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Shine Lawyers offering medical negligence legal consultations

By Jason Irvine

If you feel you have been impacted by negligent healthcare in the Broken Hill region, you might want to see a representative from Shine Lawyers, who is in Broken Hill today – Monday – and tomorrow to offer residents obligation-free legal consultations.

Laura Norman, Senior Associate with the Medical Law team at Shine Lawyers is set up in the Demo Club function room at 218 Argent St, taking bookings and walk-ins across the next two days to offer legal advice and options to community members around alleged poor care from a hospital, doctor or healthcare provider.

“The purpose is to try and assist people who have been affected by medical negligence,” Ms Norman told the Barrier Truth.

“Generally we see people who have suffered from a misdiagnosis, or something that has gone undiagnosed like a stroke or a delayed diagnosis or a medical condition which could’ve been prevented. We’re trying to get out here to try and help people and educate people so they understand their legal entitlements and legal rights, particularly around time limits pursuing medical negligence claims.

“We’re targeting anybody who has been injured or harmed due to medical treatment, so I welcome anybody to come and see me whilst I’m here. It’s a no-obligation chat. We’ll discuss your claim, your rights and entitlements and I can advise you from there with respect to whether there’s a potential claim or not.”

Ms Norman, who comes to the Silver City every few months, says most cases involve misdiagnosis of strokes and issues relating to orthopedic injuries. She says the circumstances in the Far West point to the area being under-resourced in staff and equipment.

“Largely what we’re seeing is a lot of delayed diagnoses or issues in relation to the emergency department at the Broken Hill Base Hospital. We’ve had quite a few people that have presented with a medical condition, in particular a stroke, where that has been misdiagnosed… they’ve left with lifelong effects because of this stroke that just went undiagnosed,” she says.

“We’re seeing some really devastating issues, seeing issues with delays with medical equipment because of Covid, under-resourcing because of Covid, and just the location of Broken Hill as well, we’re just seeing that there’s real issues with staffing.”

Ms Norman hopes that people who are want, or are in need of legal consultation, speak to her over the next two days, though she is easily contactable via email or phone too.

“The main thing that I really wanted to chat about with people today is just in relation to time limits and make sure there’s an awareness around time limits,” she said.

“That’s something I did notice on the last occasion was that people we’re aware that there is a three-year time limit to bring legal proceedings in New South Wales. Quite often we had to turn people away because they were outside the time limit, we weren’t able to pursue it, but it’s just more of an awareness exercise today to make people aware of their legal entitlements and rights.

“I will be coming out on a regular basis to Broken Hill to see existing clients and also to meet with new clients, but I’m also very contactable via email or phone consultations as well.

“I generally try and touch base with clients every four to six weeks, just to see how things are tracking, but once we establish there’s a potential claim, we can most certainly do most things via Zoom or Teams if we need to, or email or phone.”

Ms Norman will be in the function room of the Demo Club at 218 Argent St today (Monday 5 December) and tomorrow (Tuesday 6 December) from 10am to 3pm for walk-ins, although bookings are preferred via https://bit.ly/3HaNcDd. She can also be contacted on 02 4037 6712.

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