Medical Negligence

Medical Negligence Litigation

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Sweeney Solicitors – Medical Negligence Specialists

If you suffer from an injury or disease which you have developed as a result of the poor treatment or misdiagnosis by medical or dental professionals, you may be entitled to claim compensation. 

This is referred to as medical negligence, though sometimes it is called medical malpractice or clinical negligence. It occurs when substandard care is given to a patient, either by action or failure to act, that either worsens their current condition or causes additional injury to them. 

Usually, these injuries are avoidable because the medical practitioner should have adhered to the standard of medical practice and duty of care expected of their profession. However, in most cases, medical professionals are dedicated, diligent and practice in a safe manner.

  • Dental injury claims
  • Cancer misdiagnosis claims
  • Birth injury claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • GP claims

Explore your medical negligence options with us

Our team of medical negligence specialist solicitors in Cork and Dublin will work tirelessly to deliver the highest quality legal representation and advice for your medical negligence claim.

What are the most common types of medical negligence claims?

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Below are some of the most common medical negligence claims. Each would normally be completely avoidable had the medical practitioner adhered to their duty of care.


When you go see a medical practitioner, their goal is to uncover what is troubling you. This diagnosis will determine your course of treatment and your road to recovery. However, medical practitioners can get this wrong. This misdiagnosis can worsen your condition and often, with misdiagnosis cases, the treatment given to them is not addressing the issue. 

The most common cases include:

  • Failure to recognise symptoms of an illness
  • Cancer misdiagnosis
  • Misdiagnosis of testicular torsion
  • Misdiagnosis of fractures and breaks

Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis can be established if you can demonstrate that another medical professional would have diagnosed the patient quicker than the original medical practitioner. Delayed diagnosis can worsen a possibly avoidable condition.

Surgical Error

Surgical errors are among the most devastating medical mistakes you can suffer. Errors in surgery can happen before during and after the surgery occurred. 

A surgical error medical negligence claim not only has to show that you suffered an injury as a result of your surgeon’s or hospital’s negligence, it also has to be proven that the mistakes were avoidable at the time.

Some of the most common surgical error claims have involved:

  • Misdiagnosis of a patient’s condition
  • Retained surgical instruments
  • Surgery without consent
  • Failure to monitor a patient’s vitals during surgery
  • Poor aftercare
  • Anaesthesia errors
  • Errors in cosmetic surgery
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Wrong site surgery
  • Failure to interpret x-rays, scans or MRIs correctly
  • Damage to internal organs, nerves, unintentional lacerations

Medication administration errors

When prescribing medication doctors need to take into account whether it will have an effect when combined with other forms of medication. In cases where a doctor fails to take this into account and you suffer an injury, they may be held liable.

Wrong prescription

If your doctor prescribes the wrong medication which leads to an injury or illness, they may be held liable. This can also happen when a pharmacist gives you the incorrect prescription, despite the doctor prescribing the correct dosage and medication. In these cases, the pharmacist may be held liable for any injuries.

Medical allergy claims

Medical practitioners have a duty to check the medical history of their patients. This is to ensure they do not have an allergic reaction to the prescribed medicine. If a medical professional fails to check history and the patient has a severe allergic reaction, they could be held liable.

What medical practitioners can be held liable?

Here is a list of medical practitioners that have been attributed to medical negligence claims previously:

  • GPs
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Lab Technicians
  • Medical consultants
  • Surgeons
  • Anaesthesiologists
  • Cardiologists
  • Acupuncturists
  • Chiropractors
  • Osteopaths
  • Pharmacists
  • Plastic surgeons
  • Physiotherapists
  • Opticians
  • Dentists
  • Psychologists

The list can also include various members of a medical facility, either in the private or public sector.

How to make a medical negligence claim in Cork and Dublin?

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Medical negligence claims are different to personal injury claims. While personal injury claims must first be assessed by the Injuries Board, medical negligence claims are brought straight to court hearing.

If you are the subject of medical malpractice, you can take the following steps to proceed with your medical negligence claim:

1. Speak to a Medical Negligence Solicitor

Medical negligence is a very complex topic in Irish Law. To make a medical negligence claim, it is often advised to seek out a medical negligence solicitor to assist you with the claim process. You can have confidence our Sweeney Solicitors’ medical negligence specialists will take care of your case while you focus on recovery. 

2. Medical Records

When making a medical negligence claim it is important to gather all the information surrounding your case, particularly any relevant medical records that prove medical negligence has occurred. Your solicitor will likely be able to request access to your medical records.

Your solicitor will draft in an independent medical expert will review your case. They will help confirm whether you have been subject to substandard medical care and medical negligence. Your injuries and illness will also be assessed to determine if they were avoidable.

3. Letter of Claim

Your solicitor will then draft a letter of claim and send it to the relevant people involved. A letter of claim outlines the nature of your medical negligence and invites the medical practitioners at fault to settle your claim.

The next steps involved will heavily depend on the nature of your claim and the response to your claims letter.

This will determine whether your claim is brought to a court hearing or settled outside of court. Your solicitor will be in a position to advise on the best course of action once medical negligence is confirmed and a letter of claim is sent to the relevant parties.

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How to calculate the settlement of a medical negligence claim

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The settlement outcome of a medical negligence claim will depend on particular factors. For example, whether you have a history of similar medical issues, the long-term effects of your injury, the type of injury or illness sustained. These are referred to as two types of damages:

General medical negligence damages

Non-financial damages include; pain and suffering, physical and emotional damage, loss of quality of life, and loss of opportunity.

Special medical negligence damages

These refer to out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the malpractice. These can include: 

  • Loss of earnings and future earnings.
  • Current and future medical bills.
  • Care fees.
  • Costs of adapting a home.
  • Physiotherapy fees.
  • Payments for medical equipment.
  • Expenses for ongoing medication needed.

What’s the time limit to make a medical negligence claim

Medical negligence is a complicated part of Irish law and there is no definitive answer as to how long your claim will take. However, how long you have to make a medical negligence claim is defined.

The ‘Statute of Limitations’ is the formal term for the legal time limit in which you can make a medical negligence claim. This is usually two years minus one day after the date of knowledge of the injury.

The date of knowledge is often the date the accident occurred. However, sometimes, a person may not realise their injury until some time after an accident. In such cases, this is the date of knowledge.

Children are not allowed to make a medical negligence claim because they are classed as minors. Instead, their two-year time limit begins on the 18th birthday.  However, a parent or legal guardian can make a medical negligence claim on behalf of a minor following the medical malpractice. This option is typically more desirable because it is easier to uncover reliable evidence to strengthen the child’s case if they filed as soon as possible.