I was the Victim of a Botched Surgery, What Should I do?

Having any kind of surgery inevitably comes with risks. However, every doctor should provide their patient with all the necessary information during their consultation, to where the patient agrees to undergo the surgery despite the risks involved. Otherwise, you may have a medical negligence case on your hands.

Interestingly, it was reported in the Annals of Medicine and Surgery last year, that 16.6% of 14,000 hospital admissions in New South Wales and South Australia associated with an adverse event resulting in disability was caused by medicolegal negligence. It also added that 51% of those adverse events were considered preventable.

Although we live in a country that gives its citizens access to high quality medical care, even standard procedures can go wrong. In some cases, these complications are unavoidable and cannot be controlled. But in other cases where a negative outcome could have been completely avoided, the patient may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.

What’s considered Medical Negligence?

If your experience falls under any of the following categories, you should consult a legal expert as you are entitled to make a claim:

  • Surgery was conducted on the wrong body part or organ
  • Surgical equipment was left inside the patient
  • Surgery was undertaken unnecessarily or without properly advising the patient
  • Infection was caused by unsanitary equipment
  • Another internal organ was damaged during surgery
  • Nerve damage was caused by surgeon’s physical error or anaesthesia
  • Surgery was not completed properly e.g., removal of a tumour

As previously mentioned, if you were not aware of all of the risks involved and experienced adverse effects, but would’ve opted out if given adequate information from your doctor prior to the surgery, this could also be considered medical negligence.

Making a Claim

Every healthcare professional owes their patient a duty of care so to make a claim, the patient or a family member must show that they have breached that duty. Rather than the professional having to be perfect, the court will determine whether the case involves negligence if the healthcare professional did not show a fair, reasonable and competent degree of skill carrying out their work.

Proving that the care was below the reasonable standard takes expert evidence from an independent specialist – which can be difficult given the close medical community in Australia are rarely willing to provide support. Similarly, proving causation (damage occurred as a result of their negligence) isn’t always as simple as A = B, especially when a patient has an underlying illness or has multiple health conditions.

In order to lodge a claim in Court, you must have attached to the Court documents an expert report supportive of your claim in negligence proving both breach of duty of care and causation. In addition, any claim lodged must be done within three years of the incident.

This is exactly why it’s imperative you seek legal help from experts in the field of medical negligence to ensure you’re compensated accordingly. If successful, you can be compensated for loss of earnings, medical expenses, pain and suffering, rehabilitation and even loss of life.

At Taylor & Scott – as shown in our track record – we don’t shy away from fighting big insurance companies that may seem too difficult to win against. So, if you’re looking for a lawyer that not only has the skill but also the empathy and understanding you need for your compensation case, get in touch with us today.