If you feel that you are the victim of medical malpractice, then first of all the first step for you is to seek out appropriate remedial medical treatment, and thereafter contact the solicitor who is experienced in the area of medical negligence.

The law holds that doctors are allowed to make mistakes, however the mistake cannot be so grave that another Doctor of similar specialism would not make the same mistake. Therefore there is quite a high bar to reach if one is to prove that the medical treatment was in fact negligent.

If you feel aggrieved by your medical treatment then you should contact your solicitor, who will take a detailed account from you regarding your treatment, they will then gather all of your medical records and will request a medical report from an expert in the relevant area of medicine. The expert chosen will usually be based outside Ireland, in the UK or further afield.

The expert will examine the medical records in conjunction with the outline provided by the client and will give opinion on liability and causation. The patient may have been under the care of a number of medical personnel for example GP, nursing staff, accident and emergency staff, surgeons, and it must be ascertained who in fact caused the injury or who contributed to it.

The consultant will have to give an opinion on whether the error committed by the medical practitioner did in fact amount negligence, and whether that negligence caused the injury to the patient.

Once the expert medical report is to hand then your solicitor will be in a position to issue proceedings on your behalf. These proceedings must be initiated within 2 years of the date of the injury.

What happens after the proceedings issue varies in each particular case. If the hospital or doctor, through their insurance company admit the claim (this is usually on and off the record basis) then they may seek to enter into settlement negotiations and offer you an amount of compensation to settle the claim. If on the other hand they wish to defend the matter then the matter will be brought before a judge who will hear the evidence from you and also from your expert witnesses, and there after the judge will decide on liability and also on the amount of compensation payable.

If you are unhappy with medical treatment received by you, contact McElhinney and associates solicitors for consultation where we can arrange to review your medical records and give you a preliminary opinion

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

**This information is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. No liability is accepted by McElhinney & Associates for any action taken in reliance on the information contained herein. Any and all information is subject to change.