Medical Negligence

If you have suffered an injury due to medical treatment or advice you have received or due to delay in receiving the right medical advice or treatment and you have suffered an injury due to the delay or misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation.

Some of the medical negligence cases we have handled include:-

  • Birth Injuries;
  • Cancer misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer in a timely manner;
  • Bowel perforation during a routine procedure;
  • Negligent surgery;
  • Failure to investigate or refer patients for further treatment including failure to refer to specialists in a timely manner or at all;

Every medical negligence case requires a thorough investigation and also expert evidence to support the claim.

  • No Win – No Fee
  • Senior Lawyer acting for you from start to finish
  • Very competitive hourly rates
  • 30% cap on professional fees
  • Pay Less Get More policy

Frequently Asked Questions - Medical Negligence Claims

If you have suffered an injury due to medical advice and/or treatment you have received from a doctor, hospital or health service provider or if you have suffered an injury due to a doctor or hospital or health service provider failing to give you medical advice or treatment in a timely manner or at all, you may be entitled to compensation or damages. The amount of compensation or damages you may be entitled to receive depends on many variables including:-

The nature and severity of your injuries caused by the medical negligence;
Your age;
Your loss of income or earnings and potential future loss of income or earnings due to the medical negligence;
The amount of future medical treatment you will need due to the medical negligence event or events;
Your prospects of making a good or full recovery.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist with considering and advising you on your prospects of success, evidence gathering and the likely value of your claim. For a medical negligence claim to succeed, it will be necessary for expert evidence to be obtained from a medical specialist or medical practitioner which is critical of the medical advice and/or treatment you have received and that you have suffered injury, loss and damage due to the doctor or hospital’s breach of the duty of care that was owed to you.

Strict time limits apply to making claims.   See our FAQ below regarding time limits.

Not initially, and perhaps not at all. The claim is subject to a mandatory “pre-court” process that is designed to try and resolve claims before court proceedings are necessary. This process is commenced by delivering a claim form to the negligent or responsible doctor or hospital, followed by the provision of medical evidence in support of the claim and, once your injuries are stable enough, an assessment of damages and offer to settle. We will handle this entire process. Once that is completed the parties and their legal representatives are required to attend a settlement conference to see if an agreement can be reached. Only if that conference is unsuccessful in resolving the matter can a court claim be commenced.

The commencement of a claim in court does not mean that the matter will proceed to a hearing in front of a judge. There may be many more opportunities to negotiate a settlement before that occurs. We will guide you through the court process and ensure your matter is resolved at the earliest opportunity.

Yes time limits apply.

If we are retained to act for you we will ensure that all time limits are complied with by preparing and lodging any and all claim forms and making sure court proceedings are commenced and on time, but here is a brief summary of the relevant time limits:

There is a 9 month time limit from the date of the medical negligence or when it became known to you to submit the “pre-court” Claim Form with the negligent or “at fault” party such as the doctor or hospital or 1 month from the date you engage a lawyer to act for you in the claim, whichever is the earlier.  If you retain us, we will prepare and lodge the claim for you and at no obligation. 

In the event that you make a full recovery from your injuries within a few months of the accident and the claim is not economically viable to proceed with legal representation, we will not charge you anything for the professional time we have spent meeting with you, preparing and lodging the claim.   
  
We provide this service to our clients to immediately remove any concerns or stress about seeking legal advice early and with respect to legal costs.  

We strongly recommend that you get early legal advice regarding your rights and to ensure that any and all claim forms are prepared accurately and lodged promptly and to provide a legal buffer between you and the insurer.  

The benefit of engaging an expert personal injury lawyer to look after you and your claim is that it immediately becomes the responsibility of your lawyer to take care of the time limits and to make sure the documents are lodged or filed on time.

There is a three year time limit from the date of injury to commence court proceedings if you have suffered personal injuries from medical negligence.  If court proceedings are not commenced within three years of the date of the injury, your right to commence or pursue a compensation claim or claim for damages may be lost forever.

Commencing court proceedings is only ever necessary if we have been able to resolve or settle your claim at the initial settlement conference which is called the compulsory conference. 

Many cases but not all claims settle at the compulsory conference.  We are able to resolve some cases even before the compulsory conference. 
Approximately 99% of all of the cases John and Greg have taken on over the past 45 years of combined legal practice has been able to be settled or resolved out of court or prior to trial.  

If you retain John, Sean or Greg from vbr Lawyers regarding your personal injury claim, the responsibility of lodging the claim on time and before the time limit expires immediately becomes our responsibility.  

Assuming we can establish that the medical treatment you received was negligent, and when all of your injuries have settled down and stabilised, we can seek and recover for you monetary compensation for the following:-
(a)          Pain and Suffering;
(b)          Loss of Wages or Income;
(c)           Future Loss of Wages or Income;
(d)          Past and Future Loss of Superannuation Benefits;
(e)          Out of Pocket Expenses;
(f)           Past and Future Medical Treatment Costs;
(g)          In some cases, Past and Future domestic Care and Assistance;
(h)          In some cases, a healthy contribution towards your legal costs which at vbr Lawyers will equate to at least 50% of your total legal bill being paid by the insurer.

Yes. Only a minority of the claims we make involve claims for people who have been forever prevented from working due to medical negligence.   Most claims we make involve are for people who are still working, but with some problems. Valuable compensation is recoverable in that situation, on the basis that your capacity for work might not be the same as it once was. In any case the best thing to do is to notify the claim as soon as possible. If it turns out you are completely symptom free and the claim does not proceed, you will owe nothing to us or anyone else.

We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice and as soon as possible because the moment you have been injured due to medical negligence, you have a potential claim.

Your potential claim and the value of the claim will be determined by the law and legislation.  Accordingly, you should get proper legal advice and we are happy to provide it to you and at no obligation.

An expert in personal injury law will be able to promptly advise you of your rights, the claim process, what needs to be done and when and answer any and all questions you might have about your rights, how to run and win the case, advise on whether the case can be won and, if so, how long it might take to complete and the likely full value of the claim. 

In our experience people who are self represented achieve significantly inferior “in hand” outcomes even taking the payment of legal costs into account.

If the value of your claim is very small, we will advise you. If the value of the claim is so small that the legal costs would eat into or erode the value of the claim, we will advise you of this and as early as possible. 

As our overheads [or the cost of running our firm] is so much lower or smaller than some firms like Shine Lawyers, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers or Slater & Gordon Lawyers to name a few, we are often able to assist clients with lower or smaller value claims that big firms simply cannot take on due to their higher costs and fees.

If the value of your claim is moderately sized or if it is a significant claim, you also will be very pleasantly surprised and relieved about our fee structure and fee policy as compared with the larger firms. We guarantee it.

Based on our collective 45 year experience in running and resolving this type of claim it usually takes 6 to 18 months for your claim to resolve.

We will explain the likely legal fees upfront and from day one. We provide industry leading transparency regarding our fee structure and fee policy. 

No matter what happens or at what stage your case settles, the professional costs will not under any circumstances exceed 30% of the value of the claim.

Example

If your case settles for $100,000.00 clear of any and all statutory refunds and legal disbursements/expenses, we will not charge more than $30,000.00 for professional costs.
Even if we had incurred say $50,000.00 worth of professional costs to achieve the settlement and to win the case, your bill for our professional costs will not exceed $30,000.00.

Using the same example, if we incurred only $15,000.00 worth of professional costs to achieve the settlement, you would of course be charged $15,000.00, not $30,000.00.

Compare vbr Lawyers to the bigger personal injury law firms and how they charge:-

When compared to other firms such as Shine Lawyers, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and Slater and Gordon Lawyers, you will find that if you retain John or Greg from vbrLawyers:-
(a)          Your legal bill will be lower or a lot lower and by at least 20% to 35%;
(b)          Your case will be handled by a Senior Lawyer from start to finish;
(c)           Unlike the large firms with big overheads and TV campaigns, your case will not be delegated or handed to a secretary, law clerk, paralegal or junior lawyer.   Your case will be handled by a very experienced and senior lawyer at all times.

At vbr Lawyers, our No Win – No fee policy is this:-
(a)          You will only ever pay legal fees for the work we do at the end of your claim and if and only if you win;
(b)          We will fund and run the case for you and the legal costs will come out of your settlement monies which are paid by the insurer;
(c)           In the very, very unlikely event that your claim goes to court and in the even more unlikely event that a trial is required and you lose, you would still pay us nothing but you are likely to be ordered by the court to pay the other side’s legal costs.