As part of Australia’s tort reforms, a number of Australian jurisdictions introduced ‘pre-court procedures’ – requiring plaintiffs to disclose the potential medical negligence claim to the defendant.
Pre-court Requirements for medical negligence claims
ACT: under the pre-court procedure rules (i.e. s51, Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002) the claimant must give written notice to the defendant of a possible claim within 9 months of the medical incident or the appearance of symptoms and within 4 months of instructing a medical negligence lawyer regarding a possible claim and the defendant being identified.
QLD: under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (PIPA) an ‘Initial Notice’ must be served on the potential defendant/s within nine months of the injury / symptoms appearing or within one month of instructing a solicitor (whichever is earlier). For claims made on behalf of children, a parent / legal guardian is required to serve an ‘Initial Notice’ within six years of knowing (or ought to have known) the injury occurred or within 18 months of consulting a solicitor.
NT: a ‘plaintiff’ must give notice to the defendant within 1 year of the incident occurred or the symptoms first appeared.
NSW: the requirement to take formal steps to resolve the dispute before proceedings can commence (e.g. mediation) has been deferred to consider the practical implication for plaintiff lawyers.
© Medical Negligence Claim – Pre-Court Requirements