Accident and Emergency claims *
The emergency department of a medical hospital is usually the first place a person attends if they have been involved in an accident or when an illness or pain becomes too severe to wait for an appointment with a GP. Claims can arise in A+E departments in situations where a medical professional fails to treat a person correctly, misdiagnose a person and/or delivers substandard medical care. If you or a family member has suffered from accident and emergency negligence *, you may be in a position to pursue an accident and emergency claim *.
Common types of A&E claims *
Accidents and emergency claims * can occur as a result of the medical malpractice * of the staff. Some of the most common types of accidents in emergency rooms include:
- Failure to diagnose symptoms of serious illness,
- Failure to refer to x-ray department,
- Failure to refer a person to a more specialised department,
- Failure to carry out appropriate tests,
- Not treating symptoms of an illness while waiting for the results,
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Slip, trip and fall on the premises
Making a Claim
1. Medical attention
The number one priority is your own health and safety. Seeking medical attention following an accident or illness is imperative to a speedy recovery for you.
2. Keep a log of events
It is important to note down all details of the accident so nothing is forgotten. Such details may include the hospital you were treated in, the date on which the event occurred, the name of the doctor/nurse and any medication which you were prescribed.
3. Obtain medical records
Your medical records are an important part of the claims process, usually, they will be sent to a third party independent medical professional for review. Their role is to comment on whether your injury or illness could have been resolved quicker, or escalation of your symptoms could have been avoided if the expected medical standard of care had been adhered to.
4. Note all expenses occurred
It is worth keeping a log of all expenses occurred as a result of the accident. Such expenses may include appointments with specialists, rehabilitation and any additional travel expenses. These expenses may be reimbursed in the form of special damages.
In cases where a person suffers an injury while on the premises that is not considered medical negligence, rather accident in a public place. In these cases the settlement procedure would run as follows:
The settlement of a case will vary as each case will be different. Generally, the settlement procedure would work as follows (of course, this is subject to change and your solicitor will keep you informed at each stage of the process):
- Your solicitor will submit your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment
- The Injuries Board assess your case and revert with a suggested compensation amount
- You then decide whether to accept the amount suggested or to reject and move the next stage of the process
- If both parties accept the compensation suggest, then your case will be settled at this point.
- If one of both parties decline the suggested settlement amount then you move to the next stage of the settlement process
- In cases where the Injuries Board assessment is not agreed to, then legal proceedings are issued and your case moves forward to a court hearing.
- Before the court hearing, settlement talks do take place. In most cases, a case is resolved, settled and compensation agreed at the settlement talks before having to step foot into a courtroom.
- If your case is not settled at the settlement talks stage then your case moves to a court hearing where a Judge will make a decision on your case.
In cases where medical negligence is the cause of the injury sustained then speaking with a solicitor is your best way forward to discuss your case as the Injuries Board do not assess these types of cases.
Settlement talks are a good opportunity for your legal team to talk to the other side’s legal team to settle any disagreements on what costs are to be awarded. Costs awarded usually consist of an amount for the injury itself and added expenses you may have incurred, these claims are called damages:
- General Damages: Non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following the incident and impact of the injury on your quality of life.
- Special Damages: Out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident * for example, loss of earnings (if you were out of work), future loss of earnings for extended time out of work, medical bills, future medical bills, and any added travel costs as a result of the injury, for example, travel to and from the hospital.
Legal time limits
In the event of an accident and emergency claim *, there are certain time frames in which legal proceedings can be brought forward. For medical negligence cases *, the time frame is 2 years from the date of when the incident occurred. These timeframes may change if the injury or illness sustained is not diagnosed for a period of time after the incident, this could be weeks or even months. In the unfortunate case where a child suffers from accident and emergency negligence *, legal proceedings can be brought forward for two years from their eighteenth birthday.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
At Tracey Solicitors, our dedicated medical negligence solicitors * have years of experience in helping people deal with accident and emergency negligence *. We understand the injuries (physically and emotionally) that you or a family member have suffered and have supported and have helped many people in similar situations proceed with medical negligence claims * in Ireland over the past 30 years. For a confidential discussion, call Caoimhe McConnell, Head Medical Negligence Solicitor, on 01 649 9900 and tell her about your case or reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and she can call you back.