Medical Negligence occurs when you suffer an injury because of some wrongdoing in the care and treatment undertaken by your doctor, a hospital or other health care provider, or if they delay to diagnose and treat you. Examples of medical negligence are:
• Faulty surgery or surgery that should not have been recommended or performed resulting in an acquired brain injury, sepsis, amputations, multi-organ failure, paralysis;
• Mismanagement of pregnancy or labour resulting in birth defects such as cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury;
• A GP prescribing incorrect medication resulting in necrosis;
• A radiologist failing to diagnose a broken bone visible on an x-ray, resulting in a delay in management of the break;
• Failing to investigate and diagnose a cancer; and
• Failure to diagnose infection in the spine resulting in paraplegia.
Medical Negligence Claims Time Frames
There are specific timeframes associated with commencing claims against health care providers, including:
• Delivering an initial notice within 9 months from the date of incident or within one month of you consulting with a medical negligence expert about making a claim on the doctor or hospital you allege was negligent. You can be late in serving the initial notice but you will then need to give a reasonable excuse for your delay.
• There is a three-year limitation period, so court proceedings must be started before the expiry of the three years of the medical incident.
• There are exceptions to this rule, one being if the injury occurred if you were not yet 18 years of age. In this scenario, the three-year time limitation does not start until you turn 18 and it expires on your 21st birthday.