Frequently Asked Questions
 

Understandably you might have a lot of questions at this time

It is of course not possible to address every question on this forum and it is only intended to provide a brief overview of the main questions that arise.

Please do not hesitate to contact Laura today where she can address your questions which are individual to you.

1. What does the term “medical negligence” mean?

Medical negligence is classified as medical treatment which falls below the expected standard and where this substandard care results in any injury, makes an existing condition worse or causes death.

2. What is a medical negligence claim?

A medical negligence claim is a type of personal injury claim where a case is brought against the negligent medical professional and/or Hospital by the injured party or a family member of the injured party.

3. How do I know if the medical treatment I or a family member received was negligent and if there is a case?

The first step is to find an experienced medical negligence solicitor who can appropriately advise you. Laura will help you compile the necessary evidence to determine whether or not there was negligence. 

 

Laura will speak with you to ascertain the timeline of events and details of the injury/death that occurred. With your permission, Laura will request a copy of your medical records from the relevant medical practitioner(s) and Hospital(s). 

 

Once the relevant medical records have been received, Laura will review the records in detail and provide her expert legal opinion as to whether or not it is worth pursuing a claim. If Laura believes you have a case worth pursuing, she will highlight the potential medical errors made and recommend that you obtain a medical report from a medical expert who can definitively opine as to whether you or a loved one received negligent medical treatment . In Ireland, prior to bringing a medical negligence claim, it is a legal requirement that you have a report from an appropriate medical expert which makes findings of medical negligence and links the negligence to the injury/death in question. Laura works with the best medical experts and will be able to advise you as to the best choice of expert for your case. 

 

If the medical expert report concludes that the medical treatment provided was negligent, you are deemed to have a legal case and the legal process can commence. 

4. Who can bring a medical negligence claim?

If an individual over the age of 18 has been injured during the course of receiving negligent medical treatment, they can bring a medical negligence claim. 

 

If a minor, under the age of 18 has been injured during the course of receiving negligent medical treatment, their parent/legal guardian can bring a medical negligence claim on their behalf. 

 

If a family member has died as a result of receiving negligent medical treatment, a fatal injury claim can be brought by a “dependent” of the Deceased. A dependent includes a spouse/partner, parent, grandparent, child and sibling of the Deceased.

5. What are the time limits for bringing a medical negligence claim?

There are very strict rules (known as the Statute of Limitations) which dictate the length of time you have to make a medical negligence claim.  

 

Generally speaking, you have two years from the date of the negligent act to bring a medical negligence claim. 

 

There are some exceptions: 

  1. If you did not know that you received negligent medical treatment or you did not know you had been injured at the time you received medical treatment, you may be able to rely on the “date of knowledge” argument. In relaying on this argument,  the 2 year time limit will run from the date you became aware of the negligent treatment or the date you discovered you had been injured. 
  2. For minor children, the 2 year time limit does begin to run until the child’s 18th birthday. However, a claim can be brought by the child’s parents while the child is still under 18 years of age. This may be advisable in circumstances where the child is injured and the compensation will provide much needed therapies and support to reduce the impact of his/her injuries. 

In order to protect yours or a loved one’s legal rights, it is essential that you start the legal process as soon as possible to ensure that the legal claim is commenced in advance of the time period expiring. 

6. What are the different types of medical negligence claims?

There are many types of medical negligence claims. Put simply, all injuries (including death) and worsened conditions caused by the negligent action or inaction of a medical professional or Hospital across all specialities and departments are compensatable. No type of medical treatment is exempt from being the subject of a medical negligence claim. Laura advises and represents clients in all areas of medical negligence.

 

Please click on the below link where you will find detailed information on Laura’s areas of expertise and the different types of medical negligence claims which can be brought.