The importance of records in medical negligence claims

Australian nurses and doctors are some of the best in the world, but sometimes they make mistakes.

When the unthinkable happens and you are forced to file a negligence claim, how you keep records will be extremely important to winning the case.

When the unthinkable happens...

When the unthinkable happens…

 

In most medical negligence cases, medical records play a massive part in being able to establish (during the investigation stage) whether you have a strong case or not.

Most cases rely on the careful analysis of the claimant patient’s medical records to determine the eventual failure or success of the case. Without a complete understanding of your records, there is a very real danger that the case will not be properly recognised or let alone succeed.

Here are two things to remember:

Ensure the medical records are a full set.

Often records are frequently missing and from hospitals in particular.  In most cases, especially the more complex ones, documents are missing. We recommend you press for the entire set and pressure the hospital to look for missing files. It can be surprising how records eventually turn up when pushed for them.

Press for additional records.

Another class of documents that can assist with a negligence case is internal inquiry/complaints documents. Although not strictly speaking medical documents, these often contain internal witness statements and reports. These type of documents often hold absolutely vital information for the investigation of a potential claim.

Remember, the content of your medical records is fundamental to the success of your potential negligence case.  Hold onto everything and don’t be afraid to put the pressure on.

It’s the key to claim success.

 

 

 

 

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A Guide to Dressing for the Courtroom

When it comes to dressing for court, how you look is extremely important.

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“First impressions last”
Image via Shutterstock

Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where judgements came solely from character? A world where clothes and personal appearances held little social weight? 

Sadly, that just isn’t the case.

Humans respond very strongly to visual stimuli and judgements are made in snap decisions. This is particularly seen in a courtroom where judgements might dramatically affect sentencing.

Because of this, here are the top ten things to remember when dressing for court:

1. Ditch the hat

It might seem obvious, but wearing a hat inside is considered ignorant and disrespectful. Don’t take the risk, leave your baseball cap at home.

2. Cover tattoos

Tattoos might be more accepted these days in pop culture but a judge 40 years your senior might not share this same liberal outlook. To be safe, hide all tattoos with clothes and makeup.

3. Grooming

Brush hair, brush teeth and iron clothes. Basically present the most neat and upstanding version of yourself. This is the one environment where your neatness is under the most scrutiny, so make that extra effort!

4. Minimise jewellery

Less is more when it comes to rings and necklaces. Judges aren’t impressed by how much “bling” you have and don’t approve of flashy earrings or bracelets. A wedding ring is okay but tone down the glamour…this is court, not the runway.

5. Abide by the dress code

This is our final and probably most important piece of advice when dressing for court: most courthouses will have a dress code and this information can easily be found on a website or by calling and asking. If you aren’t sure whether a suit is compulsory or sneakers are banned, then this is the best way to be sure.