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Hospital Negligence Guide

Do you have a real claim?

It can be hard to accept that human failure is a fact of life, and even when we put ourselves in the hands of professionals, errors will occur. As in-demand hospital negligence solicitors we find that apart from compensation, often people need to understand what went wrong and how they came to suffer unnecessarily. Because of the current system, which is not transparent, often the only way to get answers is to go through the long and involved process of making a hospital negligence claim

If you or a loved one have sustained an injury as a result of a hospital treatment, you probably want to know if you actually have a hospital negligence claim to bring, and whether you are likely to receive compensation.

To answer this question, you should talk to a specialist solicitor, who will need to consider a range of factors. These will include the existence of an actual injury, negligence, liability, and other issues, including whether it is too late to bring a claim.

Injury and damage

Even with hospital negligence you can only claim compensation for an actual injury, and for example a near miss incident – unless causing psychological trauma – is not sufficient to bring a successful claim using a hospital solicitor.

Negligence

Hospital negligence happens in a wide variety of different situations. A hospital can be held to account for the negligence of their employees, including their doctors, nurses, technicians, and other clinical and non-clinical staff. Some examples include:

Poor record keeping, misreading of charts, test results or drug information sheets can cause havoc to patients. In 2008 alone there were 8,250 medication incidents in Irish hospitals.

In the same year there were 5,559 treatment incidents, and these can include the nightmare scenario we have all heard of where a surgical tool has been left inside a patient’s body causing severe problems.

300 patients fell in hospital showers. Some of these suffered fractured bones. Many of the subsequent hospital negligence claims found the cause to be patients taking showers without the correct supervision. In at least one of these cases the hospital’s poor drainage left the shower facilities permanently flooded and slippery.

Liability

With respect to any personal injury claim, the injury sustained must result from the negligence of someone who had a duty of care towards you at the time of and in the circumstances of the incident.

It is quite apparent that a hospital and their staff owe a duty of care to patients, but in contrast to other personal injury cases, it is often difficult to prove negligence on the part of the hospital when an injury has occurred, an illness has been contracted or a misdiagnosis has been made.

Value of Claim

The ultimate value of your claim is based on the injuries that you actually sustain, rather than the nature of the accident itself, which is of secondary importance. Injuries are usually valued according to their level of seriousness, and whether or not they require expert diagnosis. The permanent nature and persistence of the injury are also valued. Clear and full medical records are usually a vital factor in assessing the value.

Loss of Earnings

If you have suffered a significant loss of earnings, for example, due to a lengthy absence from work, or if your ability to work has been impaired then you will likely receive an award for this, as part of your total settlement figure.

Is it too late to bring a claim?

The “Statute of Limitations” is the time limit within which an injured person can bring a claim. This is typically two years from date of the accident, however this is a complex legal area, and it is essential to receive legal advice on this matter.

Your case is unique

Every hospital negligence case is unique, and it is advisable to seek expert advice from a speicalist solicitor, because very often people who claim compensation settle for an amount that does not truly compensate them for the suffering they have experienced.

For professional expert advice on your case you can talk to us now, by calling our legal claims helpline or by filling in our call back form at the bottom of this page.

What can you Expect?

When you call us, you will be put through to an expert solicitor who is very experienced in hospital negligence claims.

We will listen to you as you tell us about your claim in complete confidence.

We can normally tell you quickly if your claim is worth pursuing, the likelihood of your succeeding, and what will be involved in the claim’s process, including how long it usually takes.

We can also tell you the general level of compensation, and if there are likely to be any costs involved.

The result of the call is advice about what you should consider doing next.

Right now, the easiest next step is to call our legal claims helpline. If you cannot speak with us now, simply fill in the contact form below to request a call from us at any time that is convenient for you.