Medical negligence is commonly known as healthcare malpractice. It occurs when a doctor, physician, nurse, or any other medical professional causes harm or injury to a patient. The most common example of medical negligence is that a doctor fails to provide medical treatment or perform surgery without reasonable skills.
Likewise, performing health procedures without the patient’s consent, committing errors in prescriptions, misdiagnosis, or diagnosis in an untimely manner, and failure to warn of risks associated with the treatment are other examples of medical negligence. If you want to prove medical negligence, focus on the following elements. Read on!
A Duty of Care
Australian law requires healthcare professionals to owe a duty of care to patients. A doctor commits medical negligence when he breaches the duty of care. For example, if a health provider prescribes a medication that causes side effects like drowsiness or dizziness, he must disclose that fact to the patient.
The reason is that you can’t drive a car under the influence of the medication that causes drowsiness. If your doctor has not informed you about the side effects, it is clear medical negligence. You must provide all the information to your lawyer or attorney to prove the negligence in court.
Standard of Care
Standard of care refers to the level or type of care a qualified doctor practices in a given medical community. It is how similarly competent health providers would have managed the patient’s care under similar circumstances.
For instance, the standard of care for a patient with a spinal condition could include a recommendation of minimally invasive surgery. Your doctor was negligent if he had not met the standard of care.
You required chemotherapy for your stomach cancer, but your doctor prescribed surgery. In that case, the court will make a judgment on the opinions of other qualified health providers. The doctor will be proved negligent if his or her decision contradicts the opinion of qualified practitioners.
Negligence resulting from a breached duty of care is known as causation. It occurs when a doctor fails to follow the standard of care and causes injuries to the patient. Keep in mind that this could either be a physical injury or psychological harm.
You must prove in court that the injury was caused due to the doctor’s negligence. For example, if your doctor had given you anaesthesia before the surgery, you would not have suffered from injuries and pain. It is essential to provide this information to your lawyer to build a solid case against the alleged doctor.
Although you will receive a lump-sum compensation for the damages, the amount may not meet your long-term healthcare needs. For example, if you suffer from anxiety after a traumatic surgery, you need compensation for your long-term psychological needs. In that case, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a professional attorney to receive the right compensation amount.
Your doctor can defend against your claim of medical negligence. For instance, he or she may tell the court that they treated you according to the standard of care, and it was you who didn’t follow the medical advice. Therefore, it is important to prepare yourself for counter-arguments. Consult your attorney to discuss everything before you file a case of negligence against the health provider.