Medical Negligence Claims are often more complex than any other types of personal injury claims.
In Ireland, a medical negligence claim may arise if you have suffered an injury (or an exacerbation of a pre-existing medical condition) as a result of medical mistreatment, misdiagnosis or lack of care.
Even if a better standard of care could have prevented the injury/misdiagnosis, it doesn’t necessarily follow that liability can be established against the particular doctor or hospital involved.
The injured party must be able to establish a direct connection between the negligence of the medical practitioner and the injury (whether physical or psychological) concerned. While, as a matter of law, the medical profession and its agents do owe a duty of care to the public, it is extremely important to point out that it is often difficult to prove negligence on the part of the doctor/hospital involved when an injury has occurred or a misdiagnosis has been made.
The law provides the opportunity for an individual to make a medical negligence claim if he/she can prove “on the balance of probabilities” that a medical practitioner has acted negligently in his/her treatment of a patient. This is a complex area which has been acknowledged by our legal system; unlike almost every other type of personal injury compensation cases, the Injuries Board have consistently refused jurisdiction in these type of cases.
Therefore, if you feel that you or any member of your family or close friends have suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis of illness or injury, misreading of test results, error in performance of a surgical procedure or operation, nursing care or general lack of professionalism in the treatment provided by the particular medical practitioner/hospital, it may well be that a stateable cause of action arises. It is important to note that any action contemplated by the injured party must be taken within a two year period, as a general rule.