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Medical Negligence - Frequently Asked Questions

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What is medical negligence?

If a medical provider has been negligent whilst treating you and that negligence has led to injury, you may be able to claim compensation.

What is a medical provider?

This is a very wide definition and includes all people within the medical and allied professions including doctors, nurses, hospital staff, dentists, chemists, chiropractors, podiatrists, physiotherapists, psychologists and the like.  

What types of injuries are medical injuries?

The list of injuries arising from medical negligence is unlimited. Typically, however, it includes injuries arising from a failure to diagnose, misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, surgical mistakes, failing to inform or obtain proper consent, medication errors, sterilisation issues, obstetric or birth related issues, defective medical products and the like.

What is negligence?

Medical providers have a duty to take reasonable care of their patients. If they fail, and this failure causes or contributes an injury, then the patient may have a compensation claim. It is important to understand that medical treatment is complex. Not all errors or injuries arise from negligence.  

What compensation can I claim?

Your compensation entitlement is dependent on the extent of your injury. You can claim for physical, psychological and/or financial loss. Compensation can include past and future medical and hospital expense, nursing and attendant care, rehabilitation and support costs, past and future loss of earnings, lump sum compensation, and an award for pain and suffering.

What thresholds do my injuries need to meet?

The injury you suffer needs to meet a certain threshold. Each State has different thresholds. We recommend you contact a National Compensation Lawyer to obtain details in this regard.  

Do I have a time limit within which I need to lodge a claim for compensation?

Yes, each State has set time limits for lodging claims. In Victoria, for example, a person has three years to lodge a claim. In certain exceptional situations, a Court can extend the period for lodging a claim. However, we do not recommend you take a chance in this regard. Please contact National Compensation Lawyers urgently.

A family member has died as a result of medical treatment. Can other family members claim?

Yes, family members can claim however the types of compensation are limited. Please contact a National Compensation Lawyer to further discuss a potential claim.

My health insurer has contributed towards my medical costs. What happened to those payments?

In medical negligence claims it is normal for health insurers, Medicare and/or Centrelink to have made payments. When settling claims, these payments need to be taken into account and repaid. National Compensation Lawyers will explain this process in greater depth to ensure you have no hidden costs at the end.

How do I make a claim?

Given the time periods for making a claim, the need to establish negligence and to ensure your injury meets the appropriate threshold, we recommend you contact National Compensation Lawyers urgently and speak to a lawyer about your circumstances. We will:

  • Obtain all facts and information surrounding your circumstance.
  • Obtain copies of all medical reports and associated documentation.
  • If necessary, obtain further expert medical opinion to support your claim;

So as to enable us to provide you with advise about the prospects of successfully claiming compensation.

It is necessary to have expert knowledge and understanding about these claims. National Compensation Lawyers can offer you this.

To make a medical negligence claim, obtain further advice or arrange an obligation-free consultation with a lawyer, please call us on 1300 FEARLESS (1300 332 753).