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Hospital Negligence

There is little doubt that our hospitals are now facing considerable demand for beds and services.

Despite this, the thousands of staff that are tasked with providing physical and psychological health services across Ireland work tirelessly to provide the best level of care possible.  The demand for services is due in part to the ageing population, but also the general trend of providing increasingly complex medical interventions which were unthinkable even a couple of years ago.  Recognising the need for increased funding, in 2018, the government committed to investing €10.9billion of capital funding for the health services over the next decade.

Medical professionals in all hospitals, whether private or public, have a duty to protect the health of patients.  And when serious mistakes occur in medical treatment, also referred to as medical (or clinical) negligence, patients have a right to seek recourse.  In some cases, claimants are primarily driven to ensure that what happened is investigated and changes put in place such that another patient isn’t impacted by the same negligent act.  Many patients also have a real need to claim for damages relating to the costs associated with their injury.  Regardless of the reason for bringing a claim, Lavelle Partners can guide you through the process.  At what is most often a deeply difficult time, physically and emotionally, claimants need to know their case is in the hands of a team of legal professionals who can take care of the matter, allowing them to focus on their recovery, or that of their loved one.  Our hospital negligence solicitors, headed by Avril Scally, will first take the time to listen to the details of your case, and advise you openly and honestly if you have grounds for a claim.  However, our focus is not merely on the legal aspects of your case.  We place the wellbeing and support of you and your family at the heart of what we do – helping you each step of the way.

What is hospital negligence?

Any act (or failure to act) by a health professional within a hospital setting, which causes you damage, injury, disease or illness, may constitute medical negligence.  It is important to understand that not every action will be deemed in law an act of negligence.

Taking into account the breadth of physical and psychological roles within any hospital across Ireland, there are many examples of potential negligence by health professionals; these might include (but are not limited to) the failure to:

  • Provide a correct diagnosis in a timely manner
  • Perform surgical procedures in a safe manner (including anaesthesia)
  • Carry out medical procedures safely
  • Review or correctly interpret scans, test results, x-rays, or any other diagnostic method
  • Assess and treat patients within the required timescales
  • Make sound clinical judgements
  • Treat pressure sores
  • Ensure hospital facilities, instruments, and equipment are sterilised properly
  • Observe infection control protocols
  • Inform patients of risks of medication or treatment
  • Provide the correct medication or correct dosage
  • Ensure facilities are safe (e.g. free from falls risks)
  • Communicate effectively at all levels
  • Assess risks

If you are unsure if the events that happened to you would be considered medical negligence, please contact one of our hospital negligence solicitors who will take the time to hear the details of your situation and advise you of your options.

Can I bring a claim for hospital negligence?

You may be able to bring a claim for hospital negligence which has caused you harm depending on the circumstances.  To prove medical negligence, it must be shown that:

  • The standard of care you received fell below that of a competent health professional of the same level and;
  • This negligence caused damage or injury.

Ultimately, this test is designed to determine if another health professional in the same role would reasonably have made the same mistake.  For example, if an error is made during surgery, it might be deemed that such an event could have happened to any competent surgeon, such were the risks of the procedure.  If on the other hand, unreasonable risks were taken which other surgeons would have understood and mitigated, this may suggest negligence has occurred.

If you have reason to believe you have suffered damage or injury as a result of a mistake made in hospital, we may be able to assist you.

Why should I consider Lavelle Partners to handle my case?

  • Lavelle Partners have successfully managed many cases involving injury or disease as a result of hospital negligence.
  • Our personal injury team, headed by partner, Avril Scally, who herself has over 15 years’ experience in medical negligence claims, place client care at the centre of everything they do.
  • From the first moment you speak to one of our solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case.
  • We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by those affected by medical negligence injuries.
  • Our solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes and managing the submission of your medical negligence claim.

By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important, your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.

Recent cases

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For further information on making a claim following health problems caused due to hospital negligence in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at [email protected]

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.

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