Medical Negligence

We expect the highest standard of care possible from any doctor or hospital when we entrust our bodies to them.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  Sometimes patients are neglected or not treated appropriately.  In the most serious of cases, a patient may be injured or die due to the medical negligence of a hospital or doctor and there may be a case for medical negligence against the hospital or doctor.

Who is entitled to bring a claim of medical negligence?

Only these people may bring a case:

  • The person who has been directly affected (the patient)
  • The family of the patient, for example, the child of a parent, a husband or wife, or sibling if the person had no children or partner.

Friends, no matter how close, are not entitled to bring such a claim.

What are the grounds for medical negligence?

You would have to prove that the medical practitioner or institution:

  • breached their duty of care
    • Examples of breach of care would be if the doctor was drunk, on drugs, did something wrong or did not do something.
    • The same applies to a hospital: you would have to prove the hospital did something it shouldn’t have done or did not do it.
    • In all cases, you would have to show that the act or failure to act was the direct cause of the patient’s injury or death, and that “but for” that act or action, the injury or death would not have resulted.
  • was licensed and insured
    • Hospitals need to be registered, and doctors need to be registered and licensed. You can’t bring a claim against someone who was not licensed to practise if you knew they were not.

How do I bring a claim of medical negligence?

You would have to consult a specialist Medical Negligence Lawyer who will give you an opinion on the strength of your case. If the lawyer thinks you have a reasonably good case, he or she will institute proceedings in court for you.

What could I get if I win my case?

If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, you can claim compensation (money) for loss of earnings, pain and suffering, psychological rehabilitation, and loss of life quality.

If a family member has died as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to claim compensation for financial loss and psychological damage.

We recommend that you consult a qualified lawyer if you are thinking of bringing a case for medical negligence.

Not sure where to turn, call the team at What Do I Do? to help you through.