Published 12 Jun 2017
Medical negligence is rare in Australia, with the country possessing one of the most sophisticated healthcare systems in the world.
The ACT in particular also boasts a low rate of adverse incidents in public hospitals. A Productivity Commission report showed that only four instances of medical negligence led to the serious injury or death of a patient in 2014-15. Only Tasmania and the Northern Territory reported fewer cases.
Nevertheless, if you believe you have suffered medical negligence while receiving treatment in the ACT, you may be entitled to compensation. But what should be your next steps?
1. Record all treatment and conversations
After an alleged incident of medical negligence occurs, you should try to keep an accurate record of any treatments you have received and discussions with doctors, nurses and other practitioners.
This is particularly important if you are claiming that you weren't made fully aware of the risks of choosing a particular treatment option. Any conversations you've had with your doctor will come under the spotlight if this is the case.
2. Contact a medical negligence lawyer
Medical negligence law is complex and proving that the standards of care you received fell below acceptable levels can be difficult. You should therefore always get in touch with an experienced medical negligence lawyer who can help you gather the necessary evidence you need to pursue your claim.
A no-win, no-fee firm will ensure that you won't have to pay the upfront costs of making a claim. Instead, you will only face a bill if a settlement goes in your favour.
3. Pursue your claim
Your lawyer will inform you whether or not your claim is likely to succeed and ask if you want to take the next steps. Medical negligence cases can take several years to resolve and could end up going to court for a judge to decide on compensation.
You'll need to consider if this is the right option for you, although you may have no other choice if the injuries you've suffered have had a significant impact on your quality of life and financial recompense is essential.
4. Await the final decision
Some claimants are offered a settlement before their case reaches the courts, which can reduce the stress of a drawn-out trial. If not, you'll have to fight your claim in court, where you'll need experienced lawyers on your side to have the best chance of a favourable outcome.
A judge will then rule on your case and either approve or reject your claim for compensation based on the facts and evidence you've provided.
To talk with a medical negligence lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers, please contact us today.