High-degree injuries and critical medical conditions can arise after a medical treatment if the medical professional fails to treat the patient at acceptable standards. Human errors are among the many reasons for a worsened health condition after a medical treatment process. However, such permanent injuries and diseases can arise as a result of defective medical equipment, surgical errors, and most commonly, the wrong dosage of prescription drugs and administration errors.
Victims of medical negligence cases can request compensation from the party at fault as severe injuries and damaged health conditions are likely to decrease the victim’s capacity to maintain his/her life independently. In Australia, medical employees are covered with professional indemnity insurance. This means, in case of medical malpractice, the insurer will compensate for the loss of the victim.
What is medical negligence?
Professionals in the healthcare sector owe a duty to their patients which they are responsible for their wellbeing. This duty is to hesitate any action that might harm the patient or worsen their health conditions. Intentional or unintentional, this duty can be breached on some occasions.
Most common causes of medical malpractice cases are human mistakes, faulty products, administration of medications, prescription of wrong medications or prescribing a medication without evaluating the patient’s medical history.
Many medical conditions might prevent patients to use prescription drugs. Before prescribing, patient’s allergies, ongoing drug usage, medical history, weight, and any other factors that can react negatively while using prescription drugs should be assessed.
If doctors, practitioners, surgeons, aestheticians or any other medical professional breaches this duty in any way, the victim has rights to claim compensation as medical malpractice can lead to permanent and severe health problems.
Although the extent of the compensation can differ between States and the situation, generally, victims are entitled to recover their loss of income, medical expenses and in serious incidents where the victim is impaired, a lump-sum payment can be awarded.
Understanding medical negligence
Not every worsened health condition is a situation of negligence as medical treatment processes generally involve inherent risk. As an example, an unhealthy person might contact a medical center to arrange an aesthetic surgery.
However, the doctor can decline this request as the patient’s health condition isn’t sufficient to resist the treatment process. In this case, the medical professional can either warn the patient about the risk that the surgery involves and ask for their legal permission as written paperwork or simply decline the surgery.
On a similar occasion, if the patient suffers an adverse condition as a result of this surgery, this is not evaluated as the professional’s negligence. In this scenario, the surgeon made the necessary warning and informed the patient about the risk involved in the process.
However, on a different occasion, a patient might contact a surgeon about a similar aesthetic surgery and the surgeon can accept the request even if the medical condition of the patient isn’t suitable for such surgery. As the patient cannot evaluate the risk and his/her medical condition by themselves and see if he/she can resist the surgery or not, it is the surgeon’s duty to warn the patient.
The medical professionals can fulfill their duties by warning the patient and evaluating the medical condition of the patient. In this case, if the patient isn’t informed about the risk and if harm arises, it will be considered as a situation of medical negligence.
Medical negligence compensation claim
Fortunately, victims of such occasions can claim medical negligence compensation to recover their loss and minimize their sufferings. However, it is strongly suggested to have the case evaluated by a professional as medical negligence cases require intense attention and can be quite complex.