Though our medical workers operate at a very high standard, mistakes do happen in Irish healthcare, and they can be the cause of hugely significant illness and injury. 

If you suffer an accident or injury as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to pursue compensation. 

Whether you have sustained a major or minor ailment, your life may be made more comfortable by getting in contact with our team at O’Brien & Company Solicitors for guidance on your situation. 

Our medical negligence solicitors have a history of success in medical negligence and personal injury claims. 

For help filing your medical negligence claim, or just friendly, specialist advice on the claims process in Ireland, get in touch with O’Brien & Company Medical Negligence Solicitors today.

What is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare worker fails to meet the required standard of practice, and their actions directly impact or result in a patient suffering an illness, injury or disease. 

This can manifest itself in practitioners not recommending the correct treatment course for a patient or failing to identify the patient’s illness altogether. 

All kinds of healthcare workers are obliged to avoid medical negligence, including doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, surgeons and more.

Medical negligence can be a complex area and it is important to remember that doctors can only be held liable for actions that are deemed to be unreasonable. 

If your practitioner performs their role to an appropriate standard, and you still happen to suffer ill health, it may be difficult to seek compensation.

Proving Medical Negligence

There are two things that need to be initially established in order for you to move forward with a medical negligence claim:

  1. A relationship existed between you and your practitioner.
  2. Your practitioner’s actions were negligent, and ultimately caused or contributed to your injury, illness or disease. 

Proof of a patient-doctor relationship can be easily established with medical records, hospital bills and other documentation. 

Proof of medical negligence is the trickier part – your solicitor will likely attain a third-party medical report to back up your claims. 

When the structure of your case has been decided upon, your solicitor can draft a ‘Letter of Claim’. 

The ‘Letter of Claim’ details the nature of your case and will be presented to your practitioner with the hope of settling your case outside of court.

Need Advice? Speak With An Expert.

If you are a victim of medical negligence, obtaining the advice of a professional and experienced solicitor is in your best interests.

Compensation for Medical Negligence in Ireland

If you have been a victim of medical negligence by a healthcare professional in the HSE, you are entitled to compensation. 

The amount of compensation you receive depends on factors such as:

  • Liability and Your Contribution to Your Injury or Illness
  • Severity of Your Injury or Illness
  • Length and Timing of Your Prognosis
  • Loss of Earnings and Any Expenses You Incur

Liability and Your Contribution to Your Injury or Illness

If it is decided that your doctor was largely responsible for your injury or illness, but that your own actions also had an impact, any compensation figure may be made lower.

This is called contributory negligence, and can occur if, for example, your doctor recommends a certain test or treatment course, and you fail to properly comply with their instructions.

Severity of Your Injury or Illness

Naturally, the greater the impact of your injury, the likelier you are to receive a large compensation fee. 

This is because of the impact a serious injury can have on your day-to-day life as well as the physical and mental toll of suffering an immensely painful accident.

Length and Timing of Your Prognosis

If your illness is set to impact you for the remainder of your life, compensation may be higher to account for that period of time. 

It will also be impacted by the stage of your life at which you suffer the event – an older patient may receive less compensation than a child who suffers a serious case of medical negligence.

Loss of Earnings and Any Expenses You Incur

If you are forced to spend time out of work as you recover from your illness or injury, compensation should reflect your loss of earnings.

It will also be impacted by medical bills and any other expenses you incur as a result of your practitioner’s negligence.

What are the Types of Medical Negligence Compensation?

There are two main types of compensation, or damages, that are relevant in medical negligence claims. 

General Damages

General damages are awarded for the non-financial losses you suffer as a result of your accident or injury. 

This can be the physical and mental pain and suffering associated with the event or the impact of a reduction in your quality of life moving forward. 

Special Damages

Special damages cover the expenses you incur as a result of the incident, be it a loss of earnings or a stack of medical bills for your treatment and rehabilitation.

Common Medical Negligence Claims

Medical negligence is a very broad area of Irish law, and all kinds of claims can be filed against practitioners whose actions do not meet a required standard of care.

Some of the claims that we see impact our clients at O’Brien & Company Solicitors are included in the list below.

Are You Eligible For Compensation?

If you want to obtain compensation for the negligence you have suffered contact us today.

GP Negligence Claims

Your General Practitioner may be a familiar medical professional in your life, but they owe you a duty of care with regard to your healthcare. 

A GP must refer you to a specialist if they prove unable to properly identify and treat your illness or injury. 

A failure to refer a patient in time may result in their condition deteriorating dramatically and delays in treatment can be hugely damaging. 

If you received substandard care from your GP, you may have grounds for a GP negligence claim.

Hospital Negligence Claims

Hospital negligence occurs when the actions or inactions of any member of hospital staff are deemed to be negligent and to have had a direct impact on a patient’s injury or illness. 

This can relate to negligence within specific departments such as surgical negligence claims, nursing negligence claims, A&E negligence claims and more. 

It can also relate to accidents that occur because of an inadequate level of safety on hospital grounds, such as slips, trips and falls or injuries from falling objects.

Surgical Negligence Claims

Surgery, though a hugely skilled and important bracket of healthcare, can carry major risks for patients if it is not correctly conducted. 

Irish surgeons perform both elective surgery, meaning surgery scheduled in advance that a patient does not immediately require, and emergency surgery, meaning treatment for urgent, potentially fatal conditions. 

Given how delicate surgical procedures can be, there is scope for significant damage if a surgeon does not carry out their job to an appropriate standard. 

If you suffer an injury or illness off the back of surgical negligence, you may be able to file for compensation.

Misdiagnosis Claims

Probably the most common type of medical negligence claim, a misdiagnosis can result in a patient’s condition deteriorating hugely on account of them not receiving the right course of treatment. 

It can be a case of your doctor mistaking your illness for another ailment or failing to identify any issue with your health at all.

Even if your treatment course is eventually righted, enough time may have elapsed that your health has suffered dramatically. 

If it can be shown that a misdiagnosis impacted on your condition for a period of time, you may have grounds for a medical negligence claim. 

Cancer is a common condition that is misdiagnosed by medical professionals. A missed or late diagnosis of cancer can have devastating consequences. 

Pharmacy negligence Claim

If you receive negligent care from a pharmacist or medical professional in relation to prescription medication, you are entitled to make a pharmacy negligence claim

Medical professionals are expected to take the necessary steps in making sure you are being given the right medication for you. 

taking the wrong medication can lead to medical complications and leave patients in worse health then before.

Birth Injury Claims

Gynaecological negligence claims revolve around often devastating and tragic incidents related to birth injuries before and after delivery. 

Obstetricians and neonatologists can offer advice on birth injuries, and assigning blame in these cases can be a very delicate and complex process. 

If it transpires that a practitioner was at fault for injuries suffered by an infant during birth, there may be cause for a birth injury claim.

Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Claims

Cosmetic surgery is an interesting offset of surgical care because many cosmetic procedures are not essential to improving or maintaining your health. 

For some cosmetic or reconstructive surgeries, there is grey legislation in Irish law, and it can be difficult to establish negligence.

Oftentimes, plastic surgeons can fail to demonstrate an appropriate skill level and their cosmetic surgery is not performed to a satisfactory level. 

If you suffer due to cosmetic surgery negligence that is below an acceptable standard, you may have the basis for a medical negligence claim.

How Long Do I Have to Claim for Medical Negligence?

In Ireland, the statute of limitations is two years, meaning that is the length of the window in which you can make a claim following your accident, injury or illness. 

With medical negligence, this period can be a little bit more complicated than, say, a road traffic collision in which all parties are immediately aware of the injuries they have suffered. 

Your two years begin on the “date of knowledge”, meaning the date on which you become aware of your condition. 

For example, it may take a long time for a cancer patient to discover that their doctor’s failure to diagnose them earlier contributed to their condition worsening. 

Another exception to the statute of limitations concerns minors, who cannot make a personal injury claim for themselves until they turn eighteen. 

A parent or guardian can file a claim on behalf of their child, or the minor may wait until their eighteenth birthday, at which point their two-year claim window will begin.

Online Claim Assessment

Take our online assessment and we will perform a thorough case review. All assessments are 100% cost and commitment free.

Do I Have to Go to Court for a Medical Negligence Claim?

The majority of medical negligence claims are settled outside of court and do not end up going to trial. 

In Ireland, just 3% of medical negligence claims end up being resolved in court, but your solicitor will prepare your case so as to be ready for trial.

How to Make a Claim for Medical Negligence

It can be difficult to come to terms with the process around making a medical negligence claim, and many people choose to enlist the help of an experienced medical negligence solicitor to give themselves the best chance of securing compensation. 

If you suffer an illness, injury or disease as a result of medical negligence, you may be best served following these steps.

  • 1

    Seek Legal Counsel: If you want to move forward with your claim by yourself, you are free to do so, but if you want the help of an expert solicitor, our team at O’Brien & Company are on hand to assist you.

  • 2

    Solicitor Will Obtain Independent, Third-Party Medical Report: Your solicitor will begin building your case by gathering medical records and an independent, third-party report that adds credence to your claim. You can assist your solicitor in this regard by giving them access to records and documentation.

  • 3

    Assessment of Your Claim for Compensation: Your solicitor will be able to analyse your claim further in order to estimate an appropriate fee for compensation. This will make negotiations with the other party easier and hopefully stop the case from dragging on for a long time.

  • 4

    Begin Court Proceedings: If your case is settled outside of court, as is likely, there will be no need for you to attend a trial. Still, your solicitor will prepare your case as though it is going to court and that means initiating proceedings within the statute of limitations.

Make a Medical Negligence Claim Today

If you have suffered an accident, injury, illness or disease as a result of medical negligence, get in touch with O’Brien & Company Solicitors today for help with your claim. 

Our team are on hand to advise you on whether you have grounds for a medical negligence claim, and the best steps to take moving forward in pursuit of compensation.

Contact us now
in confidence.

O’Brien & Company Solicitors has a wealth of experience and a history of success in personal injury and medical negligence cases.

We pride ourselves on achieving the best results for our clients whilst at the same time making everything as straightforward and clear for you as possible.