Overview of Clinical Malpractice Settlements

Background Information on Clinical Malpractice Settlements

It is possible to be awarded with clinical malpractice settlements if your claim for clinical malpractice compensation is successful. Clinical malpractice can be defined as any action or lack of action by a medical practitioner – or hospital or clinic – which has directly caused a preventable injury, or led to the contraction of a disease (such as MRSA), serious exacerbation of health, or death.

In order for any injury to be caused by clinical malpractice, a medical practitioner or organisation must have failed in the duty of care they owe a patient and not have done all that could be “reasonably” expected to make sure that treatment was successful.

If you have been injured by a medical professional, or feel that you have been harmed either intentionally or by accident due to a medical practitioner, you may be entitled to claim compensation. It is recommended that you speak with an experienced clinical malpractice solicitor at the first possible opportunity about your potential case.

Eligibility for Claiming Clinical Malpractice Compensation

To qualify for clinical malpractice settlements, an injury must have been sustained or the life of an individual been extremely affected by the wrong treatment or an incorrect diagnosis. No claim can be made if no major health implications have come from that error – even if medical negligence can be proven.

Clinical malpractice may not be restricted to just one medical professional; any number can be considered negligent in the duty of care that they are required to provide the patient with. In cases where there are multiple negligent parties, each individual who has contributed to the injuries to some degree would be liable to pay a proportion of any compensation settlement awarded.

The Importance of Engaging an Expert Solicitor

The likelihood of receiving clinical malpractice settlements would be decreased without the assistance of an expert clinical malpractice solicitor, as many such claims are exceptionally complex. Therefore, before deciding to fight for medical negligence compensation, it is essential that you consult with a solicitor who can give you the best advice on pursuing your claim for compensation.

Your solicitor can evaluate your claim and have it thoroughly investigated. He or she can also employ the services of an expert in the medical field of the injury who can confirm that the negligent party in question was negligent in their actions, or inactions. Your solicitor will also contact the suspected negligent party to give them the opportunity to explain their actions.

Although settlements can sometimes be made by insurance companies without litigation, it is not rare for clinical malpractice compensation claims to be brought to court. In court, a judge will use the evidence presented to him or her to determine whether the injury is due to medical negligence. In order for the compensation claim to be successful, however, your solicitor has to prove that “on the balance of probabilities” your injuries were due to clinical malpractice.

Third Party Capture

It is possible that you may be approached directly by the negligent party’s insurance company with an early and unsolicited offer of clinical malpractice settlements. Although the offer may seem tempting at a time when you are more than likely at your most vulnerable, it is worth noting that such offers are usually made in favour of the insurance company themselves, and little consideration is given to the victim’s predicament.

Third party capture is a tactic used by insurers to avoid paying expensive legal costs, the cost of a protracted trial and court costs and in many cases, compensation claims can end up being under-settled when offers are accepted without first consulting an expert clinical malpractice solicitor.

Statute of Limitations

It would be almost impossible to obtain any clinical malpractice settlements if a potential plaintiff waits too long after the incident in which they sustained their injuries occurred. The statute of limitations in Ireland is generally two years from the date that the injury was suffered. However, since knowledge of the injury is not always immediately apparent in cases involving clinical malpractice, the statute of limitations must sometimes be applied differently. If it took some time before injuries due to medical negligence manifested, for example, and if they were perhaps discovered by accident, the clock would start not on the date the injuries were sustained but on the “date of knowledge”.

You would be well advised in seeking the assistance of a solicitor as there are several exceptions to the two year timescale. When your solicitor knows all of the details of your case, he or she can inform you of how the statute of limitations applies to your own individual case and can ensure that a clinical malpractice claim for compensation is started in the correct legal timeline.

Clinical Malpractice Settlements: Conclusion

Several thousand clinical malpractice settlements are awarded each year against medical professionals, clinics and hospitals for treatments that have failed, illnesses that have been contracted in a hospital and operations that have gone wrong. Many claims for compensation are made because a medical practitioner failed to diagnose a disease or condition, or for bureaucratic mistakes that have resulted in serious injuries or death whilst under the care of a medical professional.

The most effective method to establish whether your injuries are due to mistakes made by medical practitioners is to engage a solicitor to explain clinical malpractice with regards to your case’s specific circumstances. Claiming clinical malpractice can be complex, and will always call for the services of an experienced clinical negligence solicitor.



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.