Doctors and other medical professionals are the people we turn to when we need help the most. While the contributions of doctors to the community cannot be understated; unfortunately it is not uncommon for even the most highly trained surgeon to miss a diagnosis, make mistakes or even perform treatment without the your consent. When this happens, you can often be left with devastating injuries or impairments. You may be unable to return to work, have to rely on family and friends for constant help and support and generally lose the enjoyment of your life.
Have you been mistreated?
Bringing a claim against a medical professional can be a difficult task. For a medical professional to be liable for malpractice, they have to be shown to have failed to meet the reasonable professional standards that apply to them. For example, if a surgeon performs an operation in a way that the majority of other surgeons would not, that could fall outside of the surgeon’s professional standards. This is not always an easy test to meet.
Further, not all consequences of medical treatment will fall under medical malpractice. Sometimes even the most careful doctor cannot prevent unforeseen side effects from happening. That’s why prior to starting treatment you will be required to sign a document explaining the potential risks. This document should be clearly explained to you by the doctor who is performing the treatment.
Medical professionals often undertake very complex work, and it is not always clear whether they acted in line with the professional standards or not. That is why getting an opinion from an expert medical professional is critical. An expert will need to have deep knowledge of the doctor’s field of practice as well as what the reasonable professional standards for that field are. That way, the expert can give an opinion as to whether your treatment was within the standard treatment practice or not.
Who is involved?
When you bring a claim against a medical professional, they are almost always covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance. This means that you deal directly with an Insurer. If you are successful in your claim, any payment you receive comes directly from the Insurer.
If the doctor is employed by a public hospital or treatment provider, your claim may be brought against the hospital itself, which usually means the State Government.
The process of making a claim
Bringing a medical negligence claim is often a lengthy and complex process. You will need to gather evidence such as:
- Medical reports
- Expert opinions
- Proof of loss, such as lost income or superannuation
- Any expenses you have incurred, such as further treatment or medication
The cost of making a claim
Medical negligence claims are usually complex and can take a long time to resolve. Even the early steps of obtaining evidence for your claim can be expensive, which is why medical negligence claims are often more expensive than other personal injury claims.
At Webster’s Lawyers, we can provide you with early advice about the strength of your claim. If we believe you have a strong claim, we may be able to assist with bearing the cost of bringing a claim through a no win no fee arrangement.
This means that you won’t receive a bill from us until you receive compensation or a settlement payment (conditions apply).
Get the right lawyer for the job
Medical negligence is a difficult area of law. It is highly technical and often requires specialist knowledge to even know where to start. If you have suffered from loss or injuries as a result medical negligence and are in need of expert advice, Webster’s Lawyers can help. We can:
- Provide you with early and timely advice about whether you have a claim.
- Walk you through the process of making a claim.
- Make a plan with you for the conduct of your case.
If you or someone you know may have been negligently treated by a medical professional, our team of medical negligence specialists can guide you through the process of bringing a claim against a doctor, as well as ensure that you receive the financial and medical help you need.
To find out more, contact us to arrange a free, no obligation consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Adelaide, Ridgehaven or Smithfield.