If you’ve been treated by a medical professional and your condition worsens under their care or if the wrong treatments were given, you may be able to receive compensation under medical malpractice laws. Malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide reasonable care or use the appropriate skills when treating a patient. If you feel your care was subpar or reasonable care was not administered, you need to contact a lawyer to file for compensation.
Medical Professionals Under the Law
Whether you were treated in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or a clinic, if you didn’t receive the proper care, then you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. Medical professionals who can be held liable may include:
- Medical Specialists
- Health Professionals
The hospital or clinic where you were treated may also be named in a malpractice claim.
Types of Compensation
There are many types of compensation for which medical negligence lawyers can file a claim. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Past, present, and future wage losses.
- Past, present, and future medical treatments.
- Past, present, and future homecare needs, if applicable.
- General out of pocket expenses.
Along with hiring a solicitor to file claims against the medical professional who committed negligence, a complaint can also be lodged with healthcare complaint commissions in the state in which you live. They do not offer compensation, but they will investigate possible cases of medical neglect.
Many jurisdictions have medical caps or limits to the amount of compensation you can receive for successful claims. The Civil Liability Act of 2002 set limits for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, at $350,000 and indexed to average weekly earnings.
Economic damages, such as loss of income, was capped at three times the average weekly earnings, and a 5% discount was tacked onto lump sum awards. Legal costs were also limited to the greater of 20% or $10,000 for damages less than $100,000.
Time Limitations for Claims
There are time limitations to file for claims in the case of medical malpractice, but they vary across the country. For adults who are victims of medical malpractice, the restrictions are:
- Three years from the date of injury or diagnosis in the ACT, NSW, or QLD.
- Three years from the date of the incident in SA.
- Three years from the date the negligence is discovered in VIC, TAS, and WA.
There are also time limitations for filing compensation claims for children who’ve been the victims of medical malpractice, but they differ in almost every state.
If you think you have a medical neglect or malpractice claim, consult with a lawyer. They can determine if there is a claim and help you file it for compensation.