What time limits apply to an ACT medical negligence claim?
Published 10 Aug 2017
Author: Gerard Malouf
Medical practitioners perform a difficult job to excellent standards every day in the ACT. But treatments can go wrong, and professionals are sometimes at fault for negative outcomes because of negligence.
While incidents are fairly uncommon, medical negligence can have a devastating impact on a patient’s quality of life following treatment. Some people may be left permanently disabled, disfigured or seriously ill, causing ongoing physical, mental and financial problems.
However, what if your symptoms don’t develop until years after your operation? Or perhaps you have been too ill to launch a claim before now? Let’s take a look at what time limits apply for medical negligence compensation in the ACT.
What does the legislation say?
The Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 outlines the circumstances under which you can make a medical negligence claim. However, we must turn to the Limitation Act 1985 for time limits on personal injury cases more generally.
The legislation states that you must make your claim within three years of the injury occurring. For diseases and disorders that do not show symptoms immediately, you have three years from the date you become aware of the injury and its origin.
Furthermore, you are required to send a written notice to the people or organisations that you are making the claim against to inform them you intend to pursue proceedings.
The time limit for providing this notice depends on various factors, including when you identified the respondent and the date you first enlisted the services of a lawyer to pursue your claim.
What should I do next?
As we can see, medical negligence claims can be complex, and the time limits that apply aren’t always clear-cut.
You should therefore contact an experienced medical negligence lawyer as soon as possible if you think you’re eligible for compensation. They can tell you the exact timeline involved so that your claim isn’t rejected due to a procedural delay.
Medical negligence claims can result in payouts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars for significant life-changing injuries.
This money if often crucial in helping you recover the economic and non-economic losses you have suffered and will continue to experience as a result of medical treatment that fell below accepted standards.