Hospital Negligence

The most common medical negligence claims arise from negligence or medical malpractice occurring in a hospital.

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Association, 2022 was the worst year on record for overcrowding in Irish hospitals. 

The staff within the HSE, our national healthcare body, work tirelessly to provide us with a very high standard of care, but the strain on health services in this country has made hospital negligence a recurring issue in recent years.

Practitioners in both public and private healthcare facilities owe their patients a strict duty of care, and when this is breached, there can be grounds for a hospital negligence claim. 

If you have suffered a physical or psychological injury as a result of hospital negligence, you may be uncertain of what steps to take. 

Should you want to move forward with a hospital negligence claim, you may be best served by getting in touch with an experienced medical negligence solicitor

At Sinnott medical negligence Solicitors in Dublin and Cork, we pride ourselves on our dedication to our clients, and always endeavour to provide them with the very best legal advice. 

Contact us today for a detailed assessment of your compensation claim from a specialist hospital negligence solicitor.

What is Hospital Negligence?

Hospital negligence can be defined as any actions by a healthcare professional in a hospital setting that fall below the required standard of care, and directly result in a patient suffering injury, damage or illness. 

This can cover a broad range of medical negligence claims given the scope of actions that are carried out by hospital staff. 

Hospital negligence can occur in any hospital setting – be it an emergency trip to A&E or a scheduled appointment with a specialist practitioner.

Common Hospital Negligence Claims

Certain hospital negligence claims arise more often than others, although there is no definitive list of incidences that can constitute hospital negligence. 

Some of the examples that are considered common include:

  • Misdiagnosis or late diagnosis, resulting in delayed or inaccurate treatment.
  • Infections arising from inadequate surgical care such as unsanitary equipment being used in operations.
  • Hospital infections contracted as a result of spending prolonged periods of time in a hospital setting.
  • Objects left inside the patient’s body post-surgery.
  • Incorrect use of anaesthesia.
  • Operating on the incorrect organ or body part.
  • Damage to organs or nerves due to human error.
  • Inadequate results from surgery due to surgical errors.
  • Failure to obtain the patient’s consent.
  • Incorrect organ removal.
  • Contaminated instruments used for surgical procedures.
  • Errors in prescriptions resulting in a patient taking the wrong medication or no medication at all.

Make A Claim Today

Sinnott medical negligence Solicitors, based out of Dublin and Cork, are here to guide you through your hospital negligence claim today. Contact us for expert legal guidance and a full assessment of your case.

How to Prove Hospital Negligence

Proving hospital negligence can be difficult, as there is often a degree of ambiguity over who, if anyone, is to blame for the injury or illness in question.

The law requires you to prove that, ‘on the balance of probability’, your doctor or practitioner did not meet the required standard of care and did not act reasonably in their course of duty. 

Once you have established that the healthcare professional’s actions were inadequate, you must also prove that their error had a direct impact on your condition. 

If it is shown, for example, that you were diagnosed incorrectly with a certain disease, but that the misdiagnosis did not exacerbate your condition or prevent you from receiving appropriate treatment, it may be difficult to pursue a hospital negligence claim.

Who is Responsible for Hospital Negligence?

Hospitals can have big, sprawling campuses, and every staff member within its facilities has the potential to be charged with hospital negligence. 

You may not realise offhand the number of professions that exist within a hospital, but some of the roles include:

  • Doctors, GPs and physicians.
  • Nurses and nursing assistants.
  • Surgeons.
  • Medical and administrative assistants.
  • Physical therapists.
  • Psychiatrists and psychotherapists.
  • Radiologic technologists.
  • Occupational therapists.
  • Phlebotomists.
  • Cardiovascular technologists.
  • Paediatricians.
  • Anaesthetists.

As this list shows, all manner of healthcare professionals can be held liable for medical negligence, although some, like surgeons, carry a higher risk given the nature of their work.

How Much Compensation Can I Get for Hospital Negligence?

In 2022, the Irish Examiner reported that the state had paid out over €2.4 billion in medical negligence and hospital accident claims since 2003. 

This figure does not include compensation payments that arise following claims from inquests.

Compensation for cases of hospital negligence varies hugely from case to case, but there are examples that can guide us as to the kind of payouts associated with different types of medical negligence. 

In 2020, €22.6 million was awarded to a person who suffered cerebral palsy during birth complications in an Irish hospital. 

€9.4 million was awarded to an individual who suffered a catastrophic non-survivable brain injury.

The State Claims Agency suggests that the average amount of compensation in a hospital negligence settlement in Ireland is €63,000, but obviously this is swayed by drastic figures such as those mentioned above. 

Factors that can influence the amount of hospital negligence compensation you receive include:

  • The severity of your injury and the impact it will have on your everyday life.
  • Any medical bills you incur as a result of your injury.
  • Any loss of earnings you suffer as a result of forced time off work following your injury.
  • Any loss of future income or future medical bills that will be necessary for your recovery.
  • The psychological damage relating to your injury, both for the patient themselves and any loved ones that may be dependent on them.

Make A Claim Today

Sinnott medical negligence Solicitors, based out of Dublin and Cork, are here to guide you through your hospital negligence claim today. Contact us for expert legal guidance and a full assessment of your case.

How to Make a Claim for Hospital Negligence Compensation Against the HSE

If you have been the victim of hospital negligence, it is crucial that you act quickly in order to give yourself the best chance of securing compensation. 

In Ireland, there is a two year period following your accident or injury in which you can make a claim for hospital negligence.

This statute of limitations begins on the ‘date of knowledge’, or the day on which you become aware of the hospital negligence.

Following these steps may give you a better chance of a successful hospital negligence claim:

  1. Seek Specialist Legal Advice: Getting in touch with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor will help you better understand your situation and allow you to formulate a strong case for compensation. You can lodge an official complaint yourself but a solicitor will have better knowledge of the process and the terminology needed for a strong claim. Sinnott Solicitors in Dublin and Cork are on hand to provide expert advice on your hospital negligence claim today. 
  2. Obtain Medical Records: Once your solicitor has assessed your situation and received access to your medical records, they can go about contacting an independent third-party expert to build on your case and lend credibility to your argument. 
  3. Analyse Claim for Compensation: Your solicitor will be able to examine the specific circumstances of your case and come up with a reasonable estimate for compensation. This will be based on factors like the severity of your injury and the impact it has on your life.
  4. Begin Legal Proceedings: It is very unlikely that your hospital negligence case will ever end up court, but any representative at Sinnott Solicitors will approach the case with the expectation that it goes to trial. Court proceedings can often drag on for several months so the sooner you start building your case, the better.

Will I Have to Go to Court for My Hospital Negligence Claim?

The vast majority of hospital negligence cases in Ireland are settled outside of court and will not require you to attend a trial. 

Around 3% of hospital negligence and medical negligence cases end up going to court so the risk of you ending up in a courtroom is low.

Making a Medical Negligence Claim in Ireland

Sinnott medical negligence Solicitors, based out of Dublin and Cork, are here to guide you through your hospital negligence claim today. 

Contact us today for expert legal guidance and a full assessment of your case.

Need Advice? Speak With An Expert.

Sinnott Solicitors are located in Dublin & Cork