Medical negligence is unfortunately a fact of life in Sydney, New South Wales, even if it is relatively uncommon. If you have suffered from any type of medical negligence while being treated by a nurse, physician, surgeon, anaesthetist or any other medical personnel then you may consider it financially important to file a personal injury lawsuit against whoever was responsible for the mistreatment.
The term medical negligence, or medical malpractice as it is also called, includes any type of mistake that a medical professional has made which results in a worsening of your condition, or causes a new medical problem to occur which did not exist before.
Medical negligence does not apply when an existing illness or medical condition worsens naturally or an operation fails in its purpose despite the best intentions of the surgical team. Medical personnel cannot be blamed in these circumstances.
Deciding what is medical negligence and what is not can be quite difficult and in most circumstances you will need a Sydney medical negligence lawyer to help determine whether you have a case for compensation.
The most common medical negligence examples are listed below:
- carrying out the wrong treatment or procedure for an illness or complaint that has been officially diagnosed,
- failure to read a patient’s medical chart properly and giving the wrong medication or treatment,
- failure to carry out normal procedures such as consulting a specialist when necessary, asking for consent for surgery or monitoring a patient effectively,
- improper birth procedures,
- misdiagnosis of a serious existing complaint such as cancer,
- misuse of anaesthiological procedures, resulting in harm or death,
The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that Australia faces a very high rate of medical errors as the following statistics indicate. For example, every year 18,000 people could die in Australian hospitals due to medical treatment that could have been better. On top of that alarming figure there are 50,000 victims who are inflicted with a permanent injury due to medical negligence. Prescribing the wrong medication leads to 80,000 people ending up in hospital for extra treatment.
Personal Injury Law in New South Wales
New South Wales law allows an individual who claims that he or she has suffered harm from medical negligence in the state to file a lawsuit within three years of the incident being discovered. This limitation period means that you should contact a Sydney medical negligence lawyer as soon as your medical condition allows you to do so, if you think you have suffered from medical negligence. If you leave it too late, your personal injury claim may be denied and you will have to face the financial consequences of the medical negligence by yourself. New South Wales also puts a limit on what are termed non-economic damages. The cap is $350,000. Non-economic damages cover things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium.
You don’t need to worry about providing any upfront payments to a Sydney medical negligence lawyer as they work on a no win no fee basis meaning you do not pay anything until a settlement has been successfully negotiated.