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If treatment received from a healthcare provider has caused you physical or psychological injury, you may be entitled to make a medical negligence compensation claim.

What is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, is the failure of a healthcare provider to provide treatment to a reasonable standard of care and skill. Healthcare providers include:

  • Private and public hospitals;
  • Surgeons;
  • Nurses and midwives;
  • GPs;
  • Dentists;
  • Chiropractors;
  • Pharmacists; and

Some examples of medical negligence include:

  • Incompetent treatment, including surgery;
  • Anaesthesia errors;
  • Incompetent post-operative care;
  • Failure to warn about possible complications or risks of treatment;
  • Incompetent treatment during birth, such as stillbirths and neonatal deaths;
  • Incompetent prescription and monitoring of medication;
  • Failure to treat your condition in a timely manner;
  • Overseas surgeries;
  • Misdiagnosis or delay in the diagnosis of your condition; and
  • Failure to refer for specialist advice or investigatory tests.

How is Medical Negligence Proven?

Not all injuries arising from healthcare treatment are classified as medical negligence. As many healthcare treatments carry possible complications or risks, injuries from healthcare treatment can occur even where the healthcare provider provided treatment to the appropriate standard.

However, if the treatment you have received is proven to have been below the standard of care and skill that a reasonable professional would have provided in the same circumstances, medical negligence has occurred. To establish medical negligence, it must also be proven that the treatment caused an injury that would not have occurred if the treatment had been provided to the appropriate standard.

What Compensation Could I Be Entitled To?

If you have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Loss of wages and future loss of earning capacity;
  • Past and future care expenses such as domestic care.

Do Time Limits Apply to Claim for Medical Negligence?

Yes, a claim for compensation for medical negligence must be commenced within three (3) years from the date of injury. If you have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. If time limits are not complied with, any potential rights to compensation that you have may be lost. However, there are grounds for leave to reinstate the proceedings pursuant to when the action was ‘discoverable’, i.e. when you became aware that you had a case. We advise once you have sought initial legal advice there is a stabilisation period of 6-12 months to allow your injuries to stabilise.

Why Choose Coutts?

At Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers, we are proud of our “No win No Fee” policy as we understand the financial burden obtaining a solicitor can have on an individual. We also provide a free Initial consultation and case assessment advice at the beginning of your matter. At Coutts we pride ourselves on providing flexible services to our clients and we will commute to you for appointments. We endeavour to respond to our clients within a 24 hour time frame and have a one point of contact.

The Team at Coutts Can Help You

Medical negligence compensation claims are complex and require considerable knowledge. Coutts have the expertise and experience to stand behind you in making a medical negligence compensation claim and give advice in a language you understand…without the legal jargon. Karena Nicholls is an experienced lawyer who heads the Personal Injury Compensation team at Coutts and specialises in Compensation Law. Karena can assist you in times that you are most vulnerable and ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your medical negligence case.

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