Each and every medical negligence case is complex to say the least. At the outset it is impossible to determine the value of any persons case until detailed expert evidence is obtained in relation to the long term prognosis.

Compensation is broken down into different categories. The purpose of compensation is to put those who have been subjected to medical negligence back in the same position they would have been had they not been a victim of negligent treatment. Although, money can never fully compensate those who have been injured as a result of medical negligence, the law regards it as the only way to administer justice, for the wrong that has perpetrated against them.

The courts, in trying to arrive at a suitable figure for compensation, which can otherwise be known as damages, they break it down into two distinct areas, A – general damages and B- special damages

What are general damages?

General damages is compensation to represent pain and suffering to date to include inconvenience and the negative impact that the injury has had on your daily life.

The Judges in this County have imposed an upper limit or cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded for general damages and that currently stands at €350,000

Therefore, you might wonder how hear of cases in the media, where millions of euros have been awarded. Well, in those situations, the general damages, makes up only a small fraction of the overall award the balance of those large awards are made up of what is known as special damages.

What are special damages?

Special damages are items of expenditure which will have to be paid to put the victim back in the same financial position they would have been had they never been injured by the medical negligence in the first place.

Special damages include, loss of earnings. A Plaintiff can claim for both past loss of earnings and also the further loss of earnings if they are unable to return to their same job.

Other items of expenditure that can be recovered as special damages, include medical treatment to date and medical treatment into the future, physiotherapy to date and physiotherapy expenses into the future, nursing care may be required into the future, aids and appliances that you might require, house adoptions or rehousing costs, adapted motor vehicle

When the court looks at the entire picture, they will award a level of general damages and will also award a level of special damages based on actuarial figures in respect of expenditure to date and into the future.

If you have any queries on a medical negligence action please contact us at McElhinney & Associates, Drumboe Lodge, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal on 074 91 75989 or admin@mcelhinneyassociates.com

*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.