Failure to Diagnose Appendicitis Claims

Is it true that failure to diagnose appendicitis claims have to be heard in court or can I make an application for assessment to the Injuries Board?

Answer:

Under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, the Injuries Board Ireland will assess applications for personal injury compensation “other than a personal injury arising out of medical negligence” and, as a claim for the failure to diagnose appendicitis would be resolved by medical opinion rather than tangible evidence, the Injuries Board Ireland will decline to assess any failure to diagnose appendicitis claims submitted to it in error. However, this does not mean that litigation in court is always necessary to resolve a compensation claim for the failure to diagnose appendicitis.

Once it has been established that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in those circumstances” was attributable to the negligence of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care, a solicitor acting your behalf would sent the negligent medical practitioner a Letter of Claim advising them that a claim for the failure to diagnose appendicitis was being made against them. If the medical practitioner – or more frequently his or her medical insurance company – admits liability for your injury, then negotiations can start to determine how much compensation for failing to diagnose appendicitis you should receive.

Only if the medical practitioner denies his or her liability for your injuries – or the insurance company is unwilling to pay how much compensation for failing to diagnose appendicitis your solicitor believes you are entitled to – will your solicitor issue court proceedings. Even at this stage, the issuing of court proceedings does not mean that your failure to diagnose appendicitis claims will be heard in court as insurance companies are often unwilling to take a risk with a judge´s verdict and pay offer an out-of-court settlement.

At any stage once the Letter of Claim has been sent, you may be approached directly by the insurance company with an offer of compensation for failing to diagnose appendicitis. You should always refer these approaches to your solicitor as the insurance company´s motive for approaching you directly is to offer you a reduced settlement in return for a swift payment. If their offer is tempting because you have concerns about short-term finances, your solicitor can apply for interim payments of compensation until your claim for the failure to diagnose appendicitis is fully resolved. Should you inadvertently accept an offer of compensation for failing to diagnose appendicitis which proves to be inadequate, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more.

Hopefully this answers your question about making failure to diagnose appendicitis claims for compensation but, in case you have any further misconceptions about claiming compensation for failing to diagnose appendicitis, you are advised to speak directly to an experienced medical negligence solicitor at the first practical opportunity.