Wrong Disc Removal in a Hospital Operation
Claim for Having the Wrong Disc Removed
If you have been the victim of a wrong disc removal in a hospital operation, it is likely that you have a very strong claim for surgical error compensation. There is practically no defence against a compensation claim for having the wrong disc removed, and the only possible issues you may encounter are determining who is liable for the surgical error and ensuring that you receive an appropriate settlement of compensation.
Despite the potential strength of your case, compensation claims for the wrong disc removal in a hospital operation can take time to prepare and resolve. It is therefore important that you speak with a solicitor as soon as you aware you have been the victim of a surgical error in order to ensure that your claim for having the wrong disc removed does not over-run the time limits imposed by the Statute of Limitations in Ireland.
How was the Wrong Disc Removed?
Although you have clearly been the victim of medical negligence, it has to be determined how the wrong disc was removed before initiating a claim for surgical error compensation. Several parties could have been responsible for the wrong disc being removed – the surgeon, his or her theatre support staff or the administration team who compiled your theatre notes. Indeed, a combination of all three may be liable for your injuries – compounding the complexity of your claim.
Your solicitor will endeavour to establish how and where the error occurred in order that a ‘Letter of Claim’ can be sent to the negligent party, informing them that you are making a claim for surgical error compensation and supporting the letter with evidence of negligence. If it is believed that more than one party is liable for your injuries, your solicitor will send an ‘O´Byrne Letter’ to all parties concerned.
Proceeding with a Claim for the Wrong Disc Removal in a Hospital Operation
As compensation claims for the wrong disc removal in a hospital operation are considered to be claims relating to medical negligence, the Injuries Board will decline to assess compensation for the removal of the wrong disc under Section 17 of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) Act 2003. Therefore your solicitor will deal directly with the negligent party, his or her legal representative and/or his or her medical insurance company.
If liability is acknowledged once the negligent party has received the ‘Letter of Claim’, your solicitor will proceed to negotiate a suitable settlement of compensation for the removal of the wrong disc. If liability is denied, there is no agreement on the division of liability when more than one party is responsible for your injuries or a suitable settlement cannot be negotiated, your solicitor will issue court proceedings. With such a strong claim for having the wrong disc removed, it is unlikely that a court appearance will be likely and, most frequently, an out-of-court settlement is agree before the case is scheduled to be heard.
The Time Limits to Claim for Surgical Error Compensation
It was mentioned above how time limits are imposed by the Statute of Limitations which control the length of time you have available to initiate a claim for having the wrong disc removed. With the exception of claims involving children and adults with mental health issues, the time a plaintiff has – from the date they discovered a wrong disc removal in a hospital operation – in which to make a claim for surgical error compensation is two years.
Two years may seem like adequate time to prepare and present the strongest possible compensation claim for the wrong disc removal in a hospital operation but, according to the Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004, a potential plaintiff (or their legal representative) should send the above-mentioned ‘Letter of Claim/’O´Byrne Letter’ within a period of two months of the cause of action or as soon as practicable thereafter. Any unjustifiable delay in the dispatch of the letter(s) could result in a financial penalty when compensation for the removal of the wrong disc is awarded, and therefore it is always in your best interests to contact a solicitor at the earliest practical moment.
How Much Compensation for the Removal of the Wrong Disc
There are several elements of a claim for wrong disc removal in a hospital operation that a solicitor will take into account when calculating how much compensation for the removal of the wrong disc you are entitled to. Not all will apply in every case and there may be unique factors in your claim which increase the value of a claim for surgical error compensation.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
You will not be able to claim compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced up until the operation in which the wrong disc was removed, but your solicitor will get an expert medical opinion on the amount of additional physical trauma you will undergo as a result of the wrong disc removal in the hospital operation and having to undergo a second disc removal operation to take out the disc which should have been removed in the first instance.
Loss of Amenity Compensation
Inasmuch as your recovery from the initial operation may or may not be longer than one would expect when undergoing a major surgery, you will experience an extended loss of amenity for having to undergo a second operation and recover from it. This means that you will be compensated for a longer period of being unable to work, drive, perform everyday domestic tasks and enjoy active social or leisure pursuits due to the medical practitioner´s negligence.
Psychological Injury Compensation
A compensation claim for having the wrong disc removed should also account for any quantifiable emotion trauma that you experience – whether this is at the prospect of having to undergo a further surgical procedure or if you suffer from anxiety or depression during your recovery. A claim for a psychological injury will have to be supported by a psychiatrist´s report – something your solicitor will be able to arrange if necessary.
Special Damages Compensation
In addition to the personal cost of having to undergo a second operation to remove the damaged disc, it is likely than you will incur additional financial costs or experience a decline in your level of income due to the initial surgical error. These financial costs can be recovered as special damages in a claim for having the wrong disc removed, and your solicitor will advise you which expenses or loss of income apply in your specific circumstances.
Compensation Claims and Medical Insurances Companies
One of the reasons why you may not receive an appropriate settlement of compensation for the removal of the wrong disc is if you inadvertently accept an offer of compensation from the negligent medical practitioner´s insurance company. As you have a claim for having the wrong disc removed which is difficult to defend against, the insurance company may approach you independently of your solicitor and attempt to get you to accept a premature offer.
These unsolicited offers of compensation for the wrong disc removal in a hospital operation are often made without a full assessment of your needs and are designed to save the insurance company money on what they believe they might have to pay out to settle your claim. Subsequently there will be a lot of pressure applied on you to accept the compensation offer.
Unsolicited approaches by medical insurance companies should always be referred to your solicitor for, if you accept the offer and it proves to be inadequate to support your family while you are able to work or to pay for rehabilitation treatment to aid your recovery, you cannot return to the insurance company and ask for more money. If short-term finances are causing you concern, and you are tempted to accept the insurance company´s offer, speak with your solicitor who may be able to apply for interim payments of surgical error compensation until such time as your claim is satisfactorily resolved.
Get Legal Advice about Wrong Disc Removal in a Hospital Operation
Inasmuch as this page provides information about the procedures for claiming compensation for the wrong disc removal in a hospital operation, it is no substitute for seeking individual legal advice which is applicable to your specific personal situation. Most medical negligence solicitors in Ireland offer an initial consultation without charge and will provide legal advice which will help you to decide whether you have a claim for surgical error compensation which is worth your while to pursue.
Medical insurance companies are likely to learn quickly that a surgical error has occurred once your GP or hospital specialist realises that the wrong disc has been removed, and may even approach you with an inappropriate offer of compensation for the removal of the wrong disc before a ‘Letter of Claim’ has been sent – or indeed before you have even consulted a solicitor. Consequently, it would be beneficial to speak with a medical negligence solicitor in Ireland at the first possible opportunity.