The following is an outline of the steps you should take to give yourself the best possible chance of a successful compensation claim for medical negligence:
Seek legal guidance
If you’ve experienced an injury or illness as a result of inadequate treatment or care in a hospital, and are wondering how to make a medical negligence claim, the best place to start is with the help of a specialist solicitor. At Valerie Kearins Solicitors, our team are happy to oblige clients with expert assistance on matters surrounding medical malpractice and hospital negligence.
Gather medical records and evidence
When it comes to compensation claims for medical negligence, the facts matter. Having evidence of medical history and documentation to support your claim lends credibility and is essential for attributing liability to the defendant in your case.
Your medical negligence solicitor will request access to your medical records, and carry out a review to develop a strong foundation for a claim. They may also decide that an independent, third-party examination may be required to satisfy whether or not medical negligence has occurred.
Proceed with a claim
If it is evident that medical negligence has occurred, the next step is for your solicitor to proceed with an action on your behalf. This will involve drafting a letter of claim that is addressed to the liable parties. This letter will state the nature of the medical negligence that occurred and invite the involved parties to settle the claim, which will be for an appropriate compensation amount determined by the specifics of your case.
Only around 3% of medical negligence cases end up going to court, as most cases are settled before this point. If your case does go to court, your solicitor will begin putting things in motion by filing the appropriate court papers. As discussed below, proceedings must be issued within two years of the negligent act so as to abide by the statute of limitations.
As you can imagine, the nature of an injury or illness plays a large part in determining the amount of compensation awarded in a hospital negligence claim. For example, an injury such as a broken bone or minor infection might net the claimant several thousand euros, whereas a life changing spinal injury or fatality could end in settlements of hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions.
In 2022, the Irish Examiner reported that a total of €2.4 billion has been paid out by the State in medical negligence and hospital accident claims since 2003. As such, there are precedent awards made in situations where the claimant has experienced injuries comparable to yours that can be used to help value the compensation given for a hospital negligence case.