Medical negligence law in Australia


If you are suffering injury or loss of income and this was a result of a health care provider performing below the accepted standards, you may be able to claim medical negligence compensation. Medical negligence, which is also referred as medical malpractice is a situation when there was a duty owed to the patient by a professional who has fallen below the accepted standards, therefore breaching their duty of care.


In this case, it is known as medical negligence compensation. You can claim it on your own however like most litigation it is preferred to work with an experienced compensation lawyer to fully understand your entitlements and maximize your compensation.

Can I make a claim?

Anyone who suffers an injury due to medical malpractice which was performed below the accepted standards can make a medical negligence claim.

What can I claim?

  • Past and future loss of earnings
  • Compensation for pain & suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Reasonable travel expenses to and from medical appointments
  • Domestic assistance

What situations are determined as medical negligence?

Being provided with wrong health care products and services, informing the patient insufficiently on the potential risks of the treatment, cosmetic surgery malpractices, false diagnoses, surgical mistakes, misleading test results and x-rays and wrong medications are some of the many examples of medical negligence.

However, not every adverse outcome from a treatment is considered medical negligence. Some of these outcomes can be inherent in the treatment process. There must be a breach of duty for it to be deemed as negligence.

How can I make a successful claim?

The insurer or if necessary, the court should be satisfied that there was a duty owed to you and it was breached which led to injuries, economical loss or psychological loss. In this case, the doctor responsible for the treatment owes you a duty. If the same doctor failed in performing the treatment at the accepted standards, , this is determined as a breach of duty. To make a successful claim, you should prove that the service provided was below the accepted standards and there was a breach of care.

To supply the insurer or the court with sufficient information, relevant documents from peer health care experts will be needed. Your lawyer will arrange an appointment to get your injuries assessed by a peer health care professional to prove the treatment led to your injuries was below the accepted standards. Additionally, documents indicating your injuries, decreased capacity to earn and being unable to perform daily exercises should be gathered to make a successful medical negligence claim. 

Do I need a lawyer to make medical negligence claim?

It is not an obligation to hire a lawyer to make a medical negligence claim. However, there may be a possibility where you might not be aware of your rights. Your lawyer will ensure you fully understand your entitlements. Also, you might want to avoid the frustrating process of arranging necessary appointments, managing the talks with the insurer of other party and running your claim on your own against an insurance company who most likely will have lawyers defending them. Your lawyer will not let your rights to get shoved under the carpet by the other party and hiring a lawyer will also prevent you from receiving compensation less than what you rightfully deserve.

How much do lawyers charge for a claims?

The price of working with a lawyer varies. However, if you choose to work with a lawyer acting on no win no fee basis, your lawyer will only get paid if the final decision made was in your favour. An experienced accident compensation lawyer will also cover the costs of the expert doctor and any other disbursement which is required in running your claim.