Is it too late to make gynaecologist compensation claims if I have just found out that a procedure I underwent several years ago has left me infertile and unable to have children?
If you have just discovered that you are infertile due to a procedure that you underwent several years ago, you may still be eligible to make gynaecologist compensation claims. The Statute of Limitations in Ireland allows you two years from the “date of knowledge” that you have sustained an injury to make a claim for gynaecologist medical negligence compensation; however before you can be sure that you are entitled to claim compensation for gynaecologist medical negligence, it has to be established that your gynaecologist was negligent and that you sustained an injury which could have been avoided had another course of action been taken when you underwent the procedure.
Prior to undergoing any medical procedure, the risks of that procedure should have been explained to you and your consent to carry on with the procedure should have been obtained. If your gynaecologist has failed in his or her duty of care to fully explain what the significance and risks of a procedure were, they will be considered to have been negligent and you will be entitled to claim gynaecologist medical negligence compensation. You may also be eligible to make gynaecologist compensation claims if the procedure had been performed with a lack of skill or if you developed an infection after the procedure due to a lack of hygiene.
However, if you consented to a procedure which carried the risk of infertility, or your infertility is due to an infection which developed after the procedure and was caused by your own lack of care, a claim for gynaecologist compensation will be unsuccessful. It might also be the case that you consented to a procedure such as for endometriosis, which would indicate that you could possibly have been infertile before the procedure took place, and your inability to have children was already present rather than caused by the negligence of your gynaecologist.
As you can see, gynaecologist compensation claims are far from straightforward and consequently the Injuries Board Ireland will decline any applications for assessment of compensation for gynaecologist medical negligence submitted to them. If you feel that you have a claim for gynaecologist compensation based on the information provided above, it is recommended that you speak with a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible and discuss the circumstances of the procedure you underwent several years ago – including what you were told beforehand and what happened afterwards.
If the solicitor agrees that you have a claim for gynaecologist medical negligence compensation which is worth your while to pursue, he or she will arrange for a gynaecological expert to review your relevant medical notes, examine you independently to establish whether the injury you received was due to a lack of skill by the gynaecologist or a post-procedure infection for which you will not to blame. Once it is determined that your gynaecologist was negligent and that you sustained an injury which could have been avoided had another course of action been taken, your solicitor will send the gynaecologist a Letter of Claim – informing them that you are making a claim for gynaecologist compensation against them and inviting an offer of settlement.
When a very strong case has been constructed for gynaecologist medical negligence, the resolution of your claim should not take long. Court action is rarely a factor when negligence can be proved, and often the only dispute is over how much compensation for gynaecologist medical negligence you are entitled to receive. In this respect you should be wary of any approach made directly to you by the gynaecologist´s medical insurance company as, if you inadvertently accept an inappropriate offer of settlement from the insurance company, you cannot go back for more.
As you have already discovered that you are unable to have children in the future, the two year period in which you are allowed to make gynaecologist compensation claims has already begun and you are advised to speak with a medical negligence solicitor about your claim at the first possible opportunity.