Claim Compensation for a Surgical Error

How would I claim compensation for a surgical error if my bladder was cut during a C-Section procedure?

Before you claim compensation for a surgical error in these circumstances, it has to be confirmed that your injury was due to a surgical error and was avoidable ‘at the time and in the circumstances’.

There are occasions when the bladder can be in abnormal position over the uterus during a C Section procedure because the baby´s head lies deep in the pelvis. When this scenario occurs, a bladder injury is far more likely, and a medical practitioner might not be considered to be negligent in these circumstances if a cut to the bladder was sustained.

Therefore, a claim for surgical error injury compensation would start by you relating to a solicitor how you were told your injury occurred, if it was explained to you that the procedure had been complicated due to the position of your baby and what the consequences of the injury were to you after what is supposed to be one of the happiest events of your life.

If it appears that you have a viable claim for surgical negligence, your solicitor would write to each of the medical practitioners involved in your surgery and request any notes they may have relating to the events of the procedure – especially the surgeon who performed the C Section operation.

These notes would then be reviewed by an independent medical expert engaged by your solicitor to ascertain if the injury you received was “on the balance of probabilities” avoidable and due to the poor professional performance of the surgeon conducting the operation. If so, your solicitor will move onto the next stage of making a claim for surgical error injury compensation.

When you claim compensation for a surgical error, because negligence is determined by expert opinion rather than by tangible evidence, the Injuries Board will decline to assess your application for assessment and your solicitor will have to make the claim for surgical negligence directly to the Health Service Executive (HSE) or private hospital at which you underwent the C-Section procedure.

If you have not done so already, the next step would be to make a formal complaint in writing. This is better done by your solicitor, as great care is needed not to include anything which may contradict a future ‘Letter of Claim’. The ‘Letter of Claim’ only follows once the independent expert has compiled all the evidence of negligence to support a claim for surgical error injury compensation, after which your solicitor will calculate how much compensation for a bladder injury you are entitled to receive.

Once the HSE or private hospital acknowledges its liability for your injuries, your solicitor will enter into negotiations to obtain your maximum entitlement of compensation for a surgical error – based on the physical pain and suffering you experienced, your ‘inconvenience of incapacity’ if you were required to use a catheter until the injury to your bladder healed, and the emotional trauma you undoubtedly experienced when the joy of the birth of your child was tarnished due to the surgeon´s error.

There is no knowing how long the procedures to claim compensation for a surgical error will take – if indeed you are entitled to claim compensation at all – and therefore it is recommended that you discuss the circumstances surrounding your injury with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.