How to Make a Medical Negligence Claim in Ireland
Medical Negligence is a specialised area of personal injury law.
Medical Negligence Claims are legal claims made by patients who have suffered an injury through the negligent act or omission of a medical professional, private hospitals and/or the HSE.
A Medical Negligence Claim may arise out of, for example, birth injuries, birth mismanagement, or a cancer misdiagnosis.
Medical Negligence Claims can be brought against any discipline in the medical profession.
What Counts As Medical Negligence?
In any medical procedure, mistakes can, on occasion, be made. If you have suffered an injury because of a mistake made by a medical professional this may be Medical Negligence.
The following things have to be proven for a Medical Negligence Claim to be successful:
- There was negligence, i.e. that no other Doctor, acting reasonably, would have done what this Doctor did if faced with the same set of circumstances;
- There is an injury arising out of the negligent act;
- Causation, i.e. the negligence caused the injury or the outcome would have been different if the negligence had not occurred.
Steps To Making a Medical Negligence Claim In Ireland
Step 1: Act Quickly
There is a set period of time in which a Medical Negligence Claim can be made. The Statute of Limitations states that you must make a claim within two years of the injury. There is some exceptions to this, including if you did not know a wrong had been committed until a later date (the date of knowledge), then the time limit will run from the date you discovered this wrong. The other exception is in relation to Minors (those under 18 years of age) wherein, they have until the eve of their 20th birthday to take a case. Further, if a person is suffering from an intellectual disability, then it might be the case that the Statute of Limitations does not apply, and a claim can be brought by that person, even if the injury offered more than two years previous.
In all cases it is necessary to act quickly. The Courts have the power to stop a case from proceeding even if it is brought within the time limit, if it can be shown that the delay has caused prejudice to the Hospital/Doctor.
Even if you are not sure about the strength of your claim, you should make contact with a solicitor for advice. At Cantillons Solicitors, we understand that your injury and associated suffering may mean you want to recover before claiming. However, making contact with your Medical Negligence Solicitor early will ensure you have the right advice on time and that you fall safely within the requisite time limits.
Step 2: Keep All Records
Part of the investigation into your Medical Negligence Claim will involve reviewing all of your medical records. In order to do this, your Medical Negligence Solicitor will need to see all of the medical records.
If you do not have paperwork or records, do not worry. Your Medical Negligence Solicitor will assist in the retrieval of all related records, and review them for you.
If at all possible, try to keep receipts, bills, invoices and records that are related to the procedure/injury. These could include, for example, the cost of physiotherapy which was necessitated because of the injury. Or perhaps you have been unable to work and have lost earnings. In that instance, keep your pay slips. If, for example, you required any changes in your home to make it more adaptable for your daily living post injury, keep the receipts arising from that work.
Step 3: Choose a Medical Negligence Solicitor
Medical Negligence is a specialist area of the law that not all Solicitors practice in. For a Medical Negligence Claim, you will require a solicitor experienced in this area. When choosing a Medical Negligence Solicitor for your claim, take the time to check their experience before committing.
It will be necessary to work closely with your Medical Negligence Solicitor during your case. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with your Solicitor and that you trust them.
For your initial meeting with your Solicitor, prepare some questions in advance. Ask about the Solicitor’s fees, resources and successful Medical Negligence cases they have had.
When you first meet, your Solicitor will need to establish key facts around which to build your Medical Negligence case. You might be asked about your job, earnings and interests, as well as about the injury. They will also ask for as much detail as you can give them about the incident that led to your injury.
At Cantillons Solicitors, we are experienced listeners and put our clients care first. We understand the emotional and physical discomfort that comes with injury and illness. As well as the added stress that a legal case can bring. We ask that all our clients just focus on recovery, and leave the worry about the case to us.
Step 4: Trust The Process
With the right solicitor at your side, you will understand the process of a Medical Negligence Claim as it proceeds. At Cantillons Solicitors, we advise our clients from the start that their case may or may not go to Court. Most Medical Negligence cases are settled before Court.
When a Claimant/Plaintiff is invited to settlement negotiations, it often means that compensation may be offered to the client. If a settlement is offered then your Medical Negligence Solicitor will discuss it with you.
There are pros and cons to accepting a settlement. Your solicitor will ensure that you understand them fully and give you time to decide. In some instances, you may wish to proceed to trial, which your solicitor will prepare you for and guide you through each step of the lead up to the trial.
Contact Our Medical Negligence Solicitors in Cork
If you are looking for a Medical Negligence Solicitor, please contact Cantillons Solicitors using the contact form below, call us on +353 (0)21 4275673 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Our offices are located at 39 South Mall, Cork. We do, however, represent clients from all over Ireland. Should you be unable to attend our offices, we are more than happy to travel to you, or conduct the meeting on Zoom.
Pat’s first 10 years of her professional life were in Nursing. She trained and qualified as a Nurse (RGN) in London. On qualifying, she specialised in Intensive Care nursing and obtained a number of post graduate nursing qualifications. Pat worked in various Intensive Care Units in the London area to include Great Ormond Street, the London Chest Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital where she was appointed to the position of Senior Sister in Intensive Care. Thereafter, Pat studied Law and on obtaining her Law Degree and Solicitors’ Final Examinations she did her apprenticeship with a London firm who had a renowned reputation for medical negligence. On qualifying, Pat remained with the same firm and was made Partner. She was instrumental in the firm obtaining one of the first (if not the first) Legal Aid franchise for medical negligence in the UK. Pat remained with the firm for 13 years. In November 2006, on returning home, Pat joined the Medical Negligence team in Cantillons Solicitors. Pat’s combined nursing and legal knowledge has been invaluable in her practice.
Over the last two decades, Pat has brought a significant number of high value complex catastrophic injury cases to trial to include Cerebral Palsy, Erbs Palsy, acquired brain injuries, maternal death, obstetric injuries and ophthalmic injuries.
- Registered General Nurse (RGN), Senior Sister in Intensive Care 1979-1989
- LLB (Hons), London: 1992
- Solicitors Final Examinations, London 1993
- Solicitor and Partner in London Law Firm from 1995 – 2006