Australia Medical Malpractice Laws
Each state has their own set of medical malpractice laws in place, and it is important for patients to understand those laws and how they could affect their case. The following are the basics of the laws in Australia.
Filing claims of clinical negligence against Medicare, Australia’s universal health care system, and Medicare providers is possible under Australian medical malpractice laws. Clinical negligence or medical malpractice claims are made against individual providers as well as the private-public funded business organizations employing an individual medical professional. In this sense, Australian medical malpractice law allows for contingency-based fee structures for clients, or plaintiffs in Australian medical malpractice cases do not pay their solicitors any fees until a settlement or a decision is reached via negotiation or a decision of the courts. While Australia’s healthcare system is universally recognized as highly exceptional, the reality is that instances of medical negligence and medical malpractice mistakes are seemingly still unavoidable. If a patient endures sub-standard medical care in Australia, he or she has the following options, should that care be deemed below a reasonable standard of care per the Australian court decision Rogers and Whittaker decision in 1992:
- An Australian plaintiff can sue individual medical practitioners, as well as employers of these negligent professionals if the patient and his or her legal solicitor present a credible case of failure to provide medical services at a reasonable standard of care
- These failures to provide reasonable care, depend largely on the case-specific context of the patient’s case, as well as the symptoms presented and the ensuing treatment by the medical professionals. If deemed inadequate, or causing further medical, financial, or even psychological harm to the patient, a patient has a legal right to file suit against the Australian medical professional with the help of a jurisdiction-appropriate Australian barrister.
- Common cases or reasons for filling clinical negligence claims in Australia include failure to diagnose an illness or condition, failure to prescribe appropriate medications for the patient, preventable or negligent surgical mistakes, obstetrical or childbirth errors, and failure to adhere to patient confidentiality agreements, as well as to adhere to informed consent laws applicable to a given Australian jurisdiction where the negligent treatment in question occurred.
It must be noted that any claim of medical negligence must be filed within three years of discovery of negligence occurring per law found in Limitations of Action Act of 1958 as later amended, with certain caveats. Having an Australian solicitor with experience in Australian medical malpractice laws will be critical to starting and seeing your claims for damages negotiated and settled. Consult with an Australian medical malpractice and clinical negligence solicitor as soon as you or your loved ones discover the possibility that medical negligence or medical care mistakes have caused harm or exacerbated the health ailments facing yourself or your loved ones.