical negligence law firm and have a team of dedicated professionals who only handle medical malpractice claims. Medical malpractice laws are different across states and territories, so it's important to have a local lawyer with national resources.
We provide our medical negligence legal services on a 'no win, no fee'* basis. This means that you will only pay our legal fees if you receive a settlement or compensation. You won't be charged our fees if your claim is not pursued.
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.