When you’re suffering from illness or injury necessitating surgery, you have a right to an adequate standard of treatment and care. If you’ve been harmed through surgical error, you may be eligible for compensation.

Do I have a surgical error compensation claim?

Experiencing a surgical error can be traumatic physically and emotionally. Under Australian law, your surgeon and medical practitioners are obliged to provide treatment at a reasonable standard, under their ‘duty of care’. Your right to this standard of care is not waivable or avoidable.

If this standard has not been met, and the result is further injury or illness, then you may be eligible to make a medical negligence compensation claim, also called a medical malpractice claim.

When they arise from a surgical error, these medical negligence claims can have a very wide variety of causes. Some examples include misdiagnosis leading to unnecessary operations, inaccurate or incompetent operating procedures by surgical staff, the use of incorrect or faulty equipment, or poor after-care resulting in infection.

Although there are risks in any surgery, these should be understood by your treating practitioners, and communicated to you intelligibly with informed consent granted. Adequate steps should be taken to minimise their likelihood or impact.

Whether you have a compensation claim arising from a surgical error will depend on the particular details of your medical and legal circumstances. Medical malpractice is a complex area of Australian law, and surgical errors can be difficult and contested cases.

What’s My Claim Worth can help you to clarify your situation, understand your legal options and the compensation value attached to them, and connect you with an expert lawyer who specialises in similar cases.

How do I lodge a surgical error compensation?

When you’re already experiencing injury or illness, and recuperating from a surgical error on top, navigating the complexities of the legal system can be even more demanding than usual.

It’s important to keep independent documentation of your treatment, and a copy of all official records provided to you. In order to claim compensation for medical malpractice, you will almost certainly need to access the notes of your healthcare providers as well, and will likely need to obtain independent medical advice from a second doctor or team of doctors.

Unlike some other forms of injury or accident, no centralised scheme for medical malpractice compensation exists in Australia, so surgical error compensation claims must proceed against the responsible doctor or their employers. All medical professionals in Australia must be covered by professional indemnity insurance, so the doctor or hospital will not be liable for paying any financial damages out of pocket.

How much is my surgical error compensation worth?

You may be eligible for several forms of compensation, including:

  • Expenses for treatment and care costs, both those already incurred and those projected into the future
  • Compensation for lost earnings, both those already incurred and those projected into the future
  • Compensation for suffering or loss of enjoyment
  • Compensation for ongoing disability
  • Travel and other expenses

In some circumstances, you may be able to claim for other types of compensation, or your dependents or carers may. A What’s My Claim Worth advisor can help you assess your medical, legal and financial situation, and connect you with the lawyer who’s best suited for your case.

How does What’s My Claim Worth help?

What’s My Claim Worth advisors are available for a confidential discussion. We can help you understand your circumstances and the options available to you, and find the most appropriate lawyer who specialises in your area. Our legal partners operate under a No Win, No Fee guarantee, so you can focus on recuperation and pursuing the compensation you deserve, without worrying about your financial situation.