Happily, the standard of medical treatment in Australia is generally excellent. Occasionally, however, outcomes are not as the patient hoped. Medical mistakes can have a devastating impact to a patient's health and confidence in the medical profession.
There is a big difference between a poor outcome and medical negligence. Most bad outcomes are not as a result of a medical mistake. To prove medical negligence, you need to establish that the treatment you received fell below the reasonable standard, and as a result of the negligent treatment, you suffered injury. To claim your pain and suffering damages, you need to further establish that you suffered a permanent significant injury. These can be difficult tests to meet.
Medical negligence cases can be brought against hospitals or medical practitioners individually. Doctors are required to be covered by liability insurance. The first step in investigating a claim is generally to request your medical records, which you have a right to obtain under Victorian law. You have three years from the date you know you were injured through the negligence of another in which to bring a claim, though this period can be extended in limited circumstances.
If you have questions about some medical treatment that you think might be negligent, or would like to investigate a matter further, contact Adviceline Injury Lawyers for free initial telephone advice on 9321 9988.