For over 30 years in Australia, medical negligence claims have been rising dramatically. The new medicines and new technology issues have increased the complexities in healthcare. That is why almost every claim of medical negligence is referred to mediation, by court order or consent.
The experts at Tego Insurance, providers of medical indemnity insurance and entity medical malpractice insurance understand all the new complexities and can guide you in dealing with mediation.
Mediation usually begins after the parties have exchanged their liability and damages reports. After that, it can take up to a year to commence proceedings.
The Mediation Process
An opening session is generally conducted where the plaintiff attends with their legal representatives, which can be a team of lawyers or just one. The medical practitioner (Doctor) is usually represented by a claims manager from their insurer and legal firm. Hospitals usually are represented by a solicitor, counsel, and a claims manager.
In the opening session, the mediator asks for compromise from both positions. After the opening session, the parties return to their respective breakout rooms and various offers are made in an attempt to resolve the matter. If an agreement is reached, the appropriate documentation is drawn up so that the court can make orders formalising the agreement between the parties.
It is not uncommon with matters being close to resolution, for the parties requiring further time to consider their respective positions. A number of matters settle within a week or two of the mediation. On occasion a second or third mediation is required to reach a resolution.
The Benefits of Mediation
Alternative dispute resolutions like mediation have many obvious benefits, including:
- A certainty of an outcome;
- A lot less stress put on health professionals and doctors and especially around attending numerous meetings with lawyers and as well as preparing for a hearing,
- No media circuses or unwanted publicity
- A significant saving of costs. A defence hearing can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, without any ability to recover from a plaintiff with no assets.
Tego Insurers Understand Mediation
Tego is a provider of medical indemnity insurance for doctors in Australia. Medical Indemnity insurance is a critical component of a strong career. When things go wrong, you need to ensure that you have the best doctors medical indemnity insurance in place. It’s important that you obtain a medical indemnity insurance quote to enable you to compare cover across the different medical indemnity insurers. Contact Tego Insurance today to find out the cost of medical indemnity insurance.
This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information.
Eric is the CEO of Tego, an insurance agency offering specialist indemnity insurance solutions for the healthcare and life sciences sectors. His qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in business and law, a master’s degree from UNSW in law and management and an MBA from the AGSM.