Compensation for Errors Made During Operations
How can the Statue of Limitations affect claiming compensation for errors made during operations?
The Statute of Limitations can affect claiming compensation for errors made during operations in that it imposes a time limit on the amount of time potential claimants have to pursue a claim. The time limit for making a claim in Ireland is two years. The date that this two year time limit begins is the date in which the medical consequences you have suffered due to an operation error are identified. For instance, if you have suffered an injury – such as having the wrong limb amputated -this would be the day in which this occurred. However if you sustained an illness due to an operation error, then the time limit would begin on the date that the cause of this illness is identified, and not the date in which the illness was diagnosed. This is known as the “date of knowledge”. If your particular date of knowledge was more than two years ago, then it may not be possible to pursue a claim for errors that occurred in an operation.
Although two years may seem like an ample amount of time to pursue a compensation claim for errors made during surgery, medical negligence claims can be complicated, so it is always advisable to speak to a solicitor about your claim at the first possible moment. Medical negligence claims can be complicated because of the fact that medical consequences must have occurred in order to make a claim and negligence must be formally established. Even if negligence was clearly demonstrated – if you did not suffer an illness, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition as a result of these errors that were made – you will not be able to make a claim for compensation for errors made during operations. Furthermore, even if you did suffer a medical consequence due to what seems like negligence, this will have to be determined by an independent medical expert.
A claim for errors that occurred in an operation will only be successful if it can be determined that your illness or injury could have been avoided if another medical practitioner had been involved in the place of one performing your surgery, and if this medical practitioner had taken a different course of action. If this cannot be determined, then your illness or injury may be considered to be an unavoidable accident. When you meet with a solicitor about your claim, they will assess whether or not it will be worth pursuing based on the nature of the medical consequences you have suffered and the impact they have had on your quality of life. If your solicitor considers you to have a viable claim, they will obtain any relevant medical notes form your operation and present this to an independent medical expert. Based on what they conclude, your solicitor will determine whether or not it is worth your while to proceed with a compensation claim for errors made during surgery.
If you have suffered medical consequences due to an error made during an operation and if you think that your claim may be affected by the Statute of Limitations, you should seek professional legal advice at the first possible moment. A solicitor with experience in medical negligence claims will be able to provide you with more specific, relevant information than what is provided here. He or she will also be able to advise you whether or not it is worth your while to pursue a claim for compensation for errors made during operations.