A claim for medical negligence compensation may be possible in Ireland if you have been injured or have suffered a deterioration in your health which was caused by the actions or omissions of a doctor or medical professional.
If you have been injured or have come to harm as a result of the decisions made by any medical professional, you should contact a medical negligence compensation solicitor for advice about making a claim for compensation.
Eligibility to Claim Medical Negligence Compensation in Ireland
The law in Ireland governing medical negligence compensation claims is highly complicated, and in contrast to most personal injury compensation claims, is not as straightforward as simply sustaining and injury due to third party negligence. In order to be eligible to claim medical negligence compensation in Ireland, you must be able to establish and prove that a doctor has acted in a manner which has resulted in a failure in a duty of care to you as a patient, and that the doctor concerned owed you a duty of care.
An injury, loss or deterioration in health must have been suffered as a direct result the breach in the duty of care, and it must be proven ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that no competent medical professional of similar status and standing would have made the same mistake. It also has to be demonstrated that the alternative course of action taken by the competent medical professional would have avoided the injury for which you are making a claim for medical negligence compensation. If all of these factors can be proven, a claim for medical negligence compensation can be made in Ireland.
Proving that there was a breach in a duty of care and a doctor or medical professional has been negligent requires the testimony of expert medical witnesses. A medical negligence compensation solicitor should be consulted to assess eligibility, and will be able to arrange for your claim to be substantiated by highly experienced medical witnesses.
Medical Negligence Compensation Claims and Litigation
The injuries Board Ireland will not deal with medical negligence compensation claims, as any claim for compensation based on professional opinion falls outside of their jurisdiction. This means that the Irish courts will often be involved in medical negligence claims, and a medical negligence compensation solicitor should always be used. However, even with the involvement of the Irish courts, medical negligence litigation is frequently not required. The majority of medical negligence compensation claims result in an out of court settlement being made to the claimant. Litigation is usually only required when both parties cannot agree on a suitable settlement figure, when the value of a claim is particularly high, or when liability is not accepted by the respondent.
Medical Negligence Compensation Claims and the Statute of Limitations
The Statute of Limitations in Ireland places a strict time limit on making a claim for medical negligence compensation. Medical negligence compensation claims in Ireland must be made within two years of the ‘Date of Knowledge’ of an injury. Although this may seem like ample time to seek legal advice and make a claim, two years can pass quickly. Although it may be in a claimant’s best interests to delay a claim — such as when the full extent of injuries are not yet known — it is never wise to delay seeking legal advice. A delay may jeopardise the chances of making a successful medical negligence compensation claim, and could result in the claim being time barred.
Medical Negligence Compensation Claims for Children
Medical negligence compensation claims for children cannot be initiated until the victim becomes a legal adult. Under Irish medical negligence claims law, a child cannot take legal action of any kind until they turn 18. Delaying a medical negligence compensation claim for a child is rarely wise, and that decision should only be made after consulting a medical negligence compensation solicitor for advice. Medical negligence compensation claims for children can be filed before the child’s eighteenth birthday by an adult — usually a parent or legal guardian — acting as a ‘next friend’. If your child has been injured and you suspect that this was due to medical negligence, you should contact a medical negligence compensation solicitor as soon as possible for legal advice on making a medical negligence compensation claim for a child as a ‘next friend’.
Medical Negligence Compensation Settlement Offers
An offer of a medical negligence compensation settlement from an insurance company may be welcomed by a claimant, as it will mean that a claim will not need not be made and that medical negligence litigation is avoided. However, early offers of medical negligence compensation may not be as good as they first appear. In return for a claimant accepting an early payment of medical negligence compensation, the claimant will usually have to accept a compensation settlement which is far lower that their full entitlement. Insurance companies often try to settle claims early to reduce losses and increase profits.
If you are offered a medical negligence compensation settlement, it is important that you seek legal advice before accepting. A medical negligence compensation solicitor will assess any offer of settlement and will determine whether it fairly reflects the full extent of the injuries sustained. In most cases, this is not the case and the initial offer will be too low; however a medical negligence compensation solicitor should be able to negotiate a much more appropriate compensation settlement for the claimant without medical negligence litigation being required.
Free Advice on Medical Negligence Compensation Claims in Ireland
If you would like to speak to an experienced medical negligence compensation solicitor about making a claim in Ireland, we invite you to call our free medical negligence compensation helpline for advice.
When you call us you will be given free impartial, accurate and up to date legal advice on making a medical negligence compensation claim in Ireland. You will find out if you are eligible to make a claim, how long it is likely to take to receive a medical negligence compensation settlement, and what the claims process is likely to involve.
Our solicitors have helped many victims of medical negligence receive a fair medical negligence compensation settlement, and are waiting to take your call.
Call us now on Freephone 1800 989 995, or request a call back at a more convenient time by completing the call back request form below.