Medical negligence lawyers Queensland

Have you experienced medical malpractice?

You have the right to trust your medical provider to look after you properly. A provider can include a hospital, doctor, nurse, assistant, lab personnel, dentist, pharmacist or other employer or allied health professional.

Medical negligence—or medical malpractice—happens when treatment falls below an acceptable standard. Doctors have a 'duty of care' to exercise reasonable care, skill and judgement when examining, diagnosing, treating and advising their patients. If they breach that duty, they may be liable for the damages and you may be able to claim compensation.

Making a claim

Medicine is a complicated practice and providers aren't expected to be perfect. Sometimes medical treatment is unsuccessful and injuries occur, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there has been any negligence. Negligent treatment is more than a reasonable mishap or mistake, and may involve:

  • making an existing condition worse
  • misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition
  • failure to provide the appropriate treatment or referral
  • a delay in diagnosis or providing the appropriate treatment or referral
  • failure to perform surgery or provide post-operative care with reasonable care and skill
  • incorrectly reporting on test results.

Laws vary between states and territories, but generally allow you to claim compensation if you have suffered physical, psychological or financial harm as a result of negligent treatment. This applies if a malpractice results in an unexpected death.

Time limits do apply. In most cases, you need to take legal action within three years of the injury, or within six years for a child. This timeline may be shorter or longer depending on the case, so seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Why Maurice Blackburn?

We can help you understand if you have grounds for a claim by investigating your case and getting an independent medical expert's opinion. If you do have a case, we will help settle it.

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

We are a national firm with Queensland offices in Brisbane, Browns Plains, Caboolture, Cairns, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Mackay, Rockhampton, Strathpine, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville, and throughout Australia.

Our costs

We provide our 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 would not be charged our fees if your claim is not pursued after investigation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence, or malpractice, happens when treatment from a health service provider such as a hospital, doctor, dentist, pharmacist or allied health professional falls below an acceptable standard. Medicine is a complicated practice and health service providers are not expected to be perfect; sometimes medical treatment is unsuccessful and injuries can occur, but that doesn’t mean there’s been any negligence. Negligent treatment is much more than a simple, reasonable mishap or mistake.

Negligent treatment may involve the following:

  • failure to or delay in diagnosing a condition
  • failure to or delay in providing the appropriate treatment or referral for the condition
  • failure to perform surgery with reasonable care and skill
  • failure to report correctly on test results
  • failure to provide post-operative care with reasonable care and skill
  • making an existing medical condition worse.

Time limits do apply to medical negligence claims, so if you think you've experienced negligence or malpractice, contact Maurice Blackburn Lawyers today.

What are medical negligence claims?

Laws relating to medical negligence vary between states and territories, but generally Australian law allows a person to claim for compensation if they have suffered physical, psychological or financial harm as a result of negligent medical treatment. This is called a medical negligence claim.

To claim compensation, with the help of a lawyer, you need to prove:

  • there was negligent medical treatment
  • the treatment caused an injury or some harm that would not have otherwise occurred.

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.

Even if you have received negligent treatment, you can’t make a compensation claim if you haven’t also suffered harm or injury because of the treatment. The law in some states also 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.

How do I make a medical negligence claim?

  • Contact Maurice Blackburn to speak with our medical negligence team.
  • We will take a statement from you about what has occurred and then provide you with a preliminary assessment.
  • If we believe you should proceed further with your claim, we will then carry out an investigation of your case.
  • We will obtain your medical records and reports from your treating doctors, if appropriate, then get an independent medical expert's opinion.
  • We lodge your legal claim.
  • We keep you informed of progress along the way.
  • We represent you at mediation and settlement hearings.
  • If your case doesn’t settle, we represent you in court.

How much does a medical negligence claim cost?

We conduct medical negligence cases on a 'no win, no fee'* basis. This means you will only be charged for our time if the case is successful and you are awarded damages. You will not be charged our costs if the claim is not pursued after being investigated.

If proceedings are issued after investigating the claim and the 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. No costs are charged unless you receive a settlement or award of compensation.

Please note: in medical negligence cases, we do require you to pay for disbursement costs of the investigations, such as fees charged by doctors for providing us with medical reports or by hospitals for providing us with medical records. We have to obtain these reports and records before we can advise you whether you are likely to be successful with your medical negligence case. Sometimes funding is available for these expenses.

If, after carrying out the investigation, we believe that you should proceed with a claim, then we can offer you various options for obtaining compensation. If the medical treatment has resulted in an unexpected death, then we may recommend that a report be made to the Coroner's Court. Sometimes we also advise that a report should be made to the relevant state-based complaints commission.

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

There are time limits for making a compensation claim, which vary between states and territories. In most jurisdictions you need to start legal action within three years of the injury, or six years if you are a child. However, some legal processes have to occur much sooner than this, so it’s best to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Extensions of time limits are sometimes possible.

Our Process

Our Queensland team will assist you with your claim and ensure your know about your rights and entitlements.

1

Get in touch

Tell us your story, we're here to listen

2

Free first consultation

When we meet the initial consultation is free

3

Negotiation

We will manage all discussions with the insurer

4

Settlement

We will process your payment as soon as we receive it

We are committed to helping you at a difficult time in your life

First free consultation

Obligation-free confidential consultation to access your claim

'No win, no fee'*

If your claim isn't successful you won't have to pay our fees

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