Is it possible to make surgeon negligence claims for compensation if I was the victim of wrong-site surgery?
Inasmuch as there is no defence against surgeon negligence claims for compensation when wrong site surgery has occurred, you have to consider why the error was made and was it actually the surgeon who was negligent.
There are many pre-operation procedures which take place before surgery is performed, and an error could have happened in any one of them – or more than one of them. Therefore, whereas you are entitled to compensation for an injury which could have been prevented had it not been for a poor professional performance, it may not be correct to blame the surgeon and pursue compensation for surgeon negligence.
Because of the number of potential negligent parties, and the fact that surgeon negligence claims are usually resolved by medical opinion rather than tangible evidence, the Injuries Board Ireland will declined any application for assessment which is submitted to them – even when the negligent party responsible for your wrong site surgery is identified.
Instead, you will have to engage the services of a medical negligence solicitor who will construct a claim for surgeon negligence compensation based on the details the solicitor is able to obtain from your medical records. He or she will be assisted by an expert in surgical procedures, who will help your solicitor to identify where an error has been made in the process leading up to the wrong site surgery.
Thereafter, all the identified negligent parties – including the surgeon who performed the operation – will be sent a letter of claim advising them that multiple surgeon negligence claims are being made and it is believed that they could have contributed to the reason behind your wrong site surgery. Normally, “respondents” are given 90 days to either acknowledge or deny their liability for your injuries, after which the situation will be reassessed.
While this is going on, another medical expert will assess the level of your injury, calculate the long term damage which has resulted from the wrong site surgery and advise your solicitor how much compensation for surgeon negligence you should be entitled to – bearing in mind that you may still have to undergo another operation to attend to the original complaint.
Because of the number of people who may be involved in a claim for surgeon negligence compensation, preparing and filing surgeon negligence claims can be a lengthy process. Therefore, although you are allowed two years from the date on which it was discovered you were the victim of wrong site surgery in which to make surgeon negligence claims, it is recommended that you speak with a medical negligence solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.