There a few ways to know if negligence has occurred in a hospital, below are some examples:
A Duty of Care
To prove medical negligence has occurred, there must be a duty of care owed and this duty must have been breached. The law has deemed that medical professionals owe their patient a duty of care. Legally, this duty of care requires that the medical professional must exercise reasonable medical care in treating their patients and should use their professional skill and judgement to provide competent medical treatment and advice.
Thresholds of Damage
Under the Civil Liability Act there are a number of caps and thresholds on amounts that can be recovered once you have proved that the Defendant was responsible for your injury.
Loss of wages is capped at three times the Average Weekly Earnings published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Most injured people are not caught by this provision as it requires a gross salary of more than $140,000.00. Claims for lost superannuation entitlements are only allowed at the compulsory employer contribution rate (currently 9% of your salary).
An award for pain and suffering is not obtainable unless your injuries reach at least 15% of a most extreme case. There is, however, no set way of measuring what 15% of a most extreme case looks like so every injured person must be individually assessed by the Judge and a percentage decided. The maximum award for pain and suffering is about $612,500.00 and is indexed each year to keep pace with inflation.
It can take 12-36 months to complete your medical negligence claim
No two medical negligence claims are the same, therefore timeframes can vary. On average, claims take 12 – 36 months to complete. However, the duration of the claim depends on the complexity of your case, the injury you sustained and the cooperation of the defendant. If the opposing party admits negligence then your claim can be processed quickly, while more complicated cases can take much longer.
What compensation will I receive?
Each medical negligence case is different, which makes estimating a potential payout difficult. However, you could receive money to cover a range of costs, including:
- Loss of wages or superannuation
- Past and future care expenses
- Compensation for pain and suffering
If you are looking to claim uneconomic costs such as pain and suffering, the injury you sustained must have resulted in a permanent impairment of at least 15 per cent. This will be decided by the courts.
Despite the challenges of pursuing a claim, the compensation can often be crucial for households struggling to pay bills while a family member is on the road to recovery.
**The contents do not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.
You should seek legal advice or other professional advice in relation to any particular matters you or your organisation may have.