Hospital compensation is awarded when you have been involved in an accident on hospital premises and sustained an injury due to the negligence of the hospital administrators, or have been the victim of medical negligence whilst attending the hospital with an ailment. Both instances can lead to serious injury and substantial awards for hospital compensation where it can be proven that there was a lack of care by the hospital or a medical practitioner in their employment.
Hospital Compensation for Personal Injury Accidents
A personal injury accident on hospital premises is most commonly a slip, trip or fall due to an uneven or slippery surface. It can happen to staff members, patients or those visiting them, and may result in injuries such as fractures, damage to the spine or a severe bang to the head. When these types of injuries occur, it is important that you get medical attention immediately and seek witnesses to the incident or report it to a senior member of staff so that it can be recorded in the hospital “Accident Report Book”.
Once your injuries have been cared for it is in your best interests to consult a solicitor about making a claim for hospital compensation. Claims for hospital compensation, when you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of the hospital, are made to the Injuries Board Ireland. To ensure that you receive fair and adequate compensation for your injury, the application form is best prepared with the assistance of a solicitor who has experience with the paperwork.
A copy of the entry in the “Accident Report Book”, your medical notes and any receipts in respect of out of pocket expenses will have to be submitted with your application. The Injuries Board Ireland will make an assessment of hospital compensation for injuries sustained in a personal injury accident once the hospital or HSA have acknowledged liability for your injuries and you have undergone an independent medical examination.
Hospital Compensation for Medical Negligence
Hospital compensation for medical negligence is a far more complicated procedure and, as determining that medical negligence has actually occurred is a matter of medical opinion rather than physical evidence, the Injuries Board Ireland declines to accept applications for hospital compensation in these cases. Instead, your case will be presented in court by a solicitor who will be supported by a medical expert. Both will have to prove that your injuries were caused by medical negligence in situations where the actions – or lack of them – performed by the medical practitioner were both avoidable and represented a lack of skill or the ability to apply that skill.
Hospital compensation for medical negligence can be awarded in a wide range of circumstances. Amongst the most common allegations of medical negligence are:-
- An error or failure to diagnose
- A failure or delay in performing a procedure
- An incorrectly performed procedure
- A hospital-acquired infection
- The use of contaminated blood in transfusions
A claim for hospital compensation when you have suffered an injury due to medical negligence has to show that a medical practitioner was in breach of guidelines issued by the Medical Council of Ireland and displayed unacceptable (professional) behaviour, failed to communicate important issues to a colleague or patient or demonstrated poor professional performance – whether a lack of skill or the failure to apply that skill.
Disputed Claims for Hospital Compensation
Claims for hospital compensation can be disputed by the hospital or medical practitioner concerned if there is any doubt surrounding their total liability. In cases of hospital compensation for personal injury accidents, a hospital could claim that you contributed to your injuries by your own actions. Where the claim is for medical negligence, as well as claiming contributory negligence as a defence, the medical practitioner might argue that you did not disclose an existing condition prior to a medical procedure taking place.
As well as these reasons for disputed claims, the negligent party responsible for paying hospital compensation may not be immediately obvious. Certainly, in instances of medical negligence, there could be one of a number of people responsible for not maintaining high standards of hygiene when you contract a hospital-acquired infection. Even when an incorrectly performed procedure on the operating table has caused your injury, the fault could lie with a member of the pre-operative planning medical team and not with anybody present at all.
These legal complications will have to be resolved by your solicitor in the process of constructing the strongest case possible in your claim for compensation. When there is such strength in a case, you will often find that the Health and Safety Executive or an insurance company representing the negligent medical practitioner will approach you with an offer of early settlement to prevent the case from ever reaching the courts of law. In the event that this happens, your solicitor will be able to negotiate an appropriate amount of hospital compensation for the physical and psychological trauma you have suffered.
Further Information about Hospital Compensation
If you have sustained an injury on hospital premises or have been the victim of medical negligence and would like to find out more about hospital compensation, please contact our free hospital compensation advice service. The number to call is 1800 989 995 and our lines are open from 8.00am to 10.00pm, seven days a week. Our lines are manned by solicitors who have experience in claims for hospital compensation, you will be able to discuss your case with them and receive helpful and practical advice.
If it is inconvenient to call right away you can leave your contact details in our call-back box, saying when would be a suitable time for us to call you. All calls to our free hospital compensation advice service are completely confidential and there is no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for hospital compensation after speaking with us.