Medical Negligence

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.

Applicable Legislation
The parties in medical negligence claims are bound by the rules set out in the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (QLD) and Civil Liability Act 2003 (QLD).

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.