If you’ve been wrongly diagnosed, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Our lawyers who specialise in medical misdiagnosis claims can determine whether you’re eligible to make a no win, no risk compensation claim.
What is Misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis is different to a number of other claims on this site. Your misdiagnosis can worsen your existing condition and may sometimes endanger your life with inappropriate advice. For these types of claims, our clinical negligence solicitors must establish a ‘breach of duty’ for a claim to be valid. Staff must be competent in diagnosing you, and a reasonable standard of care must be given to you at all times. If they breach this, then you may be eligible for a claim.
To successfully claim Misdiagnosis, you must establish two things:
- There must’ve been a breach of duty (negligence)
- The breach of duty must have been the cause of the loss, injury or damage to you (causation)
If the diagnosis came with an outcome that you don’t like, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a claim. You also won’t have a claim if there is a reasonable mistake that a medical professional has made. You may also not be able to make a claim if there is a misdiagnosis, but the condition has not changed in the period before your claim. Medical professionals must show that they provided the standard of care that a reasonable body of medical professionals in the same field would regard as acceptable. Your experience may have resulted in an inappropriate diagnosis and result in a loss of livelihood.
Who is liable?
If your medical practitioner didn’t do their job properly in completing the procedure and keeping you as safe as reasonably possible, then they may be liable for the pain, suffering and other factors that may have occurred.
There are a number of errors that can be presented as a misdiagnosis case including:
- Surgical errors, including after-surgery care
- Failure to investigate symptoms
- Hospital acquired illnesses and infections (such as MRSA)
- Misdiagnosis or failure to adequately test, diagnose and treat
- Failure to sufficiently check and monitor, leading to problems such as pressure sores, malnutrition or dehydration
- Incorrect medication or treatment is given
- Errors by junior staff
- Misinterpretation of test results
You can claim if you feel that this resulted in some of the following such as:
cancer treatments, childbirth injuries to children, brain or spinal injury, amongst others. You will have to identify exactly who brought the order to proceed in a negligent act, whether it be hospital staff, or a private surgeon employed by the hospital. It may not be anyone’s fault, but we encourage you to call us to ensure that you are not letting someone get away with endangering your livelihood.
What can I claim?
Although some patients may be in a position of greater risk of misdiagnosis (or similar) from their illness, you are entitled to compensation if your medical professional is negligent. You may have received care or surgical work that was inadequate or dangerous due to a misdiagnosis.
In order to help you understand whether you can make a claim or not, we will need to ask you some questions.
- When did the incident happen (e.g. did your Hospital suggest a medication that was unsuitable at any point)?
- Who was involved in the incident (e.g. did your Hospital suggest you become involved in a risky procedure for example)?
- Whether your medical professional was to blame for the incident (e.g. Did they misjudge the side effects of medication relative to your illness)?
- What the impact of the incident is (is your condition now less treatable, or even untreatable)?
If you feel uncomfortable answering any of these questions, we will never rush you to make any decisions or to answer straight away. There is no obligation to make a claim either, so you don’t feel pressured.
You may hear a lot about ‘general’ and ‘special’ damages. General damages are usually pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Special damages are usually medical treatment, loss of earnings and any other expenses incurred. These are assessed on a case by case basis. To find out more, get in touch with us on 1800 106 107, calls are free, and you won’t be pressured into launching a claim with us.
How much compensation can I get?
Compensation is judged based on the impact the misdiagnosis has had on your life, rather than the context of the misdiagnosis. Your claim will likely be brought against your GP or hospital who made the misdiagnosis. If the compensation is a lump sum payment, then you can spend the money in any matter you see fit. Generally speaking, compensation usually covers:
- Lost earnings and future loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Expenses related to travel (e.g. Hospital transport)
- Care costs – these may include the costs to care for you, your loved one, or your children
Legislation makes sure that you have certain rights when you are involved in a misdiagnosis incident.
At this stage it is impossible to give you an accurate estimation of what you could receive however, you can make your own assessment online, without having to speak to a lawyer using our compensation calculator.
What to do next
Each state in Australia has different time frames in which to claim, but you may be eligible for a number of different claims. After our lawyers assess your situation over the phone, we can organise for an independent medical report to ensure that no stone is left unturned in regards to your claim.
Can I claim on behalf of someone else?
You may be able to make a claim or someone else if they are a ‘protected person’. This includes children or someone who’s been injured that can’t make the claim themselves. If you represent them, you will be known as a ‘litigation guardian’ throughout the claim. If a loved one has died from Misdiagnosis, you may be able to act on their behalf.
Call us for more information and whether or not you will need to take on this role; we’ll never pressure you into making a decision, and our quotes are obligation free.
Millner and Knight are one of Australia’s largest personal injury companies with offices throughout each State.