Have you suffered a personal injury due to medical negligence?
You will be able to make a medical negligence claim for compensation if you or somebody close to you has suffered an injury or the avoidable deterioration of an existing condition by a medical professional in a public hospital or in a private practice.
Based on our experience in the area of medical negligence we can help you understand this complex area of law and advise as to whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim.
Regardless of where an injury has been suffered any failure in a medical practitioner´s ‘duty of care’ to provide the best possible medical treatment will entitle you or a loved one to claim compensation for medical negligence.
It should be noted that unlike other personal injury claims the Personal Injuries Assessment Board has no remit to assess applications for compensation relating to negligent medical treatment. This means you will have to use the services of a solicitor to recover compensation for medical negligence.
What steps are involved in making a medical negligence claim?
The first steps required in making a personal injury claim for medical negligence is for your solicitor to obtain detailed instructions from you as to the incident. This will included why you feel that the injury sustained is attributable to the negligence of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. On the details you provide to your solicitor at this stage they will be able to advise if you should pursue a medical negligence claim.
If you are pursuing the medical negligence claim all of your medical records and notes will be accessed by your solicitor and reviewed by an independent medical expert or by a Senior Counselor who is also medically qualified. This is to establish if you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition which could have been avoided where it not for the poor performance of a medical professional.
In order to pursue a medical negligence claim the injured party has to prove that “but for” the negligence/mistake of the practitioner the injury would not have occurred.
Once it is established by the expert that the injuries you sustained were avoidable but for the negligence of a medical professional, your solicitor will send an official complaint. Depending on where the incident occurred and the severity of the injury the complaint could be sent to the hospital, the regulator of the medical practitioner or the Healthcare Ombudsman. It is always advisable to go to a solicitor to make the complaint on your behalf as opposed to making a complaint without legal assitance.
Depending on the nature of your injury and who the claim of medical negligence is against, a Letter of Claim usually follows the official complaint. The Letter of Claim will usually contain all the evidence of negligence compiled by the independent medical expert. In some cases receipt of the letter will prompt the negligent party´s medical insurers to make an offer to settle the claim. If no offer is made, your solicitor or a barrister will attempt to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Compensation for medical negligence claims are settled based on a number of factors. Such as the severity of the injuries which have been sustained and how the injuries from the medical negligence affect the victim’s quality of life.
Your solicitor will perform a thorough assessment of the physical and mental trauma you experienced as a result of the medical negligence. They will also factor in loss of amenity, pain, suffering and any financial expenses incurred as a result of incident when they are calculating how much compensation you could be entitled to for your medical negligence claim.
It is important to note that similar to personal injury claims a medical negligence action must, under the Statute of Limitations Act be initiated within 2 years from the date of accident/injury. This time limit is extended in the case of minors (persons under the age of 18 years) by statute. You can read more about the time limits here.
We are here to help. Please do not hesitate to telephone us at 091 – 586760 or email us to discuss your medical negligence claim.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.