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Medical Law

Understanding Medical Law Issues like Negligence and Malpractice

Medical negligence and medical malpractice are two phrases that no patient wants to hear, yet they are sadly common in medical law. Medical malpractice or negligence occurs when a medical procedure has a negative consequence that could have been avoided because the duty of care has been breached. Medical procedures are daunting at best. The only thing that often gives patients peace of mind is the belief that they are in good hands and working with surgeons or doctors who will follow medical standards to the letter. But what happens when those in charge of looking after us are proven guilty of malpractice?

Wrong Diagnosis

Malpractice in Medical Law

Malpractice is a tricky legislative space, often embodying many grey areas since patients are usually required to sign indemnity forms before medical procedures commence. Nonetheless, while necessary, indemnity forms do not protect medical professionals or institutions against instances where the professional has failed to adhere to the legal standards of care. In a scenario where negligence has led to further injury, distress, financial ramifications, or death, a complaint can be lodged with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The HPCSA has several powers regarding the outcome of such complaints. However, if the complainant is unhappy with its ruling, the case can be taken to appeal at South Africa’s High Court. In such an instance, consulting attorneys experienced in medical law, such as those at Adele van der Walt Incorporated, is advised to ensure the best possible outcome.

To claim medical negligence, patients must prove the following:

1. The health professional or offending party had a duty of care
2. They violated acceptable standards of care or treatment
3. Injury occurred because of this misconduct
4. Financial damage was sustained as a result of this injury, for which compensation should be awarded

Consult Adele van der Walt Incorporated for Expert Advice

Here at Adele van der Walt Incorporated, we are well-versed in medical law and supporting victims of medical malpractice. We will happily litigate on behalf of clients so that they can receive the best chance of fair compensation for medical negligence from the offending party.

If you or a loved one has encountered medical negligence or malpractice and subsequent injury and lost revenue, chat with our expert team. Give us a call at +27 12 460 3668 or send us a message. We will gladly be in touch and advise you on the next steps ahead. Medical negligence can be hugely distressing for patients and their families, but when you work with the experts in medical law, reparation is possible.


This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing – October 2022.


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