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Medical Negligence Solicitors

Medical errors can have a significant impact on a person’s health, wellbeing, career and personal life, as well as their loved ones.

Where those errors are caused by medical negligence (also sometimes referred to as ‘clinical negligence’), compensation may be available for those affected.

Medical care may be considered negligent where:

  1. A patient was owed a duty of care by a clinical professional.
  2. That duty of care was breached by substandard treatment (i.e. the care provided fell below the standard expected of a competent clinical professional).
  3. The errors made resulted in injury to the patient (including both physical and psychological injury).

Types of clinical professionals it may be possible to pursue a claim against include doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, midwives, psychiatrists and surgeons.

Compensation for medical negligence can potentially cover specific financial costs such as paying for medical treatment, rehabilitation services, care support and specialist equipment, as well as lost income.

It may also be possible to claim for the non-financial impact of negligent medical care, such as pain and suffering and loss of amenity (i.e. not being able to carry out activities the claimant previously enjoyed).

There is a two-year time limit for most types of medical negligence claims, so it is important to keep this in mind when considering pursuing compensation.

Our expertise with medical negligence claims in Ireland

For 35 years, our medical negligence solicitors in Dublin and Galway have helped clients to claim compensation for a wide range of medical errors and injures. We make sure claims are handled effectively from the outset, ensuring no detail is overlooked and that clients understand what is happening and what to expect at every stage of the claims process.

Lavelle Partners is consistantly recognised by national and international legal directories. The Medical Negligence Team were recognised in the Sunday Independent’s Best Law Firms 2022 and 2023.

Head of Medical Negligence Avril Scally has over 16 years’ experience dealing with a wide range of claims for clients all over Ireland and is a member of AVMA (Action Against Medical Accident) and APIL (the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers).

As well as helping with the legal side of pursuing a medical negligence claim, our team can also assist with accessing specialist care and rehabilitation services.

Our medical negligence solicitors can assist with all types of claims, including:

We are also highly experienced in dealing with all types of personal injury claims.

How medical negligence claims work

Before anyone can make a claim for medical negligence, they must first obtain a report from an appropriate qualified medical expert to confirm that the medical care you received fell below acceptable standards.

For a valid claim, it will need to be shown that two conditions have been met:

A breach of duty of care – It must be shown that the clinical staff providing treatment owed the patient a duty of care and that they breached that duty of care by making mistakes that no other health professional would have made under the same circumstances.

Harm suffered due to that breached duty of care – It must be shown that the harm a patient suffered was caused by the clinician’s errors i.e. on the balance of probability, the harm would have been avoided if the clinician had not made the errors that they did.

The balance of probability means that it must be shown there is at least a 50% chance that the clinician was responsible for the harm a patient suffered.

How much compensation is available for a specific instance of medical negligence will be determined by the impact on the patient of the harm caused. This can include:

  • Any financial costs or losses caused by the patient’s injuries
  • Future financial losses or costs the patient expects to incur due to their injuries
  • The non-financial impact on the patient’s life such as:
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of amenity (not being able to carry out activities the claimant previously enjoyed)

In many cases, it is possible to settle medical negligence claims out of court through a voluntary settlement with the clinician or healthcare provider responsible for a claimant’s injuries. This can potentially make the claims process faster and involve lower legal fees.

Where a settlement cannot be negotiated, it may be necessary for a medical negligence claim to be pursued through the courts. In such cases, it is important for claimants to have effective representation to ensure their case is built and presented in the strongest possible way.

Often there is the need for immediate financial support to cover costs such as fees for medical treatment, rehabilitation care and other essential support.

Where this is the case, it may be possible to secure interim payments while a claim is ongoing, allowing the claimant to access the support they need sooner.

Where someone has died due to medical negligence, an appointed personal representative of the deceased  may be able to make a claim under the terms of the Civil Liability Act, 1961, Part 4. They will have two years from the the date of death to do so.

In the event that a personal representative is not appointed within six months of the date of death, anyone who was a dependant of the deceased at the time of their death can potentially pursue a claim within the time limit.

Compensation for a fatal medical negligence can include damages for:

  • Psychological distress – capped at €35,000
  • Loss of dependency – covering the loss of financial and practical support from the deceased
  • Specific financial losses resulting from the death – including funeral expenses

Find out more about fatal medical negligence claims.

What our clients say

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the amazing legal work Avril Scally and Lavelle Partners did on my behalf. Avril and the team did everything in her power to help me to settle and resolve my case. I am so grateful for her passion, dedication, and professionalism. I’ve never hired solicitor before, but Lavelle Partners are no doubt the best company I could have ever worked with. Thank you so much!!!

Anna Nakoskina, medical negligence client, 2022.

Lavelle Partners helped me when I was in a very tough time. I would highly recommend Avril Scally and her team. She was very professional and kind from day one. She was very patient with me and explained the whole process. She did a brilliant job. I could not thank her enough.
I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone!!

Valentina Illies, medical negligence client, 2022.

Avril Scally and the medical negligence Team of Lavelle Partners were a beacon of advice, trust, guidance, professionalism and support to me and my family since day one and have helped to come to a very satisfactory resolution of a case which seemed challenging. Not only was she able to perform brilliantly all the tasks required for my case, her calm and empathetic demeanour offered emotional support to myself and those I care about most. My family and I are eternally grateful for the service and I hereby recommend Avril Scally and Lavelle Partners without doubt.

Anna N, medical negligence client, 2022.

I highly recommend Lavelle Partners especially Nicholas Moore for his Continuous hard work and dedication I am very grateful for all the help and support i have received from Lavelle partners over the past 4 years! Now the matter has settled i can now relax thanks to lavelle partners and Nicholas moore for all their efforts.

Kerrie Cooney, medical negligence client, 2022.

Just like to thank Avril and her team. Very professional. Always kept up to date. Always time to answer questions. Nick and Majella were very helpful always on hand and if busy emailed back straight away. Would highly recommend for all your legal requirements.

John Horrigan, medical negligence client, 2022.

Avril and her team provided a first class service with prompt communication and clear guidance during a very difficult time for me. Thanks for the positive outcome and all your help and support.

Martina Burke, medical negligence client, 2022.

Avril and her team have been really supportive and patient during a long personal injury case.

Riccardo Pellegrin, personal injury client, 2022.

A key point is that the two-year time limit will be counted from the ‘date of knowledge’ i.e. the date when the claimant was first aware of the following key points:

  1. That they/their loved one has been injured.
  2. That the injury was significant.
  3. That the injury was caused by negligent medical treatment.
  4. The identity of the person responsible for the injury.

The date of knowledge could potentially be weeks, months or even years after the injuries occur, so this can have a significant impact on how long a person has to claim.

Where the claimant was under 18 at the time the negligence occurred, the standard two-year time limit will be counted from their 18th birthday.

They and/or their parents or guardians will therefore have until the claimant turns 20 to make a claim.

If the claimant is deemed to lack the mental capacity to pursue a claim themselves, there is normally no time limit for someone else to make a claim on their behalf.

If the claimant later regains mental capacity (e.g. if they wake from a coma) then the two-year time limit will be counted from the date of knowledge as with a standard claim.

If someone has died as a result of medical negligence, then a representative of their estate will have two years to bring a claim from the date of death.

Our medical negligence claims pricing

The exact fees for pursuing a medical negligence compensation claim will depend on the circumstances. Factors that may affect these costs include whether the claim can be resolved with an out-of-court settlement or whether court proceedings are required.

Our team will discuss costs and funding options during clients’ initial consultation.

*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 S.I. No. 229 of 2019.

Recent cases

Lavelle Partners successfully secured a significant settlement on behalf of a Plaintiff who developed right brachial plexus and a number of other conditions as a result of his negligent delivery

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Lavelle Partners successfully settled a matter on behalf of the parents of a baby that died at birth as a result of hospital negligence

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