What is involved in a Medical Negligence claim *
At the very start, it is important that you or your solicitor obtains a copy of your medical records relating to the treatment which you complain of as soon as possible.
Your solicitor will need these medical records in order to obtain an opinion from an independent medical expert as to whether the treatment you received was below the normal standard of care.
Because the Irish medical field is small, your solicitor will usually seek an expert independent medical opinion outside of Ireland. This can result in opinions being quite expensive varying from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand. While this is an expense at the very beginning of the case it is better to sustain the cost of an independent expert report and find out that you have no case at an early stage than to find out that you have no case when you have proceeded to trial and lost incurred substantial legal costs.
To succeed in a medical negligence * case a plaintiff must establish all four elements of the tort of negligence for a successful medical negligence claim* which are:
- A duty of care was owed. An immediate duty is owed whenever a medical practitioner undertakes care or treatment of a patient.
- That duty of care was breached. The medical practitioner must be shown to have failed to conform to the relevant standard care.
- The breach of duty of care caused an injury to the plaintiff
- Damages. Without damages there is no basis for a claim, regardless of whether the medical provider was negligent.
Once all four of the above are present a medical negligence case is established.
As soon as you believe that you may have a medical negligence claim *, you should contact us to discuss whether you have a viable case. Many persons who were the victims of medical negligence have delayed pursuing a claim or contacting their solicitors and therefore were unable to pursue valid claims because their claims have become statute barred. It can take some time to obtain a full copy of medical records however this does not stop the two year timeframe within which you must bring a medical negligence case, from running.