Written by Carter Capner Law

Updated on June 27, 2024

Medical negligence claims can lead to significant compensation payouts, especially when the harm caused is severe. In Queensland, understanding the average payouts for these claims can provide insight into the legal landscape and help victims of medical negligence navigate their own claims. This guide explores the average payouts for medical negligence in Queensland, highlighting key case examples and factors influencing compensation amounts.

Overview of Medical Negligence Payouts in Queensland

Between January 2018 and October 2023, Queensland paid out over $390 million in medical negligence claims. These payouts stemmed from 1,049 public health claims, reflecting the serious nature of medical negligence cases within the state.

Key Statistics:

  • Total Payouts: $390 million
  • Number of Claims: 1,049
  • Average Annual Payout: Approximately $65 million
  • Average Payout per Case: Approximately $371,783

These figures highlight the significant financial impact of medical negligence on both the state and the victims involved.

Breakdown of Medical Negligence Payouts by Health Service

The distribution of medical negligence payouts varies across different health services in Queensland. Some of the highest payouts were recorded in the Metro North and Metro South health services, which together accounted for over one-third of the total payouts.

Medical Negligence Settlements (Jan 2018 – Oct 2023)

Health Service Number of Incidents Medical Negligence Payouts
High Payouts
Metro North 235 $86,618,401
Metro South 140 $55,471,956
Sunshine Coast 82 $31,352,485
Central Queensland 60 $38,253,430
Townsville 92 $25,967,435
Children’s Health Qld 39 $24,780,962
Darling Downs 47 $24,562,820
Gold Coast 157 $22,366,757
Cairns & Hinterland 49 $21,969,619
West Moreton 63 $18,488,624
Wide Bay 42 $14,488,905
Health Service Number of Incidents Medical Negligence Payouts
Moderate Payouts
Mackay 43 $26,148,868
Torres and Cape REDACTED $3,600,000
South West REDACTED $1,300,000
North West REDACTED $730,000

TOTAL: 1049 incidents, $396,100,262 in payouts

Source: Figures obtained by ABC News through Right to Information laws (RTI)

These figures underscore the prevalence of medical negligence across various regions and the substantial financial settlements involved.

Factors Influencing Compensation Amounts

Several factors influence the amount of compensation awarded in medical negligence cases. These include:

  1. Severity of Injury: More severe injuries generally lead to higher compensation due to the increased medical costs and impact on the victim’s quality of life.
  2. Long-term Care Needs: The requirement for ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and support can significantly increase the payout amount.
  3. Loss of Income: Compensation for lost wages and diminished earning capacity is a critical component of many settlements.
  4. Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress also contribute to the overall compensation.
  5. Legal Representation: Experienced legal professionals can effectively advocate for higher compensation based on the specifics of the case.

Legal process for Medical Negligence Claims

To pursue a medical negligence claim, it is crucial to demonstrate that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care and that this breach directly caused harm to the patient. The legal process typically involves:


Schedule your initial consultation

At the initial consultation, legal professionals can provide information about the claim process and discuss the viability of an insurance or compensation claim. They will also confirm your eligibility for no win no fee terms.

Investigation & gathering evidence

Legal professionals will investigate and gather evidence while you recover from your injuries. This includes collecting medical treatment records prior to and subsequent to the medical event.They will also collect employment and income records to create a comprehensive before-and-after picture.


Get Independent Medical expert’s opinion

Once all relevant medical records are obtained, including reports from your treating doctors, an independent medical expert will provide an opinion on the extent of your injury and whether the treatment met the requisite standard of care.From these reports, legal professionals will assess how the medical event has impacted you and your family both at work and at home.


Lodge your claim

If the investigation results are satisfactory, the legal team will then lodge your insurance claim where possible and, if circumstances allow, a compensation claim for the physical and psychological deficits sustained as a result of the accident.

Attendance at informal settlement meeting

Legal professionals will formulate your damages demand if applicable and appoint an out-of-court meeting to negotiate the resolution of your claim settlement.

Claim settlement or court proceedings

Statistically, more than 97% of compensation claims are settled out of court. In many cases, the claim is resolved successfully during the informal settlement meeting, and you will receive the compensation to which you are entitled.If your claim has not been resolved at this stage, legal professionals will file proceedings in court to help you get the compensation you are entitled to according to law.

Case Results Showcase

These outcomes demonstrate that individuals who have experienced harm due to the negligence of others can find resolution and receive the compensation they deserve. Each case highlights the impact of medical negligence and the importance of pursuing justice and fair compensation.

Senior Nurse Receives $500,000 Settlement After Post-Surgery Complications

Description: A senior nurse experienced severe complications post-surgery, leading to a successful settlement for the distress and additional medical costs incurred.
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Retired Resident Receives $1,070,708.72 Settlement After Severe Hand Injury

Description: A retired resident was awarded a substantial settlement after suffering a severe hand injury due to negligence.
Learn More

Unemployed Participant Secures $1,020,000 After Drug Trial Injury

Description: An unemployed individual received over a million dollars after suffering injuries during a drug trial.
Learn More

Missed Diagnosis Leads to Above-Knee Amputation; $2.25M Settlement

Description: A severe case of missed diagnosis led to an above-knee amputation, resulting in one of the highest settlements.
Learn More

Store Manager Receives $1,027,492 After Pregnancy Complications

Description: A store manager suffered a 3rd/4th-degree perineal rupture during a standard pregnancy delivery, resulting in a significant settlement.
Learn More


Medical negligence in Queensland has led to substantial financial settlements, reflecting the serious impact on victims’ lives. Understanding the average payouts and the factors that influence these amounts can help victims navigate their own claims and seek the compensation they deserve. If you believe you have a medical negligence claim, consulting with a qualified legal professional is crucial to ensure your rights are protected and to achieve a fair settlement.