Medical Negligence

Medical negligence, or malpractice, occurs when treatment from a doctor, physiotherapist, nurse, hospital, medical specialist or health professional has fallen below an acceptable standard of care.   Medical negligence is more than a simple mistake.

Negligent medical treatment may involve a failure to diagnose a condition, a failure to treat a person’s medical condition appropriately, causing injury during a surgical procedure, a failure to correctly or adequately follow up on test results (for example antenatal testing), poorly managing pregnancy and labour and/or post-operative care.

The types of professionals and facilities involved in medical negligence matters are varied and includes hospital treatment, obstetrics, gynaecology, neurology, infectious disease, urology, paediatrics, emergency medicine, general surgery, orthopaedics, nursing care.

Time limits do apply to medical negligence claims, so if you believe you have suffered physical, psychological or financial harm as a result of inadequate medical advice or treatment then contact Hall Payne.

Only a lawyer will know what evidence to gather at the outset to increase the chances of success. It can be expensive if a claim is unsuccessfully litigated.

Hall Payne offers a free initial consultation on medical negligence matters. We will aim to tell you your prospects of winning, as well as the compensation you may be entitled to.

Our Expert

Megan Stanley

Senior Associate

With a focus on medical negligence, Megan's expertise and personal approach has provided essential support to clients, helping them to achieve the best outcome possible.

Common Questions

How do I know if I have a claim?

If medical negligence (often called ‘malpractice’) has caused you to suffer physical or psychological harm, you may be entitled to make a claim.

Compensation may be paid if a medical practitioner has failed to:

• correctly diagnose your condition within a reasonable timeframe
• properly advise you of risks associated with treatment including surgical procedures
• perform a procedure without consent, reasonable care or skill
• adequately provide treatment or refer you to a specialist within a reasonable timeframe
• report correctly on your test results
• provide post-operative care with reasonable skill.

The only way to know if you have a claim worth pursuing is to get advice from a lawyer experienced in personal injury law.

Who can I bring a claim against?

Usually a medical negligence claim is brought against the practitioner or institution that caused or contributed to your suffering or injury.

Hall Payne has the knowledge and experience to defend your rights against any medical practitioner or institution including:

• general practitioners
• public and private hospitals
• surgeons
• dentists
• radiologists
• nurses and midwives
• pharmacists
• allied healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists.

How do I prove a medical negligence claim?

To prove a claim you must demonstrate:

1. The treatment was medically negligent or did not meet Australian standards; and
2. The treatment caused suffering or injury that would not have otherwise occurred.

Every claim will require different evidence for the best chance of success. Our lawyers have extensive experience in getting clients the compensation they deserve in medical negligence cases, and can talk you through the process. Contact Hall Payne for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

What can I claim for?

Things you can claim for include:

  • pain, suffering and loss of life enjoyment
  • past and future hospital and medical expenses (including surgical costs)
  • rehabilitation expenses
  • lost past and future earnings
  • out of pocket expenses for items such as pharmaceutical, travel and equipment
  • care provided by friends or family
  • paid care and help for example yard maintenance or nursing
  • home and vehicle modifications.

These will calculated with reference to things like the past and future economic loss, past and future care requirements, and general compensation (known as damages).

Every individual has a different situation. Your best course of action is speaking to Hall Payne about what compensation is right for you.

When should I make a claim?

For most personal injuries in Queensland, a time limit applies of three years from the date of injury.

For medical negligence cases, the three years is measured from the date of the medical negligence or, in some circumstances, from the date the negligence was discovered.

If the three-year limit is approaching for you, please contact Hall Payne.

Even if you’ve got a lot of time left, we recommend making a claim as soon as you can. Injury is challenging enough. Financial stress can make the situation overwhelming. The sooner a claim is accepted, the sooner you’ll receive compensation.

How long will my claim take?

The sooner your claim is finalised, the sooner you can move on with your life. That said, a thoroughly prepared claim can’t be rushed.

The length of your claim will depend on your injury, the intricacy of the investigation, the type of expert evidence required and if your claim needs an appeal if it’s rejected.

We offer a free initial consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. At this consultation one of Hall Payne’s expert medical negligence lawyers can discuss your circumstances and give you an estimated timeframe.

What if my claim is rejected?

It is common for a claim to be rejected in the first instance. Hall Payne has a strong track overturning unfavourable decisions.

It is important to engage us early because the review process gets more formal and expensive at each stage. We can help you navigate the appeal and protect your entitlements.

I can’t travel – can you come to me?

If you are in bed or in hospital, we will come to you, or call you, to discuss your matter as part of our free initial consultation.

Call us on 1800 659 114 or contact us here for more information.

How much will it cost to make a claim?

Hall Payne will discuss your compensation options at no charge, regardless of how long it takes to explain. We will give you an estimate of legal costs and likely time frames. We know it is important to understand things thoroughly.

In most cases – and for all workers’ compensation claims – we will represent you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, meaning that unless and until you win, you don’t pay a thing.

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We have 9 offices across Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.