Medical Negligence*

Private Hospital Negligence Claims*

Claims against private hospitals arise when a patient sustains further injury or a deterioration in their medical condition because of substandard medical care they receive, this is known as medical negligence of staff who work there.

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What is a Private Hospital?

A private hospital is a hospital which is owned by an organisation or company and is privately funded through the payment of medical services by insurers, the government and patients. The Private Hospitals Association (PHA) is the representative body for the private hospital sector in Ireland. Certain private hospitals are members of this association and play an essential role in the delivery of health services. At present, there are 19 member hospitals.

No matter where you are receiving treatment patients should receive the highest standard of care at all times. If this standard fall below what is expected there may be a breach in responsibility which could result in medical negligence. This can be the case whether this happened in a private or public hospital. Medical negligence can occur for a number of reasons and can lead to further injuries or complications. In most cases, medical professionals are dedicated, diligent and ensure that the treatment you are receiving is to the highest standard. Despite this, in some cases, there may have been an error made as a result of negligence. This can occur under many different circumstances and can lead to the patient sustaining personal injuries as a result.

Some examples of medical negligence include:

  • Misdiagnosing a patient
  • Errors made during surgery
  • Failing to act on symptoms or test results
  • Substandard level of care
  • A medical practitioner causing injury or loss of quality of life
  • Prescription errors
  • Anaesthesia errors
  • Hospital Neglect
  • Negligence relating to GP diagnosis
  • Inadequate aftercare of the patient
  • Hospital-acquired infection
  • Defective drug administration

Medical negligence claims made against a private hospital are very similar to those made against a public organisation, but there are some small differences. In private practices and organisations, a patient may enter into a contract with the healthcare provider directly. As part of this, a certain outcome may be guaranteed so if this is not achieved you may be able to claim for this. In relation to other areas of negligence, the claims process is very similar to that of a public hospital. As private patients enter a direct contract with their healthcare provider often claims are made against the medical practitioner directly and not the organisation or hospital as a whole. It is important to note that in order to make a medical negligence claim there must have been a breach in the duty of care which then led to injury, damage or loss.

Proving Negligence

To proceed with a claim for private hospital negligence you must first prove that medical or clinical negligence has occurred. In order to do this, it must be shown that negligence would not have occurred if the treatment was carried out by another medical practitioner. In many cases, negligence occurs as a result of a breach in the duty of care where they have failed to ensure the health and safety of their patients. If it is found that a hospital has failed to show a reasonable level of duty of care and personal injuries has been sustained as a result, a claim may be made against them for this.

Consequences of Private Hospital Negligence

  • Spreading of the illness to other parts of the body
  • Deterioration of their medical condition
  • The illness may be untreatable
  • Illness can become more serious over time
  • Further surgery may be required as a result
  • A condition may be left untreated if not identified
  • Incorrect treatment may be given

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Our helpful team

Need Help? Just Ask.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your medical negligence claim, call Elaine Hickey, Head Medical Negligence Solicitor, on +353 1 649 9900 and tell her about your medical malpractice case or reach out via email to and she can call you back.

How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist medical negligence solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Speak with a solicitor

    If you feel that you were not provided with appropriate medical treatment whilst under the care of a medical professional which resulted in injury due to the actions or in-actions of a medical professional, then speaking with a medical negligence solicitor following the injury is imperative. Medical negligence is a complex topic in Irish law. Speak to a medical negligence solicitor when bringing a claim forward. This ensures that no essential steps are missed throughout the legal process. Bringing a claim forward without having spoken to a solicitor can delay your claims procedure. A solicitor can help to determine your medical negligence time limit claim.

  2. Obtain medical records

    In order to make a claim, it must be established and proven that the injury sustained was caused by the medical negligence of the doctor or medical staff tasked with your medical care. Therefore, after having spoken with you about your case, your solicitor will then request access to your medical records. At this stage, the solicitor will have your medical records assessed by an independent medical expert. This will help determine whether a surgeon or medical staff who treated you had, in fact, administered substandard medical care and if negligence was the cause of the injury and if your injuries/outcome could have been avoided if the appropriate level of medical care had been adhered to.

  3. Letter of 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. A Letter of Claim will outline the nature of your case and invites the medical practitioner to settle your case. 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.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, our dedicated medical negligence solicitors have years of experience in helping people deal with traumatic medical injury claims. We understand the injuries, both 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 more information and a confidential discussion on your medical injury claim, phone 01 649 9900 or email to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a medical negligence claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses, you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a medical negligence injury.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the medical negligence injury, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital) and future care costs. Learn more about Special Damages.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim, which can vary depending on the situation. When taking into account how long medical negligence claims take, it is important to remember that medical negligence cases require certain time frames in place within which you can bring a claim. For medical negligence claims it is two years less a day following the date of the incident or two years less a day following the date that a person made the connection that their illness or injuries were a result of medical negligence. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Medical Negligence Involving Children

In an unfortunate incident where a child is subject to medical negligence, the process of making a claim differs from that of an adult. A minor may be in a position to bring a claim forward in the first two years following their 18th birthday.

Learn more about Legal Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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