Grounds for a Medical Negligence Claim

If you have received poor medical care, you might be wondering whether you have grounds to make a medical negligence claim. To make a successful claim, there are three things that you must prove. If all three can be established, you stand a good chance of obtaining compensation for your damages.

Proving a medical negligence claim

To make a medical negligence claim in Ireland, you must prove that –

  1. The treating physician or organisation owed you a duty of care
  2. This duty of care was breached
  3. The breach of duty caused you to suffer injuries

Let us explore each of these in more detail.

Duty of care

A duty of care is a legal obligation to provide patients with a reasonable standard of care. This is easy to prove because every medical practitioner in Ireland owes their patients a duty of care. This includes doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists, physiotherapists and any other kind of healthcare professional.

This duty of care was breached

The hard part is proving that this duty of care was breached. In other words, that the treating physician or organisation failed to provide a reasonable standard of care. The benchmark is whether a body of similar medical practitioners would have acted in the same way.

For example, imagine that a pharmacist prescribes a certain medication, even though it puts you at risk of complications. To find out whether this pharmacist acted negligently, it is necessary to consider whether a responsible group of pharmacists would also have prescribed the medication. If not, there has been a breach of duty.

When making a medical negligence claim, a medical expert will be asked to comment whether there has been a breach of duty of care.

The breach of duty caused you to suffer injuries

If a breach of duty can be established, the next task is to prove that this directly contributed towards you suffering an illness or injury. It is not enough for a medical professional to make a mistake – it must actually cause some kind of suffering.

Using the above example, it might be that a pharmacist prescribed you the wrong medication, meaning he breached his duty of care. Yet if you escaped any adverse complications, you do not have grounds to make a claim. On the other hand, if the medication caused you to suffer a stroke, then the pharmacist’s actions have contributed towards your ill health. In this case, you do have grounds for a medical negligence claim.

Speak to a medical negligence solicitor

The grounds for making a medical negligence claim are very legalistic. If you have experienced poor health care, or your family member has, it is best to speak to a solicitor about it. A solicitor can listen to the details and advise whether you are able to pursue a claim for medical negligence.

Like all personal injury claims, medical negligence claims are subject to a time limit. That is why we recommend talking to our solicitors at the earliest opportunity. We offer a free enquiry, so you can get legal advice about your medical care without having to worry about the cost.

Contact us now

We are client focused and results driven. If you have received substandard medical care and want to explore the possibility of making a medical negligence claim, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.

Call us on 051 391 488 or email reception@mullinstreacy.ie for a free, no obligation enquiry.

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