In Ireland, if a person sustains a personal injury due to an error or lack of care by a medical practitioner/professional, they may be entitled to bring a medical negligence claim. It may also be called a ‘medical accident’ or ‘patient safety incident’, but it is not to be confused with medical malpractice. A solicitor can help draw a difference between medical malpractice and a medical negligence claim before you move forward with it.
When you contact us at Tallans regarding Medical Negligence claims, we will connect you with our skilled Medical Negligence team to provide expert advice.
Claiming compensation for such injuries remains a complex task in Ireland because no two cases of Medical Negligence are the same. Proving the negligence of the doctor or hospital when an injury has occurred, an illness has been contracted, or misdiagnosis has taken place is complex.
Note that the law only allows making a medical negligence claim if the negligent nature of the treatment by the healthcare professionals can be shown “on the balance of probabilities” that it directly caused or exacerbated your injury.
A few cases that constitute medical negligence:
- – Delayed or incorrect diagnosis of illness or injury
- – Failure to act suitably on test results
- – Inaccuracy in carrying out a procedure or operation
- – Error/irresponsibility in administering treatment or administering drugs
- – Failure to fully communicate the risks associated with procedures to the patient before their administration
The nature of your injuries and whether you suffered them as a private or public patient determines the procedures to claim medical negligence.
A court will take into account if a competent physician would have acted in the same manner as the defendant doctor. If the reason for their actions can be justified, given the doctor’s information and the specific circumstances, the medical professional would not be judged as negligent even where the doctor’s actions might have contributed to the plaintiff’s injury. It has to be demonstrated that a competent medical practitioner would have chosen an alternative course of action “at the time and in the circumstances” which could have prevented the injury.
The value of your medical negligence claim will determine the necessity of appearing in the High Court. Medical negligence claims with settlements under €15,000 are heard in the District Court, and those with an expected value of less than €60,000 will be heard in the Circuit Civil Court.
If it is verified that you have failed to communicate your symptoms elaborately, did not take medication that has been prescribed for you, or failed to attend pre-surgery appointments, it may be claimed that it was your lack of care that aggravated your injury and that you take part of the blame for a medical practitioner´s mistake. In that case, a deduction made from future medical negligence settlements and a percentage liability will be assigned to you to account for your “contributory negligence”. Seeking legal advice is essential in any medical negligence action no matter how big or small it might be.