Personal Injury

Medical Negligence*

When a medical diagnosis, a surgical procedure or a hospital treatment goes wrong in the Health Service or privately, and the mistake or accident was due to incompetence or lack of judgement by a doctor, surgeon or healthcare professional; you may be entitled to make a claim for Medical Negligence*.

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 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.

Areas of medical negligence* can include birth injuries to mother and baby, anaesthetic injury, orthopaedic surgery errors, misdiagnosis/delays in cancer cases, prescription errors, GP & HSE negligence, cosmetic surgery; hip & knee replacement surgical errors.

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Road Traffic Incidents*

Road traffic accidents are among the most likely cause of personal injury*. If you have been injured as a result of a road traffic accident and that accident was caused by another person then the following checklist of what you should do may be of assistance;

  • Check if all parties are ok and call an ambulance and/or gardai if appropriate
  • Make sure you note the registration, make and model of the other vehicle.
  • Get the name and address and insurance details of the other driver involved
  • DO NOT admit liability at this stage.
  • Check if there were any witnesses and acquire their names and numbers.
  • Make a note of what happened , the area of the accident and any other relevant conditons (traffic, weather, and any other pertinent details eg. breach of any road laws)
  • Keep receipts for all out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident e.g. medical expenses and details on any loss of earnings.

If the road traffic accident in which you were involved was caused by an uninsured driver or was a hit and run accident you may still be able to make a personal injury claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.

Most personal injury claims must be issued at court within two years of the date of the accident, known as the limitation period. 

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Accidents at Work*

Irish Health and Safety law states that ‘all workers are entitled to a safe place to work and a safe system of work’.  this included provision of appropriate safety training and protective gear.

You should always report an accident at work to your employer where it can be recorded and you should then follow up immediately with a visit to your GP or Hospital if your injuries are more significant. 

Many people suffer financially as a result of the accident with expensive medical bills and loss of earnings. 

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Injury By Defective Products*

 If you have experienced injury, loss or damage as a result of your use of a defective product then you may be entitled to take a claim against the manufacturer or supplier of the product under the Liability for Defective Products Act 1991.

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Accidents in Public Places*

Accidents can happen in public places anywhere: on footpaths, in a park, in shops or restaurants and the result can be public liability claims for slips, falls & trips on public property.

The majority of accidents in public places in Ireland are the result of:

  • Slip on a wet floor.
  • Trip on uneven paving.
  • Having something fall on you.
  • Being attacked by an animal such as a dog.
  • Having an accident while on holiday.

If you have an accident in a public place you should try to do the following;

1. Report the accident immediately to the most senior person available.

2. Where possible take a photograph of the location and in particular of the item or area which caused the accident.

3. If there were any witnesses to the accident take details of their name and contact details.

4. Keep a record of any expenses associated with the accident and where possible keep a copy of any receipts

Dog and Animal attacks

This is quite a common occurrence and it is important to know that an injury caused is often covered under the dog owners House Insurance Policy.

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About

Melanie joined the firm in 2008 and formed the partnership  with Alice O’Reilly in January 2012, changing the firm’s name to Higgins O’Reilly Solicitors. The firm opened its second branch office in Leixlip, Co. Kildare in 2013, which Melanie heads up. 

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