There are time limits for taking a medical negligence case in Ireland. This is known as the ‘Statute of Limitations’. The idea behind it is that over time memories fade and witnesses die for example and it would be unfair to have the prospect of legal action hanging over the head of someone indefinitely so the law imposes a ‘cut-off’. The usual rule is that legal proceedings must be started by issuing a personal injury summons within two years from the date of injury or harm. This however becomes more blurred in cases involving medical negligence. The law recognises that people quite often do not realise that they have been harmed through medical negligence until much later after the event such as many years after. In these cases it would be unfair to impose the usual two year rule. The law therefore allows for a ‘date of knowledge’ test which tries to ensure that the time limit does not expire before a person realises they have an injury arising from medical negligence.
Date of Knowledge test is an follows:
The law deems a person on notice of their medical negligence injury when:
- They have been injured
- The injury was serous
- The injury was caused by medical negligence
- The person injured knows the identity of the wrongdoer
In practice it is usually when a person obtains an independent expert report from a medical expert confirming that the treatment they received was negligent that the clock begins to start but that is not always the case. The best advice really is to contact specialist medical negligence solicitors without undue delay to try ensure your legal rights are protected.
Our medical negligence compensation claims solicitors
It is important you seek advice as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. We believe in putting you our client first and we are committed to achieving the best result possible while all the time remaining sensitive to your needs. Please feel free to reach out to us below and will be pleased to discuss your case and offer no obligation advice.