We at Berwick Solicitors, have over 30 years’ experience in the area of medical negligence claims and have dedicated Solicitors who specialises in medical malpractice (medical negligence). We understand that injuries arising from medical negligence can be devastating. The result can have long term effects on a person’s life. We take the time to get to know you, your injuries and how your life has been affected. Because we are specialists, we can guide you through every step of your case. We have helped many people throughout Ireland in medical negligence cases. Please see our testimonials to find out what our clients say.
If you think you have a claim for Medical Negligence / Medical Malpractice / Clinical Negligence, and want legal advice, please feel free to contact Martin Kerrigan of Berwick Solicitors for a no obligation consultation. We can offer you the support you need to pursue your claim.
Medical Negligence / Medical Malpractice / Clinical Negligence – Frequently Asked Questions
Medical Negligence statute of limitations Ireland
A case for Medical Negligence / Medical Malpractice / Clinical Negligence must be taken within two years of the date on which the injury was sustained or from the date of knowledge that a breach in duty of care occurred.
Do I have to submit my claim to the Injuries Board?
No, unlike other personal Injury claims arising out of accident claims or negligence claims, an injury claim for Medical Negligence / Medical Malpractice / Clinical Negligence is not submitted to the Injuries Board. Most injury claims for Medical Negligence are processed through the Circuit Court or the High Court depending on the level of damages anticipated in each case. They seldom go through the District Court and never through the small claims court.
I think I have a Medical Negligence claim, what should I do?
If you think you may have a claim arising out of medical negligence / medical malpractice / clinical negligence, you should immediately contact Berwick Solicitors – Medical Negligence Solicitors, for legal advice. Failure to contact us immediately could result in you being prohibited from taking a medical negligence case. We will review the details of your treatment with you and provide you with legal advice.
Why do I have to get an expert medical report?
The High Court has made it very clear that before issuing proceedings for medical negligence / medical malpractice / clinical negligence, a report must first be obtained from an independent medical expert. This report will state if there is a probable case. While this is an expense at the very beginning of the case, it does have the advantage of confirming whether you have a good case or not. It is better to find out that you do not have a case at an early stage than to find out at a much later stage. We will provide you with further legal advice on this issue.
Why are Medical Negligence / Medical Malpractice / Clinical Negligence cases treated differently to other personal injury claims in Ireland?
1. Medical negligence cases are usually more complex. In car accident claims where the driver of one motor vehicle is claiming for personal injuries from the driver of another motor vehicle, the first question that the court has to determine is which party is liable. In such a case liability would be determined by reference to witnesses to the accident, Garda reports, photographs of the damage to the vehicles involved, and sketches of the scene of the accident.
However in a medical negligence claim, it is often very difficult to determine whether a healthcare provider has been negligent in the treatment of his/her patient. It can often be the
case that when a patient is receiving treatment a complication can arise such as an unknown or unforeseen allergy to medication thus causing the injury complained of.
The plaintiff, the person taking the claim, has a number of legal hurdles to overcome in order to succeed in his or her case.
2. To succeed in a medical negligence claim, a plaintiff must establish all four elements of the tort of negligence.
(i). A duty of care was owed: a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or health care provider undertakes care or treatment of a patient.
(ii). A duty of care was breached: the health care provider failed to conform to the relevant standard of care.
(iii). The breach in duty of care caused a personal injury: The breach of duty of care was a proximate cause of the injury.
(iv). Damages: Without damages (losses which may be financial or emotional), there is no basis for a personal injury claim, regardless of whether the medical provider was negligent.
Medical Negligence awards Ireland
Medical negligence awards in Ireland may include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are both general and special damages. Special damages include financial losses such as loss of earnings, medical expenses and care expenses. These damages may be assessed for past and future losses. General damages are assessed for the injury itself.
Punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages) are only awarded in the event of wanton and reckless conduct.
What does no-win-no-fee mean?
No-win-no-fee is a term that is used to describe how solicitors charge in personal injury cases. Personal Injury Solicitors frequently offer a no-win-no-fee service to their clients. It means that unless you succeed in your case, you do not pay your Solicitor’s legal fees.
Personal Injury Solicitors in Ireland are not permitted to include any words or phrases which suggest that legal services relating to a compensation claim will be provided on a no win no fee basis. This is provided for in the Solicitors (Advertising) Regulations, 2002. Personal Injury Solicitors in Ireland are entitled however to offer a no-win-no-fee service in personal injury cases. It is important that before you engage your personal injury solicitor, that you query legal fees.