Written by Carter Capner Law

Updated on June 27, 2024

Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, occurs when healthcare professionals fail to provide the standard of care expected, leading to injury or harm to a patient. In Australia, these cases can result in significant settlements, as evidenced by numerous case results. This guide provides an overview of medical negligence cases in Australia, highlighting key examples and the legal process involved.

Understanding Medical Negligence

Medical negligence involves a healthcare provider’s breach of duty of care, which directly results in harm or injury to the patient. Common examples include:

  • Surgical Errors: Mistakes made during surgery that cause injury or harm.
  • Misdiagnosis: Incorrect diagnosis that leads to inappropriate treatment or lack of treatment.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: Failure to diagnose a condition on time, resulting in progression of the disease.
  • Medication Errors: Incorrect prescription or administration of medication causing adverse effects.
  • Improper Treatment: Providing treatment that falls below the accepted standard of care.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Legal Process for Medical Negligence Claims

Navigating the legal process for medical negligence claims can be complex and daunting. Understanding each step involved is crucial to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve. This overview provides a general guide through each stage of the process, from initial consultation to claim settlement or court proceedings.


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.


Medical negligence cases in Australia can result in substantial settlements, providing compensation for the pain, suffering, and financial losses endured by the victims. If you believe you have a medical negligence claim, it is crucial to seek professional legal advice promptly to ensure your rights are protected and to navigate the complex legal process effectively.

Specialist teams conduct medical negligence claims arising from negligently caused medical events resulting in serious, permanent injury. In most of the injury cases accepted, clients are unable to continue to earn the same level of income as they were earning previously. If a patient dies as a result of medical negligence, legal professionals also act for surviving family members in dependency and “nervous shock” claims. For assistance in other matters concerning poorly performed medical treatment, contact:

  • The Office of the Health Ombudsman (Qld) – Ph: 133 646
  • Health Care Complaints Commission (NSW) – Ph: 1800 043 159
  • Health Complaints Commissioner (Vic) – Ph: 1300 582 113
  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (National) – Ph: 1300 419 495