Numerous medical negligence claims can end with a positive outcome, however, it is essential to remember that there are several things that each person needs to know before the case can even begin. How to start a medical negligence claim then? Let’s find out.
Is there a time limit to make a medical negligence claim?
Naturally, every country will have different regulations when it comes to the time limit for making a medical negligence claim. In Ireland, however – in accordance with the provisions of the Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004 – that period usually lasts two years. It means that if you want to go forward with your case, you have two years since the date of the injury or two years from the date of finding out about it.
The law recognizes that often individuals may not be aware that medical negligence has happened, and that is why it is possible to start the two-year time limit from the date a person came to be aware of it. Are there situations when the time limit can be prolonged? Yes, there are. For example, if the case concerns a minor or a person with an intellectual impairment, the period may be extended. There are other exceptions, but it is best to consult an experienced solicitor who can provide more information about the details of each case.
Finding an experienced solicitor
How do I start a medical negligence claim? The next step is to get legal help. We believe it’s essential to hire a lawyer who has extensive experience in handling medical negligence cases. Solicitors who specialise in that area will not only help you to understand all the legal terms but will also inform you about all the possible outcomes.
Will I have to go to Court?
Many people think that making a formal complaint means that the case automatically will go to court, but that’s rarely the reality. Most of the time, claims are settled between both sides without the need for a trial. If the evidence of negligence is strong, the defence will probably present you with an offer of a financial settlement.
What if it’s not a hospital?
You should remember that medical negligence claims can be made not only against government-funded organisations but against private ones as well. The law also includes in that group individuals who are providing health care. This means you can file a case against a hospital, private clinic, or even a particular surgeon, dentist, physician, optician, pharmacist, or general practitioner.
What evidence do I need to file a complaint about medical negligence?
Of course, any case will need evidence which corroborates your version of the events and clearly shows that you have been a victim of medical negligence. That is why you will have to provide a detailed account of that medical visit where you have been injured. You will also have to provide your legal team with medical records from that period of time. Opinions from other medical experts on your case, which will confirm the breach in the duty of care, are absolutely critical to a successful outcome.
How long will it take?
Before making your complaint, you should be aware that any legal proceedings can take a lot of time. That period, of course, is dependent on many factors, such as the type of sustained injury, complexity of the case as well as the amount and quality of the evidence.