MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE – NO FAULT SCHEME?
Bradford Legal has become accustomed to assisting and guiding our clients through the current fault based system of Medical Negligence. Currently, a patient who wishes to pursue damages has to prove negligence in the courts.
This system is mentally, physically and financially stressful for all parties concerned and it is difficult for a patient to successfully argue their claim and receive a settlement or judgment.
In Western Australia, we have no fault compensation options in relation to workers’ compensation and a similar situation for motor vehicle accidents.
A no fault system would accept that injuries are an accepted risk and complication of medical treatment. The emphasis would be placed on compensating and assisting patients’ recovery from their injuries. In particular, the payment of medical expenses which can be quite significant.
It allows for the victim to receive rehabilitative treatment without having to commence legal proceedings and prove that a medical practitioner or body is responsible for their injuries.
A similar system is used in New Zealand with great success.
There is a long way to go in relation to moving towards a no fault system as the matter would need to be administered and legislated effectively.
An insurance system should focus on ensuring that the needs of an injured person should be met urgently and alleviate the significant financial burden that medical expenses place on injured patients following a potential medical negligence matter.