Katie Sajatovic

Katie Sajatovic

Senior Associate
LL.B (Hons); GDLP

P: (08) 8216 3334

LEGAL ASSISTANT

Nadine Harley

Katie Sajatovic

P: (08) 8216 3334

Katie commenced work at DBH in 2004 initially working as a legal assistant to the managing partner and then law clerk while completing her law degree.  She completed her law degree with first class honours and was admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia in 2013.

 

During her time at DBH, Katie has built up a specialty practice in the area of medical negligence.  She has been involved in a significant number of claims against hospitals, medical professionals and allied health providers.  The claims are often complex and require an understanding not only of the law that applies specifically to medical negligence claims, but also complex medical conditions and terminology.

 

In addition to medical negligence, Katie has built up a specialty practice in the area of sexual abuse.  She has been involved in litigation against individuals, the Government, churches and other organisations. She has been involved in a number of complex claims which have required the freezing of the perpetrator’s assets to protect her client’s entitlement to compensation.  She has also been a key part of claims for victims and family members as a result of abuse perpetrated by a Families SA worker.

 

Katie has also been involved various class action litigation.  In particular, Katie played a key role in the DePuy Hip and Knee Implant litigation for implants inserted in South Australia and also the litigation for property damage as a result of the 2005 Wangary Bushfires.

 

Katie also works in the areas of motor vehicle accidents, product liability and general injury claims.

PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS

Member – Law Society of South Australia

Doyle's Guide to Lawyers – Recommended Medical Negligence Compensation Lawyer (Plaintiff) – South Australia, 2017

Katie'S ARTICLES

I was sexually abused as a child and want legal advice about making a claim. What should I expect at my first appointment?

Discussing the circumstances surrounding a potential claim for sexual abuse can be difficult given the sensitive and personal nature of the information to be provided. The first appointment with a lawyer may be the first time the circumstances and effect of the abuse is reported.  It is also often the case that the abuse occurred many years ago and so discussing the circumstances surrounding the abuse can be difficult.  We are very sensitive to that fact and will make the process of telling your story as easy as possible for you. 

We are able to accommodate a request for a meeting with a senior female or senior male lawyer experienced in bringing compensation claims for victims of abuse against individuals, the government, churches and other organisations.  The lawyer you meet with will then manage your claim to its final resolution.  You are welcome to bring a support person to your initial meeting and any subsequent meetings, should you wish.

If you have reported the abuse to the police and you have a copy of your statement, that document can be helpful in providing a background of the circumstances of the abuse.  If you do not have a copy of your police statement, we can assist in obtaining a copy.  It is not necessary for the abuse to have been reported to the police and for there to have been a criminal conviction of the perpetrator in order to bring a claim for compensation.  Some people choose not to report the abuse to police for various reasons.  Alternatively, the police may not be able or willing to prosecute the perpetrator for various reasons.  Again, the fact that the police have not proceeded with a criminal prosecution of the perpetrator does not mean you will not be entitled to bring a claim for compensation.

There are time limits that apply to bringing compensation claims as a result of sexual abuse.  It is important that you contact us to discuss how those time limits might affect your claim for compensation and what steps need to be taken in order to protect your claim.

Contact Katie Sajatovic or Matt DeGregorio at Duncan Basheer Hannon Lawyers on 08 8231 3668 to make an appointment to discuss your entitlements to a compensation claim.

Click here to visit the Duncan Basheer Hannon Sexual Abuse page for further information.

I was sexually abused as a child. Will this prevent me from bringing a compensation claim as an adult?

Over the years we have assisted hundreds of people with claims for compensation as a result of sexual abuse when they were a child.  The claims have been brought against individuals, the government, churches and various organisations. We are often told that burying the memory of the abuse and not talking about it is how the person has dealt with the effect of the abuse.  Many years go past before the person is ready to discuss bringing a claim for compensation with a lawyer.   Time limits apply to bringing compensation claims and so the issue at that time is whether the person is legally able to bring a claim for compensation. 

Legislation in South Australia provides a three year time limitation for personal injury claims if the injury occurs while the person is an adult.  If the injury occurs while the person was under the age of 18 years, the three year period does not start until the person’s 18th birthday.  That means the injured person has until their 21st birthday to bring a claim.   There is legislation in South Australia that allows an application for an extension of time to bring a claim in certain circumstances.   Historically, South Australian Courts have allowed extensions of time. A Court has allowed an extension of time for a sexual abuse survivor, nearly 30 years after the time limit expired.

We have experienced lawyers who can provide advice as to whether that legislation applies to you and whether you will be able to make an application for an extension of time to bring your compensation claim.

Contact Katie Sajatovic or Matt DeGregorio at Duncan Basheer Hannon Lawyers on 08 8231 3668 to make an appointment to discuss your entitlements to a compensation claim.

Click here to visit the Duncan Basheer Hannon Sexual Abuse page for further information.

I would like to make a claim for compensation as a result of sexual abuse when I was a child – what evidence is needed to establish that claim?

A person’s education, employment and personal life is often significantly affected as a result of childhood sexual abuse. That person may be entitled to bring a compensation claim for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, loss of superannuation benefits and treatment.

With any compensation claim it is necessary to provide evidence of the impact caused by the abuse.  We are very experienced in putting together compensation claims for childhood sexual abuse.  We know what evidence needs to be obtained, how to get it and how to present it in a way that will maximise the success of your claim.  We will assist in obtaining all of the necessary information and evidence needed to make a claim so as to make the process as stress-free as possible.

It will be necessary to demonstrate that an injury has occurred as a result of the sexual abuse. A person who has been subjected to sexual abuse as a child will often have suffered long term psychological effects of the abuse. It may however be that the impact of the abuse has never been reported to a professional.  It is not necessary for you to have received long term counselling or assistance in order to bring a claim for compensation.  We will arrange an assessment with an independent psychiatrist so that a report can be obtained addressing any psychiatric injury suffered as a result of the abuse.  That report can then be used in support of your claim for compensation.

Every person’s story is different.  We will discuss with you how the abuse has impacted on your life in order to assess a claim for pain and suffering.  Childhood sexual abuse almost always causes some impact on a person’s ability to work.  We understand that the extent of the impact will be different for everyone and so we will discuss with you how your claim for loss of earnings should be assessed.   We will assist in obtaining any available documents and information to support your claim for loss of earnings.

It is important that you seek legal advice regarding any entitlement to compensation as early as possible so that the process of gathering evidence in support of the claim is easier.

Contact Katie Sajatovic or Matt DeGregorio at Duncan Basheer Hannon Lawyers on 08 8231 3668 to make an appointment to discuss your entitlements to a compensation claim.

Click here to visit the Duncan Basheer Hannon Sexual Abuse page for further information.

When medical errors are negligent

 

Medical treatment is a necessary part of life.  If an injury occurs as a result of medical treatment, the results can be devastating.   

If the injury was caused by a medical error, you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation.  It will be necessary to demonstrate that the medical error was caused by the negligence of the treatment provider.

Was the treatment provider negligent?

Medical professionals are expected to provide treatment competently and with skill appropriate to their qualifications.  If treatment is performed incompetently and not to an appropriate standard, the treatment provider may be found to have performed the treatment negligently.

Performing treatment on the left leg when the right leg is injured is a clear example of a treatment provider acting negligently.  There are many other situations that amount to negligent medical treatment that are not so obvious.

A treatment provider may be found to have acted negligently if they:

  • perform surgery without the necessary skill required for the surgery they are performing;
  • fail to take a proper medical history resulting in a medical condition being misdiagnosed;
  • fail to properly investigate a medical condition;
  • fail to provide and/or arrange appropriate treatment;
  • delay surgical or medical treatment required by a patient.

Not all injuries sustained during medical treatment are caused by the treatment provider’s negligence.  Medical treatment brings with it a risk of injury.  Prior to medical treatment being provided, you should be advised of any risks associated with the treatment you are to receive.  You can then decide whether you are willing to accept the risks of injury associated with the treatment prior to it being provided.  If appropriate warnings were not provided to you prior to the treatment being performed, the treatment provider may be found to be negligent.

Will my injury be compensable?

It will be necessary to provide medical evidence demonstrating a link between the injury and the treatment provider’s negligence. If it can be demonstrated that your injury was caused as a result of your treatment provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation.  The claim may include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of income and superannuation, care provided by family members, paid domestic and care services, and treatment expenses.

If you think you have suffered an injury as a result of a medical error and would like to know whether that medical error was caused as a result of negligence, we have a specialist medical negligence team that can provide you with advice. 

Contact Duncan Basheer Hannon on 1800 324 324 or send us a message.