Adelaide Medical Negligence Claims
We expect our doctors to provide us with the best of care and advice. Doctors, in turn, owe us a duty of care to provide us with the appropriate treatment and to act with due skill and care.
So what happens when a medical procedure or advice goes wrong?
Medical negligence claims are inherently difficult. In order to make a successful claim, it must be established that service provided by the negligent medical practitioner/doctor was below the widely accepted standard of care in Australia at the time of the act.
In many instances, what initially looks to be negligence can in fact just be found to be a ‘medical misadventure’, where other practitioners agree that there was little if anything that could have been done to avoid the resulting injury. It is, therefore, necessary to obtain an expert opinion on liability as soon as possible.
What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence claims can consist of:
- A failure to warn;
- Incompetent or unnecessary surgical procedures;
- Incorrect diagnosis or failure to diagnose; and
- Failure to refer or incorrect prescription of drugs.
What is required to prove medical negligence?
In order to establish medical negligence, the usual procedure is to obtain the detailed medical records and then obtain an expert opinion on those notes. Many treating doctors (especially within South Australia) will not be willing to formally comment on a potential negligence matter. It is not uncommon for a doctor who has previous expressed their shock, disappointment or even outrage to a patient to politely decline to provide a report. It is, therefore, necessary to obtain this evidence from interstate.
As is apparent from the above, medical negligence claims can become expensive. If your claim is unsuccessful you may be responsible for the defendant’s legal costs.
It is, therefore, crucial that the necessary evidence is obtained quickly and that the probability of a finding of negligence is quickly established
How long do I have to get compensation for medical negligence?
As with most other personal injury matters, a time limit of three years applies to medical negligence claims. Contact Georgiadis Lawyers to arrange a free first interview to further discuss your potential claim. Call 08 8210 5400 to speak with one of our Adelaide Medical Negligence Lawyers.