The process of making a medical negligence claim in Australia can be complex and daunting for an ordinary individual. However, understanding the basic steps involved can help to make the process smoother and less stressful.
If you are thinking about making a medical negligence claim, legal experts in this field can assist in this process. Therefore, you should seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer who specializes in medical negligence cases. Your lawyer will be able to assess your case and advise you about the validity of the claim.
If your lawyer wants to proceed further with your inquiry or matter, they will generally ask you to complete some documentation to begin the process of gathering evidence to support your case. This may involve filling out forms, obtaining and reviewing medical records, consulting with medical experts, and sometimes interviewing witnesses. Your lawyer may need to take certain steps, such as issuing a personal injury claim notification to comply with the applicable jurisdictional legislative requirements.
Once your lawyer has gathered all the necessary evidence, attempts can be made to resolve the claim without proceeding to litigation. If the healthcare provider admits liability, your lawyer may then attempt to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If a settlement is reached, the matter will be resolved without the need for a court hearing.
If the circumstances of your case warrant the filing of a Statement of Claim (SOC), your lawyer will then prepare a statement of claim, which outlines the details of your case and the compensation that you are seeking. Your lawyer may suggest engaging a barrister in your matter.
The SOC will then be filed in court and served on the healthcare provider or providers that you are alleging were negligent. The healthcare provider will then have a specified period of time in which to respond to the claim. The parties to the litigation will follow the court procedure in a litigated matter which also requires adhering to the court timeframes or deadlines.
If parties are still unable to resolve the claim, the matter may proceed to a court hearing, where a judge will hear evidence from both sides and make a decision on the case.
It is important to remember that medical negligence claims can be expensive, as they generally involve the use of medical experts and other specialist services.
It is also important to note that the process of making a medical negligence claim can take several months or even years to resolve.
You should seek legal advice as soon as possible after the incident to ensure that the claim is made within the time limits set out in the law.