Claiming Compensation in Ireland

August 19, 2016

Claiming Compensation for Medical Negligence

The term medical negligence has many different names – “clinical malpractice”, “hospital errors”, “adverse event”. It effectively means that if you or a loved one has suffered an injury, a loss or the deterioration of an existing condition which “in the circumstances and at the time” could have been avoided with an appropriate level of care, you should be entitled to compensation.

Injury compensation claims for medical negligence are often the most complex to resolve, because for an act to be considered “negligent”, it has to be demonstrated that a competent medical professional would have taken an alternative course of action that would have avoided the injury from occurring. Consequently the Injuries Board will decline to assess applications for medical negligence compensation.

Furthermore, an injury may have been caused, not due to the negligence of the medical professional who was performing a procedure, but due to the negligence of an agent of the medical facility (technician, administrator, etc.) in which the procedure was being performed – further complicating injury compensation claims for medical negligence. Typically this complex type of litigation occurs when:

  • Your child has sustained birth injuries before or during their delivery
  • Medical instruments have been left inside you during surgery
  • The diagnosis of an illness was avoidably delayed because of a technical error
  • You contract MRSA or other hospital acquired infection due to a lack of nursing care
  • A doctor has performed wrong site surgery due to being provided with the wrong notes

Claiming Compensation for Workplace Accidents

Most injury compensation claims for workplace accidents can be dealt with by the Injuries Board. However, to ensure that you receive your full entitlement to workplace injury compensation, it is always in your best interests to speak with a solicitor.

Many proposed settlements of compensation for workplace accidents fail to take account of your “loss of amenity” – the incapacity to enjoy your regular pastimes away from work – especially when they are proposed to you by your employer´s insurance company.

There may also be issues about claiming against your employer in a difficult economic environment, or in circumstances in which you may be pressured into forgoing your entitlement to workplace injury compensation to safeguard your employment. Consequently, it is always in your best interests to speak with a solicitor in any of the following scenarios:

  • If you are injured in a fall from height at work
  • When you have sustained an occupational injury at work
  • When you suffer an injury due to lifting or manual handling in the workplace
  • When a claim for workplace injury compensation is disputed by an employer
  • When you have been injured due to using a faulty product at work

Claiming Compensation for Factory Accidents

Most employers make genuine efforts to protect the health and safety of their employees in a factory environment, but there are occasions when foreseeable accidents happen which result in the victim suffering a devastating – an avoidable – injury.

Injury compensation claims for factory accidents have the potential to result in higher financial settlements because of the more severe nature of injuries that can be sustained in a factory. It will be important for you that any settlement of factory accident compensation accounts for the long-term effects of an injury, especially in scenarios in which:

  • You have lost a limb or part of a limb due to working on unguarded machinery
  • You have suffered a serious injury in a factory accident due to faulty machinery
  • You have sustained serious burns due to contact with a harmful substance
  • You have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer due to exposure to asbestos
  • You have been injured in a factory due to being hit by a moving vehicle

Claiming Compensation for Farm Accidents

Ireland has twice the incidence of farm accidents as other European countries, and if you or a loved one has been injured on a farm – either due to working on a farm or as a visitor to a farm – you may be entitled to compensation from the farm owner or tenant of the property.

75 percent of all farm accidents are attributable to tractors, machinery, livestock and trips or falls. Children are particularly at risk of a serious injury in a farm accident, and you should speak with a solicitor should you or your child be injured in any of the following circumstances:

  • You or your child are injured in a tractor overturn on a farm
  • You or your child suffer an injury due to an unpredictable animal
  • You or your child contract a water-borne disease due to infected water
  • You or your child are injured due to poisonous hydrogen sulphide gas being released from slurry pits
  • You or your child trip on a hazardous pathway or fall from height due to inadequate safety equipment

Claiming Compensation for Office Accidents

Injuries sustained due to office accidents – or because of poor working conditions – generally go unreported because they do not often result in serious injury. Consequently, many people believe that they are not entitled to injury compensation for office accidents as they have not read about such claims in the press or on other news sources.

However, there have been some significant compensation settlements for injuries from office accidents, and the same advice applies as was given in the “Workplace Accidents” section above – always speak with a solicitor to ensure you receive a fair and appropriate settlement of office accident compensation; especially in such cases as when:

  • You have been hit by an object falling from height
  • You have received an electric shock due to faulty office equipment
  • You have developed an RSI injury because of your office working conditions
  • You have sustained a manual handling injury carrying office equipment or stationary
  • You have over-exerted yourself stretching for equipment in an office stockroom when steps or ladders should have been provided

Claiming Compensation for Accidents in Public Places

This area of personal injury compensation is littered with “ifs, buts and maybes” as there are many misinterpretations of the law regarding compensation for accidents in public places – for example the believe that you can only claim injury compensation for a trip on a raised paving stone if the lip of the stone is more than an inch high.

Liability for an injury in a public place will often be disputed by the negligent party until it is demonstrated that their lack of care caused an accident which could have been prevented. Consequently, it is advisable to seek legal advice at the first practical opportunity if you or somebody close to you has been:

  • Injured slipping on a wet floor in a supermarket
  • Injured falling in a restaurant due to inadequate lighting
  • Injured tripping and falling on an uneven footpath
  • Injured due to a bus hitting a speed ramp too quickly
  • Injured due to an unsecure ride at a funfair

Claiming Compensation for Injuries due to Faulty Products

Compensation claims for injuries due to faulty products can also be complex cases because, if you have purchased a product, it usually has to meet certain quality standards before it can be put on the market in Ireland. However, products do fail, and if you have suffered an injury due to a faulty product you may be entitled to compensation. Such injury scenarios could include:

  • When you sustain an injury due to an electrical appliance not working properly
  • When you develop food poisoning from contaminated food purchased from a shop
  • When you suffer an injury due a faulty medical device or the implanting of a medical device
  • When you are injured due to a chair collapsing because it has a design or manufacturing fault
  • When you have had an adverse reaction to medication which is attributable to the pharmaceutical company´s negligence

Claiming Compensation for Accidents on Holiday

If you sustain an injury on holiday in Ireland, the legislation governing your entitlement to injury compensation is similar to the legislation covering when you are injured in an accident in a public place. However, when an accident happens in another country, or when you are injured travelling to or from your overseas destination, you should speak with a solicitor for advice on:

  • Accident injury compensation for a car crash abroad
  • Claiming for injuries sustained in an accident on a cruise ship
  • Injuries sustained on a plane flying out of or into Ireland
  • Food poisoning due to being served contaminated food in a foreign hotel
  • Accidents in a foreign hotels or slips and trips on a wet surface alongside a swimming pool

Claiming Compensation for Car Accidents

Injury compensation claims for car accidents are the most common category of personal injury claims in Ireland, but they are coming under increasing scrutiny due to the potential for fraudulent claims. Consequently, it is always recommended that you receive specialist advice about claiming compensation for car accidents, especially is circumstances such as:

  • If you are injured in an accident due to the negligence of an uninsured driver
  • If you accident and subsequent injury is attributable to a fault in the road surface
  • If you suffer whiplash in a car accident but the negligent driver denies liability for your injury
  • If you are injured in a hit and run accident from which the driver at fault has left the scene
  • If you are a passenger in a car injured due to the negligence of the driver you are travelling with

Contact Kelly & Co Solicitors for more information 

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We provide an expert, personal service in the following areas of law:
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* In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any settlement.