Pursuing legal action against doctors can be challenging, yet there have been instances where cases were successful in proving medical negligence, resulting in patients receiving compensation.

In the case of Thompson v Haasbroek (2009)(Australia), the plaintiff effectively showed that the defendant had failed in their duty of care by neglecting to examine ongoing neck pains. This negligence led to the plaintiff suffering from quadriplegia.

This is a case where a patient accused a doctor of not diagnosing a neck condition promptly, which led to delayed treatment and physical harm. The patient had neck pain radiating down her arm, but the doctor didn’t refer her for tests or diagnosis. The trial lasted three weeks, and experts testified about what should have been done.

There were difficulties proving that the delayed diagnosis directly caused the harm. The experts had to consider what might have happened if the patient had been diagnosed earlier and whether it would have changed the outcome.

The court ruled in favour of the patient, stating that if the condition had been diagnosed earlier, it could have led to better recovery chances. The patient was awarded compensation for her injuries, medical expenses, and other costs.

This case shows how delays in diagnosing a condition can have serious consequences. It also highlights the challenges of proving exactly how the delay caused the harm, especially when dealing with emerging medical conditions. The court considered the patient’s pre-existing conditions and reduced the compensation accordingly. In the end, the patient was awarded a total of $290,542.

Read more medico-legal stories: The lawyer sued a doctor.