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What is Medical Malpractice in Ireland?

The definition of what is medical malpractice is; when a patient suffers an injury, experiences a deterioration in an existing health condition, develops an illness, or otherwise is caused harm due to the actions or omissions of a medical professional – be that a doctor, surgeon, nurse, dentist or other healthcare worker. In order for there to have been medical malpractice, a duty of care must have been owed to the patient, and that duty of care must have been breached which led to the health of the patient suffering as a result.

Establishing What is Medical Malpractice

Establishing what is medical malpractice should be performed by a specialist medical malpractice solicitor, as while the laws defining what is medical malpractice are straightforward; determining what is medical malpractice under the specific circumstances which led to the patient being injured, and being able to prove it, can often be problematic.

A patient may have suffered an injury while undergoing a medical procedure and that injury may have been preventable if better care had been taken. However, if the accident which caused the injury could not have been avoided, a claim for medical malpractice compensation is unlikely to succeed.

Legal Definition of What is Medical Malpractice

  • A duty of care must have been owed to a patient
  • That duty of care must have been breached
  • The breach in the duty of care must have caused a personal injury
  • There must be damages; either physical or psychological

If all four aspects of what is medical negligence can be satisfied, and it can be proven ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that the injuries could have been avoided by a competent medical professional, then there is every chance that a claim for medical malpractice compensation will be successful.

Obtaining Proof of Medical Malpractice

A claimant must be able to prove – with the help of a solicitor and medical experts – that a doctor of similar experience and skill would not have acted in the same manner and that, by taking alternative action, the doctor could have prevented a patient being caused harm. After a medical malpractice solicitor has determined that an injury has been caused by medical malpractice, he will contact relevant medical experts to help substantiate the claim.

Will the Injuries Board Ireland Tell Me What is Medical Malpractice?

Although the Injuries Board Ireland are involved in most personal injury compensation claims, whenever a compensation claim is based on professional opinion it must be dealt with by the Irish courts or resolved by negotiation between the parties before court action is necessary. Therefore the Injuries Board Ireland will not be involved in any medical malpractice or medical negligence claims for compensation in Ireland. Without the involvement of the Injuries Board Ireland, a solicitor must be used to pursue a medical malpractice claim, and a medical malpractice solicitor is in the best position to take on a case. A medical malpractice claims solicitor will have the necessary experience to help to maximise the chances of making a successful claim for medical malpractice compensation.

Medical Malpractice and Litigation

Although the Irish courts deal with all medical malpractice claims for compensation, in practice only a small percentage of medical malpractice compensation claims will require litigation. Most medical malpractice claims will result in a medical malpractice settlement being reached between the insurance company of the respondent and a claimant’s solicitor, and litigation through the Irish courts will not be necessary.

Free Legal Advice on Medical Malpractice Compensation Claims

If you are unsure what is medical malpractice, or whether you have sustained an injury which was the result of medical malpractice, we invite you to call our free medical malpractice claims helpline for advice. Our solicitors speak in plain English, and will explain what is medical malpractice law in Ireland and how it applies to your individual circumstances.

At the end of the call you will have established whether you are eligible to make a claim for medical malpractice compensation, what the claims process involves in Ireland, and what you should do next in order to preserve your right to make a claim for medical malpractice compensation.

Calls to our medical malpractice helpline are free of charge, and you will receive up to date, accurate and impartial legal advice from a personal injury claims solicitor with experience in dealing with medical malpractice compensation claims in Ireland.

Call us today on Freephone 1800 989 995 or request a call back from one of our solicitors by completing the contact form below.

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