Accident and Emergency Department Negligence
Accident and Emergency department negligence occurs when a health care practitioner at an emergency department incorrectly diagnoses or treats a patient, resulting in further damage.
What is Emergency Department Negligence?
Emergency medicine is responsible for nearly 15% of all medical negligence claims. A&E departments are high-turnover, fast-paced hospital departments that diagnose and treat patients with some of the most catastrophic injuries.
Patients also visit with symptoms that may appear to be non-life-threatening, and patients are reliant on the skill, knowledge, and thoroughness of hospital staff to ensure they are treated to the best possible standards The Law for medical negligence* in Ireland is complicated and is governed by the test set out in the Supreme Court case of Dunne V The National Maternity Hospital (1989). This case provided that:
- a medical practitioner was negligent in the diagnosis of treatment only if he was guilty of such failure as no other medical practitioner of equal specialist or general status or skill will be guilty of if acting with ordinary care;
- a Plaintiff will establish negligence against a medical practitioner by proving his deviation from a general and approved practice only upon proving also that the course taken was one that no other medical practitioner of like specialisation and skill would have followed when taking the ordinary care required from a person of his qualifications.
Examples of accident and emergency department negligence
These can arise in situations where an Accident and Emergency patient is admitted to A&E, and there are:
- failure to treat a patient properly, and failure to diagnose the problem;
- failure to recognize the patient’s illness or injury, and failure to refer to a senior or specialist doctor;
- failure to check a patient’s medical history properly;
- failure to carry out basic investigations and
- wrongful or premature discharge from hospital.
The time limits in medical negligence claims can be extremely prohibitive, and your legal claim must be commenced within two years from when the incident occurred or when you first became aware or had knowledge, that you have suffered an injury.
It is very advisable to get the advice that you need as soon as you become aware of a medical difficulty or injury as a result of medical or surgical treatment or a medical or surgical procedure.
The claim prcoess
1. Consult our medical negligence solicitor
It is advisable for you to speak to an experienced team of Medical Negligence Solicitors as soon as possible if you believe that you were not provided with an adequate or appropriate level of medical care, which resulted in you sustaining an injury or illness.
2. We obtain your medical records
After the consultation with your medical negligence solicitor, he/she will request access to your medical records and engage an independent medical expert to assess your records. Engaging an independent expert is to establish whether there was any negligence on the part of the medical professional.
3. The medical negligence litigation process
Where the independent medical expert is of the professional opinion that medical negligence did occur, upon your instructions, your solicitor will commence the process of issuing legal proceedings in Court against the medical professional and/or hospital.
Statute of Limitation
The legal time limit to make a medical negligence claim is two years from the date of injury or date of knowledge that the injury or illness resulted from medical negligence. For children/minors, the time limit expires two years after their 18th birthday. You may contact a solicitor to discuss your case to advise of the Statute of Limitations applicable to your case.
- Have you had a surgical procedure that did not turn out as it should?
- Have you been left in pain, or do you continue to suffer from physical discomfort or physical scarring?
- Have you been misdiagnosed or had a delayed diagnosis of cancer or another serious illness affecting your health?
Any injury suffered during a medical procedure, whether it is physical or psychological, may have long-term effects on the victim and their families. Our medical negligence solicitors have assisted many clients in recovering maximum damages, and we believe in putting the needs of our clients first.
Coleman Legal LLP
84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
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