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How Can I Tell If My Injury Was Caused by Medical Negligence?

In simple terms, medical negligence occurs when a patient suffers injury, loss, or damage due to a healthcare professional failing to provide reasonable medical advice, care or treatment. Additionally, legally speaking, you must prove that the injury, loss, or damage was more likely than not avoidable but for failing to provide reasonable care and treatment.

The Three Elements of Medical Negligence

To prove that your injury was caused by medical negligence, you must establish the following:

1. Duty: The healthcare provider owed you a duty of care.

2. Breach of duty of care: The healthcare provider breached the duty of care by failing to provide you with care or treatment that is consistent with the accepted standards of care at that time (reasonable care).

3. Causation of damage: The failure to provide you with reasonable care or treatment more likely than not caused you to suffer a permanent or significant injury or loss for which you could be compensated.

How can you tell if your injury was caused by medical negligence?

Unexpected Complications

Whist experiencing complications or an unsatisfactory outcome are not necessarily proof negligence, and complications could occur even with excellent care, there are some matters that you must pay close attention to, including the following:

  • There is no improvement in your condition or symptoms despite adhering to medical advice and recommended treatment.
  • Your condition or symptoms continue to evolve and progress despite treatment.
  • Your condition or symptoms worsen immediately, or shortly after, commencing treatment, with no reasonable explanation.
  • You develop new symptoms.
  • Your recovery takes much longer than anticipated, and your doctor cannot provide you with a reasonable explanation.
  • You have come under the care of another doctor, and this new doctor expressed concerns about the treatment that you have received.

If you have experienced, or continue to experience, any of the above matters, it might be sensible to seek an explanation to your satisfaction or seek a second medical opinion.

A Healthcare Team that lacks transparency

If you feel that your healthcare providers are not being entirely transparent or forthcoming about your treatment and unsatisfactory outcome, or that they are dismissing or undermining your concerns or are refusing to refer you for a second medical opinion, it could be a sign that some of the care or treatment that you received was not reasonable or appropriate. Pay close attention to the following:

  • Doctors or nurses avoiding your questions or providing vague answers.
  • Difficulty accessing your medical records.
  • Medical records that are incomplete
  • A sudden change in your healthcare team without explanation

Inconsistent Diagnoses and Treatment Plans

Some patients have complex conditions requiring a multi-disciplinary team of specialists, and some patients seek a second opinion before undergoing specific treatments. If you receive conflicting information from your treating doctors, this might be due to a lack of consensus concerning your diagnosis or an appropriate treatment plan. Some examples of this scenario include the following:

  • Conflicting diagnoses from different members of your healthcare team
  • Rapid changes in your treatment plan without a clear rationale
  • A lack of communication or coordination among your healthcare providers

FAQ’s

How can I tell if my injury was caused by medical negligence and not just an unfortunate outcome?

It can be challenging to differentiate between the two. Consulting with a specialist medical negligence solicitor can help you assess your situation and determine if negligence was involved.

What should I do if I suspect my injury was caused by medical negligence?

First, compile any medical documents you have in your position. Then, consult with a knowledgeable medical negligence lawyer to evaluate your case. Gathering the relevant medical records before consulting with a medical negligence solicitor is helpful and is a great time saver. If you cannot do this due to ill health or otherwise, your solicitor can request medical records on your behalf.

Can I sue for medical negligence?

Yes, you can sue for medical negligence if you have suffered an injury and your solicitors have procured the necessary expert evidence to support the alleged negligence and causation. In New South Wales, expert evidence is required to commence formal legal proceedings arising from medical negligence. An experienced medical negligence solicitor can help you navigate the legal process and prepare your claim to be filed in court.

How long do I have to file a medical negligence claim?

The time limit, or statute of limitations, varies depending on your jurisdiction. Generally, it is three years from the date of the injury or the date you discovered the injury. The statute of limitations is complex and requires advice from a solicitor and specific consideration of your situation. You must consult with a medical negligence solicitor as soon as you suspect medical negligence.

Conclusion

You now know what to look for if you think you are a victim of medical negligence. By asking the right questions and taking proactive steps to investigate your suspicions, you can determine if your injury results from medical negligence and, if necessary, seek the justice you deserve. Contact Garling and Co. today and speak to our team of lawyers who are Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury Law and specialise in Medical Negligence. We are here to support you through your claim and support you in the fight for fair compensation. 

Professional woman typing on laptop

Joelle Matar

Joelle is an expert in Medical Negligence Law, with over 15 years experience working exclusively in Medical Negligence since 2007. She is also an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, Law Society of NSW. Her deep...
Ray H.
07:33 13 Jun 24
Matthew Garling and Team are kind, patient, polite, professional, empathetic and efficient. I was treated terribly by the at fault insurer. Garling and Co. had my back. Matthew gently and patiently... kept me up to speed on all the steps to go through. From my personal experience I recommend these guys. They are safe hands. Thank you team.read more
Jo L.
05:58 07 May 24
So very impressed with the professional team who looked after me throughout the last 4 and 1/2 years. A special mention to Kerry and Nathan who navigated each request to fight for my right to gain... access to further treatments and physio and to ensure medical treatment would be covered moving forward. I was so grateful I could hand it all over to you and not have to go through this very challenging time without your support.I thank you for the compassion you have provided to me, from the first contact with Matthew and Natasha, to finalisation with Kerry and Nathan.I highly recommend the team at Garling and Co for any third party compensation claims. You are in good hands with them all.read more
Linda O.
21:53 06 May 24
Emma, Rebecca and the team at Garling and Co have worked diligently throughout my workers compensation claim. The level of professionalism, support and communication has been faultless. Of particular... note has been the sensitivity displayed to me throughout the lengthy process. Worker’s compensation claims are complex and not easy to navigate, particularly when you are unwell. I do not hesitate to recommend Garling and Co to help you find a way through this otherwise unfathomable system.read more
Keith H.
20:51 23 Apr 24
After my case stalled with another firm, I decided to give Matthew Garling a call. He took my case and not only won, but achieved an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. This firm is the best... in the business in my opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.read more
Anthony T.
00:50 16 Apr 24
Thank you Matthew and his team who guided me through the legal process, a truly positive experience with total professionalism.
Mikaele N.
03:01 15 Apr 24
Garling &Co Lawyers were awesome, I called every compensation law firm and was told that I couldn't claim for compensation.The whole experience and process was simple and stress free.Mr Matthew... Garling and Allison deserve an accolades for the very best in client service. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.read more
Tamara L.
02:10 15 Apr 24
I want to thank Garling & Co so much for all the help they have given me and helped with my claim. We got the win last week and it was the best news I have gotten considering how much my life has... been turned upside down the past 2 years. Emma and Rebecca have been incredible to work with and explained everything from the start even when I had hesitation to go ahead regarding how much everything would cost or how fair it could go or even if I had a chance, but they explained everything thoroughly, so I understood it all. Thank you for making this process seamlessly easy and helping me get the win it will make things a little easy for me that's for sure financial thank you for all your help I cannot recommend you and your services enough. Thank you again.read more
Sigrid W.
05:01 11 Apr 24
Utter professionalism from first phone call to final settlement. It was a pleasure to be represented by a firm that actually cares for their clients. From office staff, to paralegal and solicitor... Rebecca, Emma and Matthew thank you for your support and expertise throughout my claim. No wonder your firm has won many awards. I'm extremely happy with my outcome and can confidently recommend your firm.read more
BJ S.
01:09 09 Apr 24
Highly recommend Matthew & Allison at Garling and Co ! Quick response ! helpful every step of the way ! If you want the best compensation lawyer, Matthew @ Garling and co is the bestDoesn’t waste... time. Very informative ! excellent guidance! They get the job done ✅Website is perfect guide5 Star ⭐️ is not enoughI’m so grateful to Matthew, Allison and team for my outcome so far !Thank you 😊 Garling and co are awesome 👏 🤩read more
Jaimie K.
06:11 02 Apr 24
Have had a rollercoaster ride with Garling and Co over the several years we have been battling the system that injured workers are faced with. The wheels of progress are slow within this system.... However Garling and co have always stood by me. Calls are returned and matters are always followed up in a timely manner.read more
READ ALL TESTIMONIALS

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Ray H.
07:33 13 Jun 24
Matthew Garling and Team are kind, patient, polite, professional, empathetic and efficient. I was treated terribly by the at fault insurer. Garling and Co. had my back. Matthew gently and patiently... kept me up to speed on all the steps to go through. From my personal experience I recommend these guys. They are safe hands. Thank you team.read more
Jo L.
05:58 07 May 24
So very impressed with the professional team who looked after me throughout the last 4 and 1/2 years. A special mention to Kerry and Nathan who navigated each request to fight for my right to gain... access to further treatments and physio and to ensure medical treatment would be covered moving forward. I was so grateful I could hand it all over to you and not have to go through this very challenging time without your support.I thank you for the compassion you have provided to me, from the first contact with Matthew and Natasha, to finalisation with Kerry and Nathan.I highly recommend the team at Garling and Co for any third party compensation claims. You are in good hands with them all.read more
Linda O.
21:53 06 May 24
Emma, Rebecca and the team at Garling and Co have worked diligently throughout my workers compensation claim. The level of professionalism, support and communication has been faultless. Of particular... note has been the sensitivity displayed to me throughout the lengthy process. Worker’s compensation claims are complex and not easy to navigate, particularly when you are unwell. I do not hesitate to recommend Garling and Co to help you find a way through this otherwise unfathomable system.read more
Keith H.
20:51 23 Apr 24
After my case stalled with another firm, I decided to give Matthew Garling a call. He took my case and not only won, but achieved an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. This firm is the best... in the business in my opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.read more
Anthony T.
00:50 16 Apr 24
Thank you Matthew and his team who guided me through the legal process, a truly positive experience with total professionalism.
Mikaele N.
03:01 15 Apr 24
Garling &Co Lawyers were awesome, I called every compensation law firm and was told that I couldn't claim for compensation.The whole experience and process was simple and stress free.Mr Matthew... Garling and Allison deserve an accolades for the very best in client service. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.read more
Tamara L.
02:10 15 Apr 24
I want to thank Garling & Co so much for all the help they have given me and helped with my claim. We got the win last week and it was the best news I have gotten considering how much my life has... been turned upside down the past 2 years. Emma and Rebecca have been incredible to work with and explained everything from the start even when I had hesitation to go ahead regarding how much everything would cost or how fair it could go or even if I had a chance, but they explained everything thoroughly, so I understood it all. Thank you for making this process seamlessly easy and helping me get the win it will make things a little easy for me that's for sure financial thank you for all your help I cannot recommend you and your services enough. Thank you again.read more
Sigrid W.
05:01 11 Apr 24
Utter professionalism from first phone call to final settlement. It was a pleasure to be represented by a firm that actually cares for their clients. From office staff, to paralegal and solicitor... Rebecca, Emma and Matthew thank you for your support and expertise throughout my claim. No wonder your firm has won many awards. I'm extremely happy with my outcome and can confidently recommend your firm.read more
BJ S.
01:09 09 Apr 24
Highly recommend Matthew & Allison at Garling and Co ! Quick response ! helpful every step of the way ! If you want the best compensation lawyer, Matthew @ Garling and co is the bestDoesn’t waste... time. Very informative ! excellent guidance! They get the job done ✅Website is perfect guide5 Star ⭐️ is not enoughI’m so grateful to Matthew, Allison and team for my outcome so far !Thank you 😊 Garling and co are awesome 👏 🤩read more
Jaimie K.
06:11 02 Apr 24
Have had a rollercoaster ride with Garling and Co over the several years we have been battling the system that injured workers are faced with. The wheels of progress are slow within this system.... However Garling and co have always stood by me. Calls are returned and matters are always followed up in a timely manner.read more
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
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