Medical negligence and clinical negligence are areas of specialised litigation. Sean O’Brien, solicitor, has over twenty five years of experience in this complex area.

He has successfully taken cases involving inadequate medical care to include inadequate psychiatric supervision.

What is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when a health care professional fails to act in accordance with a practice accepted as being proper practice by a responsible body of skilled medical practitioners.

There are often several acceptable ways of carrying out any procedure and fact that one doctor would not have done things in the same way as another does not automatically mean that there is any medical negligence claim.

The outcome of any case will often depend on whether the action taken by the professional in question is seen as reasonable in the circumstances. In Ireland, the law provides only for you to recover compensation if it can be shown ‘on the balance of probability’ that your treatment was carried out negligently and that this directly caused you injury.

How is the Value of the Medical Negligence Claims Assessed?

There are a number of factors which will normally influence the value of any claim.

Severity and Persistence of Pain Suffered

Whether it is medical negligence or otherwise, the very principal behind any personal injury compensation settlement is to compensate you for your injury and any related suffering. It is likely to be the case where the greater the pain suffered and it’s persistence, the higher the compensation awarded.

Impairment of Quality-of-Life

Any medical negligence claim will take into account an impairment or loss of quality of life when assessing the value of medical negligence claim. This is a very individual assessment, and is often referred to as a “loss of amenity”.

Medical History

A person’s medical history and records are an important factor in assessing any claim. If they have a prior history of similar or identical injuries, it may affect their claim significantly. The key question in the case will be whether any medical negligence  involved was the primary cause of the injury or just an aggravating factor?

Medical Special Damages

Usually, the costs of any specialist medical treatment that may be required due to injuries sustained in the incident can be compensated for in full as well as any other financial costs and/or loss of earnings which can be attributed to the loss, injury or deterioration of an existing condition suffered due to medical negligence.

Trauma Suffered

One must remember that compensation is paid for the injuries sustained. Unless a psychological injury or trauma can be proven to have occurred, the nature of the incident is of very much secondary importance. Your solicitor or barrister will often make reference to the dramatic and/or traumatic nature of the incident when in negotiations or at trial as it will present your claim in a more sympathetic light and may contribute favourably to the case.

If you have any concerns, please contact him directly or send him an email.


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