How long do medical negligence claims take?

How long do medical negligence claims take?

The short answer is: between 12 and 18 months.

What qualifies as medical negligence in Australia?

Medical negligence in Perth can result from a wide range medical, therapeutic and dental treatments where the failure of an individual or process results in harm to the patient. However, it’s important to understand that a poor clinical outcome doesn’t necessarily mean you can make a negligence claim. Many clinical procedures carry inherent risks, and as long as these risks have been adequately explained to the patient, then failure of the procedure doesn’t necessarily constitute medical negligence. What does qualify as medical negligence, however, is a poor clinical outcome that results from a breach of duty of care.

When commencing a medical negligence claim, most plaintiff’s do not wish to go to Court due to the requirement to give evidence, the cost, the stress, the possibility of a long drawn out hearing, or the time it takes to get a judgment.

If you are a medical negligence plaintiff who does not want to go to Court rest assured there are a number of opportunities throughout your claim to try and resolve the matter, including but not limited to; offers of settlement, informal settlement conferences, and mediation.

With medical negligence, people are often focused on getting better after they have been a victim of medical negligence. It is only down the track that they think to bring a claim. Sometimes it can be too late to bring a claim, which is why it is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

If you have been injured, it is very important that you know how long you have to bring a claim as the limitation periods are tight and quite strict.

What must happen before my medical malpractice claim is filed in court?

When you meet with us to discuss whether you should make a claim, we’ll usually start by gathering information to work out your chances of success.

This process starts with investigations. We will request your medical records from your health practitioners about:

Your general health
Any pre-existing injuries
Your injury

Usually, there are a lot of medical records to locate, so getting the records can take a long time. It may take weeks or months for a medical office to process our request for your records. It’s one reason  a medical negligence claim in South Australia can take a long time to resolve.

Once we have your medical records, we’ll usually use them to prepare a chronology of events. This helps us understand what has happened. The more records, the longer this process takes.


** 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.