There have been some significant developments in this area of law in Ireland, including matters such as the informed consent of patients, the Statute of Limitations and the scope of the duty of care of doctors, nurses and hospital administrators.
The Statute of Limitations refers to the timescale within which you must make a claim. Normally you must make your claim within two years of the date of the accident. However, the date of the accident and the date you become aware of the injury can be different and this may extend the time within which you can make your claim.*
For example, recent judgments from the High Court have allowed patients to bring claims for injuries they received from surgery undertaken decades previously. These cases were well outside the usual 2 year rule. One of the most high profile cases involved a woman who underwent an unnecessary symphysiotomy procedure – an operation to permanently widen her pelvis – in 1969, when she was 18. She was awarded €450,000 in damages in the High Court in January 2012.
If your medical procedure was more than two years ago but you only discovered that you were injured some time after that, you should talk to us to see if you have a valid claim.