How our medical negligence solicitors can help you
Do you need information and advice from a medical lawyer who is a true expert in health law and clinical negligence?
If your answer is yes, it’s likely your experience with the healthcare system didn’t go to plan.
“Even a few years down the track after an incident it can be just as raw” – Medical Lawyer Catherine Henry
Our expert team of health and medical lawyers led by Catherine Henry can help you understand your rights and claim for any wrong doing.
“Most people aren’t motivated by money. They simply don’t want somebody else to experience what they’ve been through,” says Catherine.
“After doing this for 30 years, I would say 95 per cent of people are motivated by the desire to make sure what has happened to them does not happen to anyone else.”
We’re proud to be Newcastle lawyers who are genuine experts in all areas of health law, medical negligence and malpractice, women’s health and reproductive law.
We also specialise in elder law, which means the law as it affects older Australians. This includes abuse or deficient health care in aged care facilities.
Meet Catherine Henry
When it comes to health law, experience really counts.
Catherine Henry is highly regarded among malpractice lawyers in Australia. She has specialised in the health legal field for more than three decades.
Catherine’s reputation is built on her success representing people who’ve received sub-standard health care — and her passion to make sure vulnerable people have their voice heard.
“I generally find people haven’t had an opportunity to have their concerns heard because more often than not their story has been shut down,” she says.
When you or someone you care about has suffered a botched surgery, or any kind of inadequate medical treatment, Catherine believes it’s really important that you are listened to.
“I love helping people re-build their lives. I love getting them to accept that we can get proper and fair compensation for them if they’ve experienced negligence.”
Medical negligence cases often involve a fight at several different levels. Not just with the doctor in question but their insurer and various layers of bureaucracy.
“It’s a little bit like David and Goliath at times” – Medical Lawyer Catherine Henry
“But I suppose that’s another reason why our experience is all important. We’re not fazed when a clinician or bureaucrat doesn’t want to answer your complaint — we pursue it,” says Catherine.
Not sure where to start?
If you’ve experienced a bad medical outcome, you might feel as though you don’t know where to begin in terms of making a complaint or clinical negligence claim. Especially when you’re feeling vulnerable or fragile.
Getting answers from a doctor or healthcare professional is not easy to do.
And sometimes it feels like rocking the boat might put your personal and professional relationships at risk.
“I find that people are often very on-edge but we have a somewhat unique service here,” says Catherine Henry.
“We employ an in-house nurse and I think I’m without peer in that regard. She works with us and she is a sounding board for people to talk about what has happened to them.”
Our clients tell us this is always a positive experience when they first get in touch. It’s an opportunity to talk to somebody who has clinical expertise and understands the medicine.
It’s about knowing what the proper standard of health care should have been. This is a real point of difference compared to less experienced clinical negligence solicitors who may not be true health law experts.
“You can’t do this work without significant experience. We know what the reasonable clinical practice should have been in that situation. So, we know exactly what questions to ask,” says Catherine.
“If you’re not a genuine health law expert with runs on the board, you simply don’t have that knowledge. So, it’s unlikely your client will get the best possible result,” she says.
“One of our strengths is having truckloads of runs on the board.”
We’re recommended by industry experts
We were thrilled when our team of medical negligence solicitors at Catherine Henry Lawyers was listed in the esteemed Doyles Guide. This is a publication that recommends only a select few law firms practising medical negligence and malpractice in New South Wales.
Firms on the list have been been identified by the state’s defendant insurance lawyers for their plaintiff-focused expertise in these particular areas of the law.
Our health law team also includes an accredited specialist in personal injury law.
Our reputation in the health legal field has also led to us being the preferred referral firm for many other solicitors in NSW and the ACT.
Extra care that makes a difference
We’re committed to taking ‘as long as it takes’ for your first face-to-face consultation. It’s important to go through everything that’s happened and how you’ve been affected. This means we can represent you from the strongest position when we take on the clinician or service who didn’t look after you the way they should have.
“Some medical lawyers will advertise a 20-minute consultation, and I think that’s just not the way to develop trust and help your client,” says Catherine Henry.
“It’s not going to be satisfying for either party if you’re clock-watching and clinical.”
Linking you up with other healthcare professionals is part of our service.
We also think it’s important you’re not confused by legal jargon so we make sure you understand everything, practically and simply.
“In this area of the law, people skills and empathy are just so important” – Medical Lawyer Catherine Henry
“You’ve got to have the right team of people for this work, dealing with vulnerable people who might have been injured or lost a loved one,” says Catherine.
“That’s not a marketing strategy — it’s just the way I feel health law should be practiced.”
It’s this extra level of care which has resulted in our 100 per cent success rate in health and medical negligence cases taken on.
Why do we focus on women’s health and legal needs?
Because women are the biggest users of our health system. They consult doctors more often and have more operations than men.
We also know that some women prefer to consult other women professionals when it comes to personal issues affecting their health and body.
When a procedure goes wrong, it can profoundly affect a women’s psychological wellbeing as well as her physical health. This is especially true of intimate procedures such as obstetric, gynaecological or cosmetic.
The majority of our medical negligence solicitors are women, something many of our clients tell us they’re grateful for.
“As a woman lawyer you do bring different qualities to the relationship,” says Catherine Henry.
“And you know, I’ve been through the process myself. I’ve experienced childbirth, I’ve been around the block a few times. I feel that I can bring a woman’s perspective.”
Take care with cosmetic surgery
In recent years, we’ve been raising awareness about the pitfalls of cosmetic surgery by some walk-in-walk-out practices. Thankfully, there are none of these practices in Newcastle at present but there are several in Sydney.
Cost savings promoted by some of these businesses for various cosmetic procedures, including breast enhancement, can be an attractive option for unsuspecting consumers.
“We’ve seen some heartbreaking cases of malpractice by doctors without adequate experience in cosmetic surgeries,” says Catherine Henry.
“Some of these poor women go in for a procedure and they don’t know the doctor doesn’t have adequate experience. They suffer crazy things, such as no anaesthetist being present during the procedure,” she says.
Thankfully we are starting to see reform, albeit slowly, via changes to the law restricting those doctors who advertise themselves in a very aggressive way but may not have adequate experience.
It feels good to make a difference
As respected Newcastle lawyers and medical negligence solicitors, we feel good about fighting for a better healthcare system and achieving compensation for patients who’ve been wronged.
In so many of the cases we work on, what happened was an avoidable outcome.
Sometimes it was because of a lack of resourcing or a simple omission where one person or department didn’t communicate with another as they should have — and something disturbing happened as a result.
“It’s not right that we continue hearing about doctors in NSW who were told they can’t practice or perform a particular procedure anymore because their statistics are unacceptable…then that same doctor goes to the private hospital down the road. And patients are none the wiser,” says Catherine Henry.
“I see it time and time again, and I think it needs to change.”
How to contact us
If you’d like more information, you can call us on 1800 874 949 to discuss your situation — in complete confidence of course.
Our team of medical negligence solicitors acts for clients from across the Newcastle and Hunter region, Sydney, regional NSW and the ACT.
We’re based in NSW’s second-largest city Newcastle, which is accessible by road and public transport.
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