If a healthcare provider causes you an injury while in their care, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
Injuries can cause a large amount of stress and pain, and the law surrounding medical treatment is becoming more and more complicated as medical science and technology evolves. So you'll need the expertise and understanding of a large team with years of experience to help you get the compensation you're entitled to at law.
What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence (also known as medical malpractice) is the failure from a health-care provider, including GPs, dentists and specialists, to treat you with reasonable skill and care, causing you an injury as a result.
Medical negligence cases can take many forms. Some common examples include:
Injuries sustained during birth, including stillbirths and neonatal deaths
Misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis
Failure to refer for investigations, specialist advice or emergency treatment
Defective medical products
Injuries sustained as a result of medical care overseas
Prescription and medication errors.
Cerebral palsy claims
How to prove medical negligence?
Injuries can occur even where a professional is acting appropriately. However, where the treatment you have received has fallen short of an acceptable standard, you may be entitled to compensation.
To prove medical negligence or medical malpractice has occurred, it must be shown that the treatment received fell below the standard of care and skill that a reasonable professional would have provided in the same circumstances. It must also be shown that your injury would have been avoided if your care had been appropriate.
Medical negligence claims are subject to strict time limits. As a general rule, you should commence a claim within three years from the date that the negligent action occurred. In situations where the injury or harm was not immediately obvious, it may be possible for a claim to be made outside the prescribed time limits.
You may be entitled to compensation
If you've suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to claim compensation for:
Pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life
Past and future medical expenses
Past and future professional care costs
Loss of past earnings
Loss of earnings into the future
The commercial value of care and assistance provided to you by loved ones
Our team aims to maximise your compensation while minimising stress
Medical negligence is a broad and complex area of law. Slater and Gordon are longstanding experts in these cases and we have successfully obtained compensation for thousands of clients who have been injured in these circumstances.
We understand that suffering an injury in the course of receiving medical care can be distressing and that our client’s cases are complex. Our lawyers will work with you to fully understand your situation, advise you of your rights to compensation, obtain the right evidence and pursue your case on your behalf.
We take on even the most difficult cases
Our team aren't afraid to take on large and complex cases. We don't focus on winning for our own sake, we focus on winning for yours. So whether your case is complex or not, you can be confident you have a team on your side who aren't afraid to put in the work to make sure you get the compensation you're entitled to.
You'll have one of Australia's largest consumer law firm working for you
If you are injured as a result of medical negligence anywhere in Australia, we have a lawyer near you that can look after your claim. Each lawyer has the backing and support of an Australia-wide network to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.
Free social work services
We understand that obtaining the correct legal entitlements is only one of the many issues people have to face on their journey through life-changing incidents. As a caring and community-minded firm, we've long recognised the value of providing free social work services to address these issues to help improve clients’ wellbeing. In fact, we were the first, and are still the only law firm in Australia to offer this service. We're here to help you and your family get back on track in times of difficulty.
We understand that injury often has a devastating impact on your financial position. Therefore, having to pay legal fees should not be a barrier to you seeking compensation for someone else’s negligence. People with valid claims should be able to have access to justice. That's why we were one of the first law firms to operate on a No Win - No Fee* payment system.
This means that if your case is not successful and you do not receive compensation then you will not pay any of our legal fees at all. If your case is successful, you'll receive compensation and we'll be paid for the legal work we have done on your behalf. Our fees are never a percentage of the compensation you receive; we are paid only for the work that we perform on your case.
Separate to our professional fees are disbursements. These are the out-of-pocket costs that are incurred as your claim progresses. Disbursements might include the cost of obtaining your medical records and the cost of having an independent medical expert comment on the treatment you received.
Depending on the circumstances, these costs may be paid on your behalf by a third-party funder, by you or sometimes by us at Slater and Gordon. These options are discussed with your lawyer prior to any costs being incurred.
Before your claim begins, your lawyer will discuss in detail the estimated costs involved in bringing your case from start to finish.
What to expect
Every medical negligence case involves a unique set of medical facts and legal implications. However, there is generally a set of steps that are required to be taken during the life of each case. Our team of dedicated medical negligence lawyers will guide you through each of these to help you get the best possible outcome.
Get in touch with us
We'll give you information to help you decide on the best course of action for you, and organise your free initial appointment**.
Meet with your lawyer
This provides you with the opportunity to tell your story and find out more about the options available to you.
We'll obtain and review medical evidence
We'll obtain your medical records to understand more about your injury and its effect on your life.
We'll obtain expert evidence
It is usually necessary to obtain a report from an independent medical expert which comments on the standard of care you received.
We'll file court documents
If the independent evidence we gather supports your case, we will then lodge court proceedings on your behalf.
Resolution of your case
Most medical negligence cases resolve at a settlement conference without the need to proceed to a trial.
In rare cases, the parties are unable to reach a settlement and the case proceeds to a trial. Whether we take your case to trial is completely your choice and our team will provide you with advice and support every step of the way
Meet the team
Our team will handle your case in a sympathetic manner. We'll let you tell your story and listen carefully to what you want to achieve to provide you with the best legal advice to meet your specific needs. We're experts in all types of medical malpractice cases, with a large Australia-wide team of lawyers who have been fighting and winning cases like yours for years.
Superannuation and Disability Insurance claims
If you are no longer performing your normal work duties as a result of your injury, you may be entitled to a disability benefit through your superannuation fund. We can conduct an obligation-free assessment to find out if you may be entitled to a payment.