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What costs are the associated with a medical negligence action?

Posted in [Resources] on Monday, March 15th, 2021

If you are a victim of medical negligence, then you, as an individual, invariably will have pain and/or have a disability which will impact on your social, domestic and industrial life.  This has a devastating consequence for the family unit.  Your loved ones will have to bear the emotional cost of seeing their family member in pain or disabled.  Relationships are altered whereby the family members are forced into providing care.  The family income is affected because the injury will, undoubtedly, impact on the victim’s ability to earn a living.  In some cases, the care requirements are so onerous that a family member may also have to give up work to help provide care.

We at Cantillons Solicitors recognise the cost of injury/disability to the family unit is incalculable.  There is also a cost to society in that the victim of medical negligence (through no fault of their own), by not being able to work, will have to rely on State benefits. Therefore, any right minded person would accept that if a member of society has been injured as a result of medical negligence, then they should be appropriately compensated.

However, the State does not support the victim in getting compensation.  We do not nor have we ever had an effective Legal Aid scheme in Ireland.  This is a damning indictment of our society. You judge society by how it looks after its citizens; whether or not the citizens have access to education, access to health care and access to justice.  The costs of bringing a legal action are so significant that a large proportion of victims are deterred from mounting an action.  In 2013, there were over 19,459 medical accidents out of which only 544 which went on to become legal cases.  Therefore, there are something in the region of 19,000 victims who have decided not to prosecute a claim, part of the reason being that victims cannot afford to fund the medical negligence claims.  Therefore, victims have to find a private Solicitor who will fund a victim’s case through the Court system.

We at Cantillons Solicitors recognise this and will support a victim but before we can take a case all the way through the Court process, we have to establish in the first instance if there is a sustainable claim. If you have been a victim of a medical accident, we would urge you to contact us.  At the outset, the cost of investigating a potential medical negligence claim is not as significant as the general public think.

Initially, based on the information a Client gives, we will be able to confirm if you have good/reasonable prospects of success.  However, whilst there may be cause for concern about the treatment received, without some investigations, it is not possible for us to advise on a Client’s prospects of success.   We investigate the matter by getting in the Hospital/Doctors records.  Once the records are all to hand, we will then read through those records and advise as to whether or not we deem it appropriate to obtain a medical report.  If we advise you to obtain a medical report, it is unfortunately the case that medical reports are extremely expensive.  In our experience, reports cost in the region of €2,000.00 – €4,000.00 (on average about €3,000.00).  The report fee depends on the complexity of the issues and the amount of records required to be studied.  If the case is brought successfully, this sum (or the vast majority of it) will be recovered. If the medical expert supports the potential claim then we will enter into a contract with you about how to proceed and we will invariably financially support the action in order to get you justice and compensation.
Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or if you would like more information.

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.

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