Claim for a Foreign Object Left inside during an Operation
How long does my sister have to claim for a foreign object left inside during an operation?
The amount of time your sister may have to claim for a foreign object left inside her during an operation will be dependent on a number of factors. The Irish Statute of Limitations allows two years for a potential claimant to pursue a claim. Your sister will too have two years to claim for a foreign object left inside a patient after surgery compensation, which may begin either on the date she had an illness or injury identified as a result of this foreign object, or on the date that an infection she may have contracted is confirmed to have been caused by it. If there have been no medical consequences as a result of having an item inside her body from an operation, then a claim cannot be made. Although it is a clear demonstration of negligence, a claim will be unsuccessful unless your sister has suffered an injury, illness or the deterioration of an existing condition as a result.
There are some very rare exceptions to the Statute of Limitations where the time limit does apply in the same way, one of these being if it is a child injury claim. If your sister is under the age of eighteen and wishes to claim for a foreign object left inside her during an operation, she is not permitted by Irish law to do soon her own behalf. For a claim to be made in the near future, she will have to be represented by a parent or legal guardian acting as her “Next Friend”. A “Next Friend” speaks on behalf of the child at the centre of the claim, advises a solicitor and accepts financial liability in the event that the child’s claim is unsuccessful. Because a child is unable to make a claim, the two year time limit does not begin until a child turns eighteen; the age that they would be able to pursue on their own account.
Even though two years may seem like an ample amount of time to make a claim — or if your sister is under the age of eighteen — it is still important to seek legal guidance from a solicitor at the first possible moment following an instance of medical negligence. It is important for your sister to find out the viability of her claim for a foreign object being left inside a patient after surgery and whether or not it is worth pursuing. After your sister informs the solicitor of the circumstances in which a foreign object was left inside her, the medical consequences of this and the subsequent impact it has had on her quality of life, a solicitor will be able to tell her if it is worth her while to pursue a claim for having an item inside her body from an operation.
The information provided here regarding the statute of limitations and how your sister’s claim for a foreign object left inside during an operation may be affected by it is general advice. It is by no means an alternative to the specific advice that a medical negligence claims solicitor will be able to provide. It is therefore advisable that she contacts a solicitor at the soonest possible opportunity.