Hospital Negligence *
Increased awareness of legal regulation and accountability for medical care in hospitals around Ireland has made it fundamental to ensure that failure to diagnose symptoms of an illness or injury by a professional medical practitioner is proven before a medical negligence claim * is made. The majority of medical negligence * in a hospital occurs in the emergency room. Incorrect decisions and failure to diagnose an illness are the re-occurring themes in the field of medical negligence *. This is due to the inexperience of the younger staff members and also arises as a result of the high-stress levels the hospital staff members are under. It is also important to note that other health practitioners can contribute to medical negligence cases * such as radiologists, technicians and administrators.
If you feel that you were not provided with the appropriate medical treatment, where your health was put at an unnecessary risk as of the result of the actions of a medical professional, then speaking with a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible following the error is imperative. Medical negligence * is a very complex topic in Irish law and attempting to bring a claim forward without having spoken to a solicitor specialising in negligence claims * may mean that you miss a vital step of the process which could delay your claims procedure considerably.
Types of Negligence *
There are several different examples of hospital negligence *, some of which include:
- Failure or delay to diagnose an illness/injury
- Failure to communicate the risks linked to a specific procedure
- Failure to act on test results
- Error in the performance of an operation
- Error in administrating prescriptions/medication
- Hospital systems fail to maintain a hygienic environment in the hospital, causing patients to become susceptible to infections and bed sores
- Poor childbirth care and procedures causing physical and psychological birth injuries such as cerebral palsy.
- Failure to refer a patient to another specialist where it was necessary to do so.
- Failure to attain informed consent of an optional surgery such as heart surgery, laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery.
If you or a family member have experienced any form of negligence * during your time in hospital you should speak to a solicitor immediately.
Making a Claim
In order to make a claim *, it must be established and proven that the error sustained was caused by the negligence * of the doctor or health provider that was tasked with caring for your health.
Therefore, after having spoken with you about your case, your solicitor will then request access to your medical records. The law in Ireland states that you can’t file a medical negligence claim * until you’ve managed to get a report from a qualified professional confirming that the treatment you received from the practitioner was below what is expected. This step is carried out as an additional step to ensure that case is justifiable. Due to the small size of Ireland, it is rare to meet a medical practitioner that is willing to be used as support for the negligence * claim. For this reason, medical experts from the UK are usually utilised. The solicitor will then have your medical record assessed by an independent medical expert. This will help determine whether the person who was responsible for your health, in fact, administered substandard medical care and if the hospital medical negligence * was the cause of the error. It will also show if your injuries or illness could have been avoided if the appropriate level of medical care had been adhered to.
If the independent medical expert has concluded that medical negligence * has occurred then your solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim to the medical practitioner who was responsible for your state of health.
A Letter of Claim will outline the nature of your case and invites the medical practitioner to settle your hospital claim *. If the independent medical expert has concluded that medical negligence * has occurred then your solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim to the medical practitioner who treated you.
The next steps involved are heavily dependent on your case and response to your Letter of Claim and will determine whether your case will be brought to court or settled outside of court. Your solicitor will be on hand every step of the way to guide you through this process.
Hospital negligence settlements depend on the severity of the situation. Certain factors are taken into account such as the effect the injury or illness and the pain and suffering it will have on the patient’s quality of life. Your solicitor will carry out a full assessment of the psychical and physiological damage caused to the patient and advise you from there as to what the next steps will be.
Claims for children
A child is not allowed to make a medical negligence * claim until they reach the age of eighteen. For this reason, the Statue of Limitations for this type of negligence doesn’t start until they reach this age. The Statue of Limitations is the period of time after an injury or illness that you have to make a claim. The Statue of Limitations for hospital negligence currently is set at two years.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
At Tracey Solicitors, our dedicated negligence solicitors * have years of experience in helping people deal with hospital malpractice and related claims. We understand the injuries (physically and emotionally) that you have suffered and have supported and 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.