Taking a Medical Negligence Litigation Claim in Ireland with Sweeney Solicitors


Taking a Medical Negligence Litigation Claim in Ireland with Sweeney Solicitors
Navigating the complexities of a medical negligence claim can be daunting, especially in a country
with intricate legal proceedings like Ireland. At Sweeney Solicitors, we’re dedicated to demystifying
this process for you. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to take a medical negligence litigation claim
in Ireland.
1. Initial Consultation:
Begin by seeking legal advice. During an initial consultation with Sweeney Solicitors, we’ll assess the
viability of your claim, explain the legal process, and discuss potential outcomes.
2. Obtain Medical Records:
To substantiate your claim, you’ll need all relevant medical records. These documents will provide a
detailed account of the treatment received and help identify any potential negligence.
3. Independent Medical Examination:
Often, it’s beneficial to undergo an independent medical assessment. This provides an impartial
opinion on the injury or condition and can help correlate it to the alleged negligence.
4. Letter of Claim:
Once enough evidence is gathered, a formal ‘Letter of Claim’ will be sent to the medical practitioner
or institution in question. This letter outlines the nature of the negligence and its implications.
5. Response:
The defendant (medical practitioner or institution) will typically have two months to respond to the
Letter of Claim. Their reply will either admit liability or provide a defence.
6. Legal Proceedings:

If the defendant disputes the claim or an amicable settlement isn’t reached, formal court
proceedings can commence. The case might be heard in the Circuit Court or the High Court,
depending on the severity and value of the claim.
7. Settlement or Trial:
Many medical negligence cases are settled before they reach trial. If a settlement is agreed upon,
the case concludes. Otherwise, it proceeds to a trial where evidence is presented, and a judge
delivers a verdict.
8. Compensation:
If the verdict is in your favour or a settlement is achieved, you’ll be awarded compensation. This can
cover medical bills, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and any future costs related to the injury.
9. Appeal:
Should either party be dissatisfied with the court’s decision, they have the right to appeal. However,
this can extend the litigation process significantly.
10. Concluding the Process:
Once all proceedings are complete and compensation has been awarded, the claim officially
Final Thoughts
Pursuing a medical negligence litigation claim in Ireland requires meticulous attention to detail,
knowledge of the legal landscape, and steadfast determination. At Sweeney Solicitors, we pride
ourselves on guiding our clients through each step with empathy and expertise. If you believe you’ve
been a victim of medical negligence, we’re here to ensure your voice is heard, and your rights are
upheld. Together, we’ll strive for the justice and peace of mind you deserve.
Time Limits for Medical Negligence Litigation Claims in Ireland with Sweeney Solicitors
In the realm of legal proceedings, time is often of the essence. When it comes to medical negligence
litigation in Ireland, specific time limits dictate the viability of a claim. Understanding these limits is
crucial for anyone considering legal action. At Sweeney Solicitors, we’re here to elucidate these time
constraints, ensuring you’re well-informed and empowered to seek justice.
The Statute of Limitations and Medical Negligence
In Ireland, the Statute of Limitations Act sets the general time limits for bringing forward civil claims.
For medical negligence cases, the key points to remember are:

  1. Standard Time Limit: A medical negligence claim must typically be initiated within two years
    from the date of the alleged negligence or from when the injury became known or should have
    reasonably been known. This is commonly referred to as the ‘date of knowledge’.
  2. Exceptions for Minors: For children under the age of 18, the two-year time limit doesn’t begin
    until their 18th birthday. However, if a parent or guardian chooses to make a claim on behalf of the
    child, the standard two-year rule applies from the date of knowledge.
  3. Persons of “Unsound Mind”: If a person is deemed to be of “unsound mind” and incapable of
    managing their affairs at the time of the negligence, the two-year period won’t commence until they

recover or, if they don’t, it will be indefinitely postponed. A legal representative, however, can make
a claim on their behalf.

  1. Claims Against Deceased Medical Practitioners: In cases where the medical professional
    responsible has passed away, claims can be made against their estate. The usual time limits apply.
  2. Ultimate Time Limit: While the ‘date of knowledge’ can sometimes extend the typical two-
    year time frame, there’s an overarching limit of ten years from the date of the actual negligent act,
    after which claims are usually statute-barred. 
    The Importance of Acting Promptly
    While understanding these time limits is essential, it’s equally important to act without delay:
  • Gathering Evidence: Over time, medical records, witness memories, and other crucial pieces of
    evidence can become harder to procure or may degrade in quality.
  • Medical Assessments: Prompt action allows for more accurate current medical assessments,
    linking the injury directly to the negligence.
  • Legal Processes: Legal proceedings, especially in medical negligence cases, can be lengthy.
    Starting sooner ensures that the case isn’t rushed and that all aspects are thoroughly considered.
    Time constraints in medical negligence litigation are not just legal formalities; they are pivotal in
    determining the success of a claim. At Sweeney Solicitors, we always emphasize the urgency of
    acting swiftly and decisively. If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical negligence, do not
    hesitate. Reach out to us, and together we’ll navigate the legal timeline, ensuring every step is taken
    within the bounds of the law, aiming for the justice you rightfully deserve.