Accident and Emergency Negligence Claims

Gibson & Associates LLP provides specialist advice to support accident and emergency negligence claims. Accident and emergency departments are a life-line for critically ill and injured patients, who rely on their health professionals’ expert knowledge and care.

On rare occasions, substandard care can seriously affect a patient’s outcomes, and could be grounds for a medical negligence claim. If you believe you received substandard care in an accident and emergency department, our trusted medical negligence solicitors can provide advice about your options.

What is accident and emergency negligence?

Accident and emergency departments are typically very busy sections of a hospital, treating serious and life-threatening injuries from car accident and motorbike accidents, to heart attacks and stroke, falls and allergic reactions.

When we are at our most vulnerable, we trust the hard-working health professionals in accident and emergency departments to provide us with a standard of care that gives us the best chance of recovery.

Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong, and mistakes can be made that worsen a patient’s condition or even lead to new medical issues. When a patient suffers harm due to substandard care in accident and emergency settings, they could be entitled to pursue a claim for medical negligence.

Common examples of accident and emergency negligence

Accident and emergency negligence covers a wide range of situations, such as misdiagnoses and delayed treatments, where patient care isn’t up to standard. For example:

  1. Concussion after a head injury: Failure to diagnose a concussion after a serious head injury can lead to untreated complications and worsened conditions for the patient, potentially resulting in long-term cognitive impairment or even life-threatening situations.
  2. Misdiagnosis: When a patient is wrongly diagnosed, receives treatments or medications that are unsuitable for their actual condition, or experiences delays in receiving proper care, prolonged suffering, exacerbation of symptoms, and even irreversible harm, can affect the patient’s health outcomes and quality of life.
  3. Giving the wrong medicine: If the wrong medicine is given it can make a patient’s condition worse or cause harmful side effects that lead to serious consequences for the patient’s health and safety.
  4. Misinterpretation of test results: When results from blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds and other diagnostic tests are not interpreted correctly, it can lead to incorrect diagnoses or delayed treatment plans. This can have significant implications for patient outcomes and subject them to prolonged illness, unnecessary procedures, or a failure to address underlying health issues effectively.
  5. Failure to recognise stroke symptoms: If a patient presents to accident and emergency with symptoms of a stroke, timely intervention is crucial to ensure medication and other interventions can help restore blood flow to the brain and prevent lasting damage. Failure to diagnosis a stroke can lead to irreversible brain damage and long-term disability.

How to Make a Claim

Making a claim for financial compensation for accident and emergency negligence can feel daunting, but you can trust our experienced medical negligence solicitors to explain the process clearly and provide advice about your legal options.

Compensation can be essential to providing access to treatment and rehabilitation in the future, and to cover lost wages and other expenses incurred as a result of the negligence. Our medical negligence solicitors will approach your case with sensitivity and compassion, helping to ease your worries around making a claim and the investigation process, involves establishing the exact nature and extent of the injury and how it affects the individual’s quality of life.

Our medical negligence solicitors help people all over Ireland to receive fair compensation for accident and emergency negligence.

Our experienced medical negligence solicitors will work closely with you to determine the nature of substandard care you received while in accident and emergency, before sourcing the expert medical reports required to support your case.

You can be confident our medical negligence solicitors will handle your case with compassion and sensitivity, and make the claim process as straightforward as possible.

For a confidential discussion about your situation, please reach out to our team on 01 264 5555.

Frequently Asked Questions about accident and emergency claims

Is there a time limit on making a claim?

Legal proceedings must be commenced within two years of the date of knowledge of the injury, subject to certain exceptions. In a lawsuit, the ‘date of knowledge’ refers to the date on which the plaintiff knew or ought to have known that he or she had suffered an injury.

An important exception is in the case of persons under the age of 18, who are described in law as minors or infants. For minors, the Statute of Limitations ‘clock’ does not begin until a child reaches their eighteenth birthday. For more information see Child Injury Claims.

What will compensation cover?

Compensation for a brain injury claim may cover medical expenses, lost wages, future medical bills, future lost earnings, and will take into account the impact of the injury on the individual’s quality of life. Our brain injury solicitors assess each case thoroughly to determine an outcome that is in your best interests.

How do I access my medical records?

A copy of your medical records can be requested from the hospital, clinic, or medical professional that treated you under the Freedom of Information Act. Alternatively, we can arrange to obtain a copy of your records on your behalf; to do so, you will need to sign an authority form that gives us permission to obtain your records.

What does 'No Win, No Fee' mean?

The concept of “no win, no fee” (also known as “no foal, no fee”) is common practice among solicitors in Ireland. Under this type of agreement, the solicitor will take on your personal injury or any other type of case, and if the case isn’t won, the solicitor won’t charge you a fee. The sole purpose of “no win, no fee” is to give you the legal power to pursue a claim regardless of your financial state or legal experience.

How long will the medical negligence claim take?

As a term used in personal injury litigation, general damages refer to the amount placed on the victim’s pain and suffering, which may include psychological trauma, loss of consortium, etc. In essence, general damages relate to non-monetary losses suffered by the claimant and which are not capable of exact quantification.

The term special damages refers to monetary losses that are quantifiable, such as medical treatment expenses or income loss that has been certified. These are consequential financial losses suffered by you which are directly to the negligent treatment and harm caused.

In other words, these are ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses incurred which might also include the cost of corrective surgery or treatment, medication, rehabilitation costs, travel expenses, and so on.

How we support your accident and emergency claim

How do I make a claim?

Once your solicitor has gathered the information they need about your case, you can then submit your claim. It is very important a solicitor that specialises in medical negligence files your claim.

Discuss your case with our Medical Negligence Solicitors

If you feel you didn’t receive the right treatment from a medical professional and it resulted in an injury or worsening of an illness, you need to consult a medical negligence solicitor immediately following the incident.

  • Under Irish law, filing a medical negligence claim can be complex.
  • It is important to discuss your claim with a specialist medical negligence solicitor before filing to ensure every detail of your case is thoroughly scrutinised.
  • Your claim could be delayed if you file it without consulting a solicitor first.
  • You can find out about the time limit associated with your medical negligence claim with help from a solicitor.

Obtaining all relevant medical records before filing for a claim

A medical negligence claim must prove that your injury or worsened health outcomes were caused by physician or facility providing your care. To help build your case, your solicitor will request access to your medical records and obtain any other relevant documents needed.

Obtaining Expert Report

Once your solicitor has compiled your medical reports, they will enlist a third-party medical expert to assess them. This assessment will determine whether you received substandard medical care and if negligence applies. The assessment of your medical records needs to prove that if you had received the right medical care, the outcome of the error or mistake might have been avoided.

Letter of Claim

If the third-party medical expert determines that medical malpractice has occurred, your solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim. The purpose of a Letter of Claim is to outline the nature of your case and to invite the medical practitioner to settle it and agree to financial compensation. The response to your Letter of Claim will determine whether your case will be brought to court or settled out of court. While this may sound daunting, your solicitor at Gibson & Associates LLP will be by your side to guide you through each step of the legal process.

At Gibson and Associates LLP, our dedicated medical negligence solicitors understand the pain and mental stress of injuries caused by medical malpractice, and have supported many people in similar situations to pursue medical negligence claims in Ireland. Our solicitors will approach your case with care and compassion, and are here to support you throughout the case with the understanding and attention you deserve.