How long do I have to make a compensation claim for a surgical procedure error?
It is likely that you will have less than two years remaining in which to make a compensation claim for a surgical procedure error in accordance with the Irish Statute of Limitations. The reason for a two year time limit being imposed is so that potential plaintiffs pursue a claim while there is still recent evidence of negligence and also so that negligent parties will not have to continually fear potential litigation. The date that this two year time limit began was the date on which whatever medical consequences you suffered as a result of medical negligence are determined to have been caused by the procedure error during surgery.
If you did not suffer any medical consequences – such as an illness, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition – as a result of errors made in an operation, then it is unlikely that you will able to make a claim, despite the fact that negligence could have clearly occurred. If you did suffer medical consequences as a result of a procedure error during surgery, you should discuss your potential claim with a medical negligence claims solicitor at the first possible moment.
Once you inform the solicitor of the circumstances in which a medical error occurred and the subsequent impact it has had on your life, he or she will be able to tell you if your claim is worth pursuing and also give you a better idea of when your two year time limit for pursuing a compensation claim for a surgical procedure error may have begun. They will also be able to inform you of the exceptions to the Statute’s time limit and if any apply to you. Some exceptions to the Statute include if a person who has been a victim of errors made in an operation has been rendered mentally incapacitated, or if the claim for a procedure error during surgery is being made on behalf of a child.
Your claim for a procedure error during surgery will be calculated by taking into account a variety of factors. The solicitors involved in negotiating how much you should be eligible to will first obtain a base value for your claim from The Book of Quantum. The Book of Quantum is a publication that lists various injuries and how much they are worth based on their extent and permanency. If the particular illness or injury that you have suffered cannot be found, the solicitors will examine previous claim settlements that are similar to yours and find a figure by taking these into consideration.
This figure will then be adjusted by accounting for numerous elements such as your age, sex, general state of health prior to experiencing errors made in your operation, the pain and suffering you experienced as a consequence of errors made in an operation and any resultant effect it has had on your life. For example, if you have incurred or are likely to incur any significant costs this will be covered as part of the area of claim known as special damages. If you have had to make any non-financial changes to your life, or if you have suffered a measurable psychological injury, this will be covered by the area of claim referred to as general damages.
If you wish to make a compensation claim for a surgical procedure error it is advisable that you contact a medical negligence claims solicitor at the first available opportunity. They will be able to provide you with far more specific legal advice than what has been provided here, in addition to advising you on all of your options with regards to making a claim.