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Medical Negligence in Ireland: Recognising Potential Cases and Seeking Legal Help

While we trust medical professionals with our health and well-being, unfortunately, sometimes mistakes happen. These mistakes can sometimes constitute medical negligence, leaving you with physical, emotional, and financial burdens.

Martin A. Harvey & Associates understands the sensitive nature of these situations and wants to empower you with information to recognise potential medical negligence and guide you towards seeking legal help if necessary.

What is Medical Negligence?

In Ireland, medical negligence occurs when a medical professional, through breach of duty of care, causes you harm. This breach could be:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: Failing to correctly identify an illness, leading to delayed treatment and complications.
  • Surgical errors: Mistakes during surgery causing injury or complications.
  • Medication errors: Prescribing the wrong medication, dosage, or failing to consider allergies.
  • Failure to inform: Omitting information about risks or treatment alternatives, affects your ability to make informed choices.

Recognising Potential Cases:

Red flags that might indicate medical negligence include:

  • Unexpected outcomes: Experiencing complications or worsening symptoms after treatment.
  • Departures from standard practices: Questionable procedures or a lack of communication about treatment options.
  • Unsatisfactory explanations: Feeling dismissed or having concerns brushed aside by medical professionals.
  • Significant deterioration in health: A decline in health beyond the expected course of the illness.
  • Mounting medical bills: Unexpected or excessive charges due to complications or errors.

Seeking Legal Help:

If you suspect medical negligence, consult a legal professional specialising in personal injury law. We at Martin A. Harvey & Associates offer:

  • Free initial consultations: Discuss your case and understand your options without pressure.
  • Expert assessment: Evaluate the potential for a medical negligence claim based on facts and evidence.
  • Representation throughout the process: Guide you through legal complexities and advocate for your rights.
  • No win, no fee: You pay only if we secure compensation for your case.

Remember:

  • Time is of the essence: There is a two-year time limit to commence legal proceedings in Ireland for medical negligence claims.
  • Seek expert advice: Consulting a qualified personal injury lawyer ensures your rights are protected and your case is presented effectively.
  • Don’t suffer in silence: You deserve compensation for the harm caused by medical negligence.

Contact Martin A. Harvey & Associates today for a free consultation. We are here to listen, guide, and fight for your rights.

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with a qualified legal professional for personalised guidance on your specific situation.

Martin A. Harvey & Associates is here to support you through this challenging experience. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

maharvey@martinharvey.ie 

+353-(0)21-4963400 / 4271006

Navigating Winter Personal Injury Risks

As winter descends upon the Lee, our beloved city is transformed into a serene winter wonderland. However, along with the beauty of the season comes a set of unique challenges that can pose risks to your safety. Below, we explore the potential winter personal injury risks and discuss the essential steps to take if you find yourself facing an unfortunate incident.

Understanding Winter Risks:
1) Slippery Surfaces: The most prevalent risk during winter is the presence of icy and slippery surfaces. Whether you’re walking on the street, on private property, or even your own home, the chances of slipping and falling increase significantly with the presence of frost, ice and black ice.


2) Road Accidents:Icy roads, reduced visibility, and unpredictable weather conditions make winter a high-risk season for road accidents. Drivers and pedestrians alike need to exercise extra caution and look out for each other to ensure we all get home safely this Christmas.


3) Weather-Related Accidents: Harsh weather conditions such a storms heavy rain and snowfall can contribute to accidents like falling branches or collapsing structures.

Steps to Take After a Winter Injury:
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having suffered a personal injury due to one of the risks above or by any other means, it is important that you do the following.


However, it is important to note that before you embark on a case, you must be able to identify who is at fault and that your injury could have been prevented if proper care had been given. For example, if you slip on ice in a city centre footpath, the council would have a duty of care to keep the area
clear of ice.
Seek Medical Attention: Your health is of utmost importance. If you’ve suffered a winter-related injury, seek medical attention promptly. Not only is this crucial for your well-being, but it also establishes a medical record of your injuries that can be referenced as proof of injury at a later stage.

1) Document the Scene: If possible, document the scene of the incident. Take photographs of hazardous conditions, such as icy sidewalks or poorly maintained areas, as this visual evidence can be crucial for your personal injury claim.


2) Collect Witness Information: If there were witnesses to your accident, obtain their contact information. Their statements may serve as valuable evidence in establishing the circumstances
surrounding your injury and will support your personal injury claim.

3) Report the Incident: Inform the relevant authorities about the incident. This is especially important for accidents on public property, such as footpaths, roads or any other public area. It ensures that the appropriate parties are aware of the potential hazards and should do something to prevent any further injury.


4) Preserve Evidence: Keep any relevant evidence, such as your footwear, clothing, or objects involved in the incident. These items may become essential when building your case and be used as case
evidence.


5) Contact a Personal Injury Solicitor: If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of others or unsafe conditions, consult with a personal injury solicitor. The team of legal professionals and personal injury experts at Martin A. Harvey & Co. will assess the viability of your claim, guide you through the legal process, and help you seek compensation for your injuries and related expenses.


While the winter months are a special time of the year, it’s essential to navigate the season with caution. By understanding the potential risks and taking proactive steps in the event of an injury, you can better protect yourself and your rights. If you find yourself facing the aftermath of a winter-related personal injury, our team of experienced solicitors is here to provide the guidance and support you need to navigate the legal process successfully.


Stay safe, stay vigilant, and enjoy the beauty of winter responsibly. Should you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at maharvey@martinharvey.ie or +353-(0)21-4963400 / 4271006.

Occupational Injury and Work Related Illness Claims

Work related illnesses and occupational injuries can have a significant impact on your wellbeing, and impact your ability to make a livelihood. Occupational injuries or work-related illnesses that have been sustained during the course or duties of a person’s job can manifest in many different ways – and are usually dependent on the job that the person undertakes. In many instances, the injury or illness occurs as a result of an unsafe working environment, practices, or exposure to harmful substances during the course of their duties. If you are faced with an occupational injury or a work-related illness, it’s important that you are aware of your rights, and your ability to make a personal injury claim against the damage and impact. 

What is a work-related illness?

A work-related disease is any illness that is caused or made worse by workplace factors, including diseases that have more complex causes that are a combination of occupational and non-work related factors (Source).

An occupational disease is any disease that is caused primarily by exposure at work to a physical, organisation, chemical or biological risk factor – or even a combination of these factors. Some occupational diseases will develop gradually as a result of prolonged exposure, while others may not manifest until years after the exposure. The latter can cause some challenges in establishing liability and proving negligence after a lapse of time. Queries may also be raised as to the date of knowledge or when the employee first became aware of their symptoms or illness for the purpose of the Statute of Limitations. 

Many types of diseases such as cancer, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders and mental health problems can be caused or made worse by work. 

There are several workplace exposures that are known to contribute to the development or progression of a disease (Source): 

  • Dangerous substances: chemical and biological agents, including carcinogens
  • Radiation: including ionising radiation and ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun
  • Physical factors: vibration, noise, manual lifting and sedentary work
  • Psychosocial factors: work organisational and psychosocial risk factors such as shift work, stress, and bullying

An occupational injury can encompass any harm or damage suffered by an individual as a direct result of their job or workplace environment. These injuries can range from slips, falls, or manual handling accidents, to more severe incidents like machinery malfunctions. 

What can I do if I have suffered from a work-related disease or illness?

In cases where you believe that your work-related illness has been caused due to the negligence of another person or entity, you may want to seek compensation by seeking a personal injury* claim. In these cases you should: 

1. Speak with a Solicitor 

Your first step in making a claim should be to consult a solicitor, who can guide you through the process and protect your rights. They can also provide guidance in submitting your application correctly, procuring your medical report, and advise you on the assessment made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). If you choose to take your claim to court, your solicitor can arrange for the necessary court proceedings to be drafted, and act as your legal representation. The responsible party will need to be contacted in writing.

A medical report will be required as part of your PIAB application, which can be provided by the practitioner who treated you. If you are unable to submit a medical report along with your claim application, you can speak to your doctor about getting a note with details of your illness. You could also choose to submit a copy of your hospital admission records. If none of these options are possible, you can still submit your application and follow up with the medical report at a later date. However, you must submit all relevant documentation within two years. Before assessing your claim, the PIAB may carry out an independent medical examination. 

2. Fill out a Personal Injury Claim Application 

Claims should be sent to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), with the exception of cases of medical negligence. If your claim relates to medical negligence, you can speak to a member of our team today to find out how we can assist you. 

The PIAB is an independent statutory body that assesses “personal injury claims for compensation following road traffic, workplace or public liability accidents” (source).

To submit your claim, you should fill out the application form at piab.ie. You may also submit this form by post.  

3. Submit Your Application 

When you are submitting your form, you will need to include the processing fee as part of the required documentation. If you have medical documentation at this point, you should also include this. If you have suffered any financial losses due to the illness, you must also include these receipts with your application. You can include any other documents you feel are relevant. 

Please note that your claim must be made within two years of the date on which you sustained the injury, per the Civil Liabilities and Courts Act 2004 (source). 

Once the respondent allows the claim to be assessed by the PIAB, it can take over 7 months for a decision to be made. If your claim is taken to court, this will increase to 36 months. For claims assessed after 24 April 2021, the PIAB refers to the Personal Injuries Guidelines as a guideline for awarding personal injury* claims. (Source)

If you would like assistance regarding a work-related illness* claim, please contact our team at Martin A. Harvey & Co. Solicitors, and we would be happy to assist you in any way we can. 

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. 

Public Liability – Accidents in a Public Place

As the summer months loom, many of us will be spending a lot more time out of doors, attending public events and places to enjoy the warmer and drier weather. With these activities comes a certain amount of risk, which can unfortunately result in accident or injury. If you have had an accident in a public place or at a public event, and have been injured due to the negligence of a third party, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. These types of situations might include the following. 

Swimming pools 

Public swimming pools are extremely popular during the summer months, but unfortunately public liability accidents are quite common in this setting as a number of accidents are liable to happen. These circumstances could include:

  • Slips, trips and falls, injuries in and around the pool area
  • Injuries in the pool as a result of the depth not being properly signposted or broken tiles
  • Injuries incurred on waterslides that are not up to standard 

Parks and Amusement Parks 

With the good weather, many of us will flock to our local parks to enjoy the Irish summer while we can. Unfortunately it is all too easy for a day at the park to go wrong. Playgrounds in particular can lead to a variety of accidents and injuries on the play equipment or even a trip or fall. Other incidents in parks might be caused by uneven pathways or hazardous objects left out in walking areas. There may also be building or maintenance works which have not been cleared away properly. 

Public Events: Concerts, Music Festivals, Festivals and Sporting Events 

Events like concerts and festivals are extremely popular during the summer months, with more and more new events being organised every year. With so many attendees in one space, overcrowding can be a major issue. Issues can arise as a result of insufficient or a lack of crowd control, poorly installed barriers, lack of security personnel to manage situations, insufficient lighting, or a lack of maintenance and cleaning staff to keep areas free from hazards such as spills or wet floors. 

In many cases there could be a number of parties who could be involved in organising the event, such as the event managers or organisers, security companies, concessionary suppliers or equipment-hire companies. Your solicitor will carry out enquiries to establish the party at fault for your injury. 

What should you do if you have suffered an injury in a public place or at a public event?

If you have had an injury as a result of an accident in a public place or at a public event, the first thing you should do is to seek the appropriate medical attention. 

If the accident occurred in a public space or at an event, it’s important that you note the names of those you have reported the accident to, along with the company they report to. You should also gather as much evidence as soon as possible after the accident, as this will be important if the third party claims contributory negligence – meaning that the plaintiff is responsible for their own injuries. Photographs and videos of the area or hazard will be important for your claim. If there are any third party witnesses, you should also try to get their contact details. You should only gather this information if doing so will not aggravate your injury. 

At Martin A. Harvey & Co. Solicitors, we have been helping people for decades to navigate personal injury* claims. If you have had an accident in a public place or at a public event, and have been injured due to someone else’s wrongdoing, we can help you with the claims process. Contact us on 021-496 3400 or maharvey@martinharvey.ie.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

**Please note that the PIAB may allow you to take your claim straight to the courts without an assessment ‘if your injury consists wholly or in part of psychological damage which would be difficult to assess by means of PIAB’s assessment procedures’. (Source)

Medical Negligence Claims: Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis 

In our recent blog post on medical negligence claims, we discussed the most common types of claims and the process of making a medical or dental negligence claim. In this post, you might have come across the terms ‘delayed diagnosis’ and ‘misdiagnosis’ which are two unique situations that we will explore in further detail below. 

Medical negligence can be defined as any action by medical staff or members of hospital / clinical staff which fall below an acceptable standard of care and which directly causes injury or disease or allows the health of a person to deteriorate as a result. (Source) Providing a correct, and timely diagnosis is fundamental in ensuring the best possible outcome for a patient. 

What is a misdiagnosis?

A misdiagnosis is considered a form of medical negligence, as it is a dereliction of a practitioner’s duty of care to their patients. This happens when a patient’s condition or symptoms are wrongly identified as another issue. This may lead to the patient receiving incorrect treatment which does nothing to alleviate their actual condition, possibly causing further medical complications and even more harm. 

Some instances of a misdiagnosis include the misinterpretation of test results,  miscommunication with a patient, the failure to identify a root cause, or a related (or unrelated) issue, and false positives or false negatives. Misdiagnosis can also occur during routine screening – some recent examples of misdiagnosis and medical negligence in these cases arise from the scandals associated with national screening programmes such as Cervical Check. 

A misdiagnosis should not be confused with a missed diagnosis, which is where a patient’s condition is not diagnosed – i.e. the failure to identify elements of an illness or disease based on your presenting symptoms, and associated test results. 

What is a delayed diagnosis?

A delayed diagnosis is different from a misdiagnosis: in this instance a patient’s condition is correctly diagnosed, however the timeframe in which this is completed is not as prompt as it should have been, had the medical professional in charge of the case acted efficiently.

This circumstance may be where a patient seeks medical help or advice for symptoms that they are experiencing, but the condition that is causing these symptoms is not diagnosed within a reasonable amount of time. It is the medical professionals’ responsibility to complete the necessary medical tasks (differential diagnosis) to determine whether the patient is in need of further medical attention. A delayed diagnosis might happen when symptoms are dismissed or overlooked, where lab work may be lost or the correct testing or consultation is not sought, or the failure by a medical professional to properly evaluate a patient that has presented to them. This could be a patient presenting to their GP with symptoms that are not fully investigated if at all, or a patient referring to an accident and emergency or primary care centre with specific symptoms, and the patient is not admitted or discharged early without the proper diagnostics. 

Making a medical negligence claim

To bring a claim for medical negligence due to a delayed diagnosis, you will need to provide evidence that the standard of care you received fell below that of a competent medical professional, and the negligence caused damage or injury. It’s important to note that there is a time limit of two years from the date of the negligent event during which you can bring your medical negligence claim. 

If you believe that a condition you have been diagnosed with, could have been identified at an earlier stage, thereby resulting in harm to you, you may be eligible to make a claim. Our dedicated team of specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors at Martin A. Harvey & Co. will assist and guide you through your medical negligence* claim. We are experienced in dealing with all types of delayed or misdiagnoses, and medical negligence* cases. 

If you would like assistance regarding your medical negligence* claim, please contact our team at Martin A. Harvey & Co. Solicitors, and we would be happy to assist you in any way that we can. Freephone 1800 – 396 396 or fill out our contact form here.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

What to do after a car accident

Being involved in a car or road-traffic accident can be a frightening experience, and might leave you quite shaken for some time, in addition to any injuries you might suffer. In the moment, it can be quite difficult to think clearly due to shock. However, by law, there are some actions that you need to take – and others that are advisable for your own safety and insurance purposes. 

What to do if you have been involved in a road traffic accident

If you have been involved in a motor collision, Section 106 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 sets out some actions you will need to take.

First of all: 

  • You should stop the car as soon as possible – it is an offence not to do so. If your vehicle is still moving, pull over as soon as you can. You should then turn off the engine and switch on your hazard lights. 
  • Check yourself and your passengers to ensure everyone is safe. If anybody has been hurt, you should call 999 if necessary. You should try to take some deep breaths and keep calm as much as you can so that you can take stock of the situation. 
  • It’s important that, in the aftermath of the accident, you do not admit fault or apologise until you know exactly what happened – this can protect you from liability if the accident was not your fault. 

What next?

If the collision is serious, do not move the cars. However if it is minor and the cars involved are blocking the road, or causing a danger to other road users, mark their position on the road and then move them. Take photos of the scene of the collision – especially if you are moving the vehicles.  Be aware that damaged cars may be leaking fuel. 

Try to warn oncoming traffic of the accident if it is safe to do so. You could turn on your hazard lights, or if you have a reflective advance-warning triangle then place it on the road far enough from the scene of the collision to give enough warning to approaching traffic. If the collision has occurred near a bend in the road, make sure you’re giving warning to traffic on both sides of the bend. 

You should notify An Garda Siochána as soon as possible, and they may attend the scene of the collision. If a Garda is present at the scene of the collision, you must provide them with the information that they request from you. This could include: 

  • Your name and address, the address at which your car is kept, the name and address of the car’s owner, the car’s registration number, and motor insurance details. 

If a Garda is not present, you must report the accident as soon as you can to a Garda who is nearby or at a Garda station, no more than 24-hours later. 

Gather your information

Get the names, address and telephone numbers of any witnesses – these may be required if a question of liability arises. You should also get the name or number of the Garda to whom the collision is reported. Write down what happened as soon as you can and sign and date your account (including the time) once it’s completed. This will help you to keep your report clear and as accurate as possible and include as much detail as you can: what sort of damage was caused, what were the driving conditions like, what was the time and date of the crash are just a few thought starters. 

Uninsured or unidentified cars: If you wish to claim compensation where you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or unidentified car, you will need to contact the Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).

Making a claim 

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to make a personal injuries claim. Your first step in this process should be to contact your solicitor, who will advise as to whether your claim is valid, and your options in proceeding with the claim. 

For a claim to be successful, fault must be determined. In situations where blame is not clear, there are laws such as the Rules of the Road which will determine fault. Where both parties are somewhat responsible, ‘contributory negligence’ will come into play. You should speak to your solicitor if this is the case. And even if the other driver is not disputing liability for the accident, it’s always best to speak with your solicitor if you were injured in a road traffic accident. 

Road accidents happen in a blink-of-an-eye, but your reaction to them should be informed and considered. If you have been in a road accident or would like to discuss a personal injury that you have suffered, please contact the team at Martin A Harvey & Co. Solicitors and we would be happy to assist you. *

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

What is the Personal Injury Assessment Board?

In our blog on Personal Injury Claims, we discussed the Personal Injury Assessment Board (PIAB) – the statutory body that assesses personal injury claims. But just what is the PIAB and what do you need to know about it if making a personal injury claim?

What is the Personal Injury Assessment Board?

The PIAB is an independent statutory body, to which all personal injury claims in Ireland must be submitted. This does not include medical negligence claims. The purpose of the PIAB is to provide an independent assessment of personal injury claims for compensation following incidents such as road traffic accidents, workplace accidents and public liability accidents.  

According to Citizens Information, claims are usually assessed approximately seven months from the point when respondents consent to having the claim assessed. In court, this can take up to 36 months.

How do I make an application to the Personal Injury Assessment Board? (PIAB)
While you can make an application to the Injuries Board without the assistance of a solicitor, it is recommended by the Law Society of Ireland that members of the public should use a solicitor in their dealings with the PIAB, as a competent personal injury solicitor will be experienced with the application process and all of its various requirements. This will also ensure that your claim will progress smoothly and in an efficient manner.

1. Your first step in making an application to the PIAB should be to speak with a personal injury solicitor, who will be able to provide you with the information that is required to submit your application. They will then prepare your file and gather all required information. The following details are usually required to complete your application: 

  • Details of the accident;
  • Details of the injuries you have suffered, including evidence such as photographs;
  • Details of any previous injuries, conditions or accidents you have been involved in;
  • A list of the expenses that you have incurred as a result of this accident, such as your medical bills;
  • A description of the person who is at fault.

It’s extremely important that you identify the correct person at fault when you are making your application. If you have identified someone to be at fault, and the PIAB does not agree with your identification of the person at fault, then the accused person can apply for an order of costs to be issued. This means that you will be obliged to pay their legal fees. 

It’s also vital that your form is completed correctly as there will be no opportunity to amend or re-submit it. 

2. A medical report will be a key part of your claim as it will confirm the details of your injuries. Your solicitor can request this from the medical professional that treated you, and it should include a prognosis, estimated time for recovery and details of any treatments that are necessary for your case.

In cases where a psychological injury has been sustained, your solicitor will request a report from the psychologist that treated them.

3. Form A

  1. Once your solicitor has received your medical report, they will have all of the information needed to start processing your application to the PIAB. They should now start completing what is called a ‘Form A’, which will be submitted with copies of your medical reports and other relevant documentation. 

Online applications cost €45, and the submission of postal or email forms cost €90.

The PIAB will confirm with you once they have received your application. They will issue a reference number for your application, notify the person / company of your personal injury claim against them and also send them a copy of your application form and relevant medical reports.

4. Your claim will then be assessed by the PIAB, and they will make their decision. If their conclusion is in your favour, then the PIAB will suggest a compensation amount to be paid by the party at fault. You cannot negotiate this offer – only accept or reject it. The next steps in your claim are determined by your mutual agreement (with the person deemed at fault) or your disagreement on the compensation amount. You will have 28 days to make this decision.

  • If you both agree to the compensation amount, the PIAB will issue an ‘Order to Pay’ which orders the person at fault to pay the compensation due to you;
  • If one or both of you do not agree to the suggested compensation amount, then you will be issued with an Authorisation to move the claim forward and issue legal proceedings to resolve the matter. 

PIAB Time Limits

The PIAB has a period of nine months from the date they receive your application to assess your claim. If this is not possible, you will be contacted by the PIAB with a request for an extension. 

If there has not been an agreement on the PIAB’s assessment of your case, you will be issued with an Authorisation to move to Court proceedings. You will have six months from this date to issue legal proceedings to bring the personal injury claim to court. 

Claimants have a two-year time limit from when the accident occurred to make a personal injury claim. If you do not start the claims process within this period, your claim will not be enforceable. 

However, in some cases a person may not know they have been injured. If this is the case, the two-year limit will start from the time that the person becomes aware of their injuries. 

What type of accidents are dealt with by the PIAB?

Road Traffic Accidents: this includes anything from car, truck, and bus accidents, to motorcycle and bicycle accidents, and even accidents involving pedestrians. 

Accidents at Work: these types of accidents usually include slip, trip and falls at work; injuries incurred through manual handling or from hazardous environments; or repetitive strain injuries to name a few. 

Accidents in a Public Place: also called Public Liability Claims, these types of accidents can include slip, trip and fall incidents in public places such as a shopping centre, public park, shops, on a pavement or footpath, or on someone’s property. 

Exceptions to the PIAB process

It’s important to note that there are a number of injuries that are not assessed by the PIAB. These include: 

  • Medical negligence (read more here);
  • Assault claims; 
  • Cases where the injuries sustained are solely psychological. However where there is a psychological / psychiatric element to a personal injury claim, the PIAB will likely proceed in their assessment. 

The PIAB may also decline claims where there are complexities arising from pre-existing medical conditions.

At Martin A. Harvey & Co. Solicitors, we have been helping people for decades to navigate personal injury* claims. If you have been injured due to someone else’s wrongdoing, we can help you with the claims process. Contact us on 021-496 3400 or maharvey@martinharvey.ie.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

**Please note that the PIAB may allow you to take your claim straight to the courts without an assessment ‘if your injury consists wholly or in part of psychological damage which would be difficult to assess by means of PIAB’s assessment procedures’. (Source)

What is a medical negligence claim?

If you have suffered a personal injury that has been caused as a result of medical practice, you may be in a position to make a medical negligence claim. 

Medical negligence can be defined as any action by medical staff or members of hospital / clinic staff which fall below an acceptable standard of care and which directly causes injury or disease or allows the health of a person to deteriorate as a result. (Source)

What are the most common types of medical negligence claims?

There are many different reasons you might seek to put forward a medical negligence claim, but there are several instances that occur most often. These include: 

  • Pregnancy and birth injuries
    These cases will usually involve the mother or child suffering an injury either through the perinatal period (the weeks immediately before and after the birth), preceding or during the delivery, or during the neonatal care phase (referring to babies born before 37 weeks gestation);
  • Failure to investigate and treat medical issues
    Where a patient’s situation or complaint receives insufficient investigation or treatment by the attending medical professional. These circumstances are common in accident and emergency settings;
  • Negligent medical advice and/or care
    Circumstances might include situations where a medical professional does not follow the specific instructions set out by a consultant in terms of a patient’s care – such as using an incorrect course of medication or incorrect application of these instructions, which are detrimental to the patient’s health. It might also be a case where a GP fails to refer their patients to a relevant consultant despite it being warranted;
  • Medical misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
    These cases might involve a diagnosis that is missed completely, made in error, or significantly delayed thereby causing harm to the patient;
  • Surgical negligence or error
    In these cases, a foreign object may not have been removed from the body after a surgery or unnecessary damage might have been caused during the surgery, such as injuring another organ. For a successful case, the cause of the injury must be a result of negligent treatment or behaviour, and not due to something outside of the surgeon’s control.

If I have suffered emotional distress as a result of medical negligence, am I still entitled to make a claim?

While psychological distress can be more difficult to quantify in a medical negligence claim, it can still be a valid claim if the psychological injury / injuries have been directly caused by the case in question.

In order to substantiate your medical negligence claim, you will need to show that you have suffered from a recognised psychiatric injury. The World Health Organisation’s book on this matter details these injuries in full, however the most common psychiatric issues that would fall under this include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks or severe anxiety
  • Adjustment disorders (an emotional or behavioural reaction to a stressful event or change in a person’s life)

In this case, you will need to undergo a review by a consultant psychiatrist in order to substantiate your medical negligence claim.

How do I make a medical or dental negligence claim?

To be eligible for a medical negligence claim, you will need to establish that 1) a doctor-patient relationship existed, and 2) prove that the medical professional was negligent. Your first step should be to consult a solicitor who will be able to review your medical expert and assess the viability of your claim, and begin the next steps such as instructing an independent report.

Our dedicated team of specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors at Martin A. Harvey & Co. will assist and guide you through your medical negligence* claim. We are experienced in dealing with all types of medical injuries and negligence* cases. 

If you would like assistance regarding your medical negligence* claim, please contact our team here at Martin A. Harvey & Co. Solicitors, and we would be happy to assist you in any way that we can. Freephone 1800 – 396 396 or fill out our contact form here.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

Accidents Involving Public Transport

As the festive season gets underway, many of us may be making more use of public transport options to avoid the lengthy delays and difficulties finding parking that are common in so many towns and cities at this time of year. As a passenger, the responsibility falls on the driver or conductor to follow all safety procedures to transport you safely to or from your destination. Whether you use public transport on a regular basis, or only on a rare occasion, it can be very unsettling and upsetting if you suffer a personal injury or accident while travelling. If you have suffered an injury in a public transport accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. 

Types of Accidents 

There are many types of claims that can result from an accident on a bus. You might have had a trip or fall while on the bus, or getting on or off the bus; been involved in a collision with another vehicle; or an injury sustained on the bus due to poor driving.

Likewise, on a train or tram, you might have suffered an accident while boarding or disembarking the train, or encountering faulty electric doors; you might have encountered a trip or slip hazard such as wet floors that have not been properly identified and dealt with; the train might stop suddenly causing objects to be dislodged or fall, or you yourself might fall onboard as a result. We also regularly hear about tram (Luas) collisions with pedestrians or road traffic accidents in the news.

If you have been travelling with a taxi, you may sustain an injury during an accident while on your journey. This might be a side impact collision, a head-on collision, or a rear-end collision in a taxi. 

The injuries you might have suffered could include whiplash, broken bones or fractures, cuts or lacerations, back, head or neck injuries, brain or spinal damage, or damage to your legs, arms, feet or hands. 

What to do if you have been involved in an accident while using public transport

If you have been involved in a public transport accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention if required. 

  • You should take as detailed an account as possible of the accident including as many details as you can. This should include the taxi registration number and insurance details, or details of any of the drivers and other vehicles;
  • Take photographs or videos of the scene / location if it is safe to do so, as this can also help in assessing the incident at a later stage; 
  • If there are any witnesses, it is recommended that you take their contact details so that their account can be taken into consideration; 
  • Alert the Gardaí – while they might not need to attend every public transport accident, it is important that you report the incident. For any serious accidents, the Gardaí will most certainly need to assess the incident and make a report of the scene. 

Making a Public Transport Accident Claim 

If you have been involved in a public transport accident and have suffered a personal injury, you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim. If you would like assistance regarding your personal injury* claim, please contact our team here at Martin A. Harvey & Co. Solicitors, and we would be happy to assist you in any way that we can. Freephone 1800 – 396 396 or fill out our contact form here

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. 

Weather Related Accidents at Work

The winter weather is starting to settle in, and so too is the prospect of severe weather occurrences. Severe may impact on your ability to undertake your work – or attend your place of work, and so you should be aware of where you stand in relation to presenting at your place of work during these warnings. At this time of year, we also hear a lot more about people suffering from a weather related accident at work.

Some of the most common accidents that occur due to poor weather while at work are slips, trips and falls due to surface water, loose flooring or surfaces, inadequate lighting, and slippery surfaces that may be caused due to leaves or ice. This may result in back and neck injuries, breaks, fractures, or leg, hip or shoulder injuries. Other situations might include exposure or cold stress due to working outdoors in bad conditions. 

Your employer must take reasonable steps to keep your work environment safe. If the relevant guidelines are not followed, and you suffer an injury as a result of this, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Weather related accident at work

If you unfortunately have an accident at work, you should firstly seek medical help if you have been injured. 

In cases where your accident or injury has been caused due to the negligence of another person or entity, you may want to seek compensation by seeking a personal injury* claim. In these cases you should: 

  1. Speak with a Solicitor 

Making a claim can be quite a lengthy and complex process, due to the many stipulations that are required. As such, your first step in making a claim should be to consult a solicitor, who can guide you through the process and protect your rights. They can also provide guidance in submitting your application correctly, procuring your medical report, and advise you on the assessment made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). If you choose to take your claim to court, your solicitor can arrange for the necessary court proceedings to be drafted, and act as your legal representation. 

  1. Contact the Responsible Party 

You will need to contact the responsible party (the respondent) in writing within one month of your accident, advising them of the accident and your resulting injury. If this step is not completed within one month, your PIAB application may not be affected, however it may infringe on your case should you take it to court. The respondent must consent to the PIAB assessment within 90 days of your notice – and if they do not want the claim to be reviewed you may take the claim to court. 

  1. Establish your Medical History 

You will need to submit a medical report as part of your PIAB application. This report can be provided by the practitioner who treated the injury in question. If you are unable to submit a medical report along with your claim application, you can speak to your doctor about getting a note with details of your injury. You could also choose to submit a copy of your hospital admission records. If none of these options are possible, you can still submit your application and follow up with the medical report at a later date. However, you must submit all relevant documentation within two years of sustaining the injury. Before assessing your claim, the PIAB may carry out an independent medical examination. 

  1. Fill out a Personal Injury Claim Application 

Claims should be sent to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), with the exception of cases of medical negligence. If your claim relates to medical negligence, you can speak to a member of our team today to find out how we can assist you. 

The PIAB is an independent statutory body that assesses “personal injury claims for compensation following road traffic, workplace or public liability accidents” (source).

To submit your claim, you should fill out the application form at piab.ie. You may also submit this form by post.  

  1. Submit Your Application 

When you are submitting your form, you will need to include the processing fee as part of the required documentation. If you have medical documentation at this point, you should also include this. If you have suffered any financial losses due to the accident, you must also include these receipts with your application. You can include any other documents you feel are relevant. 

Please note that your claim must be made within two years of the date on which you sustained the injury, per the Civil Liabilities and Courts Act 2004 (source). 

Once the respondent allows the claim to be assessed by the PIAB, it can take over 7 months for a decision to be made. If your claim is taken to court, this will increase to 36 months. For claims assessed after 24 April 2021, the PIAB refers to the Personal Injuries Guidelines as a guideline for awarding personal injury* claims. (Source)

  • It’s a good idea to take photos of your injury or whatever caused your accident, make sure you have contact details for anyone who witnessed your accident, make notes about your accident as soon as possible

If you would like assistance regarding a personal injury* claim as a result of a weather related accident at work, please contact our team at Martin A. Harvey & Co. Solicitors, and we would be happy to assist you in any way we can. 

If your accident happened in a public place, and not your place of work, please refer to our guide on what to do after an accident in a public place.  

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. 

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