What outcomes can be sought in a medical negligence claim?
Once negligence has been established on the part of the health practitioner or hospital at fault of your injuries, then an assessment is undertaken as to the damages to which you are entitled. You are entitled to claim damages under a number of headings. They include:
Non—Economic losses are damages awarded to you for the purpose of compensating you for your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life suffered as a result of your injury. The Civil Liability Act sets out the statutory regime for the assessment of these damages. Simply put, you are compared to an extreme case who would be entitled to the maximum sum available for Non-Economic loss. An extreme case would include quadriplegia, paraplegia and someone similarly horrendously injured. All other persons are awarded damages according to what percentage of an extreme case they are, subject to some statutory restrictions.
Past and Future Economic Loss
If you have lost time from work, or will lose time from work in the future, you are entitled to damages for economic loss. This can represent a very significant component of the claim. A court will be called upon to determine the extent of the loss for the past which is usually readily capable of determination. For the future, the court is called upon to assess damages to compensate you for the loss or losses that will be incurred by reason of your inability to work or restricted ability to work.
Any reasonable expenses which include hospital, pharmaceutical, therapeutic and rehabilitative expenses can also be claimed. The criterion for recovery of these damages is that they must be reasonable and related to the injury arising from the claim. There is also an entitlement to claim future medical expenses. There will be evidence available to establish what, if any, future medical treatment will be required. The court will award damages for same.
Subject to some statutory restrictions, you are entitled to claim for the value of care or domestic assistance that is provided gratuitously by family members or friends. The level of care must exceed six hours per week for at least six months. The maximum number of hours that can be claimed under this heading is 40 hours per week for gratuitous assistance. However, if commercial assistance is required by the injured party, then the full value of that assistance can be claimed for the past and for the future, without restriction. Again, the amount claimed must be reasonable and required by injury being the subject of the claim.
If you win your case, an Order for payment of party/party costs will be made in your favour. This will cover a significant proportion of legal fees and disbursements. The balance of your legal fees and disbursements not payable by the Defendant will be simply adjusted from the judgement monies in your favour.
Brydens Lawyers are experts in the prosecution of all medical negligence claims. If you, or someone you know, has suffered as a result of any failing or neglect on the part of a healthcare professional, contact Brydens Lawyers without delay as strict time limits apply to all claims. Contact Brydens Lawyers on 1800 848 848 or at brydens.com.au.
At Brydens Lawyers-#WEDO medical negligence claims.