Medical Negligence – What you Should Know

Medical Negligence

Know the Facts While most doctors are diligent and thorough medical experts, there are still many cases of medical negligence that occur every single year. We believe that doctor’s opinions and actions should be trusted, but it is always important to remain aware of what is happening during your medical consultations. Keeping a watchful eye out for red flags and being informed about potential legal action against medical professionals is always advisable. After all, you are putting your wellbeing in these professionals’ hands and they should be held accountable for their actions.

Let’s look at a couple of high-profile cases of medical negligence in Australia.

Brown vs. Thoo (2004)

In this case of medical malpractice, the defendant was found guilty of negligence for administering a contraceptive device incorrectly. This action leads to the plaintiff becoming pregnant, spurring what is known as wrongful birth.

Damages were awarded to the plaintiff for the current and future costs of raising her child. The case was important as it demonstrated that a doctor’s duty of care includes their responsibility to prevent future and current medical problems alike.

Thompson vs. Haasbroek (2009)

A GP was found to have violated his duty of care by ignoring his patient’s complaints of consistent neck pain. The neck pain turned out to be a symptom of cervical radiculopathy, resulting in the plaintiff becoming a paraplegic. Damages of $300,000 were awarded to the plaintiff in the wake of this medical negligence.

How Is Medical Negligence Proven?

There are two key factors that are considered in cases of medical negligence. These factors will ultimately decide if a trial is successful.

Duty of Care

Medical practitioners have a duty to always demonstrate care, skill and reasonable judgement when dealing with all their patients. This is called duty of care. To prove medical negligence has occurred, it is important to establish that the doctor has breached their duty of care as judged by other medical professionals.

Causation

Another element that must be proven in a medical negligence claim is that the doctor was at fault for the harm caused on the balance of probabilities. This means that you must prove that the doctor’s actions, or lack thereof, were more likely than the cause of any injury or harm sustained.

Damages

If medical malpractice has been proven in a court of law, the victim will be compensated for their losses. These losses can include trauma, loss of income/earning capacity, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Speaking to a lawyer that practices in medical negligence law will help answer further questions you may have about the potential compensation available. If you think you may have suffered from negligence by a medical professional on the Gold Coast, look to the team at Dwyer Law Group. We advise you to bring information about the case to an initial consultation. This includes the doctor’s name, practice, contact details and any relevant photos to prove your case.

Do you feel that your doctor has breached his or her duty of care? Contact Dwyer Law Group to speak to our expert legal team about your experiences.

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