Surgery Negligence

What We Do

Surgery Negligence

surgery negligence claims

Surgical procedures require the highest standards of care, skill and expertise. 

When these standards are not met, and negligence occurs, patients can suffer significant harm and potentially life changing results. 

In Ireland, surgery negligence claims represent a vital aspect of medical negligence law, providing a pathway for patients to seek compensation and justice. 

This guide offers an in-depth look at surgery claims, including what they entail, common types of surgical negligence, the consequences of negligence, and how to pursue a surgery negligence claim if you or a loved one has been affected. 

Helen Coughlan

Helen Coughlan
Medical Negligence Solicitor

Helen Coughlan is a partner and advises on medical negligence*, family law and personal injuries*. Helen is a qualified family mediator and collaborative law practitioner and is Chairperson of the Family and Child Law Committee of the Law Society.

Contact Helen Today

What is Surgery Negligence?

Surgery negligence occurs when substandard surgical care leads to patient harm. With claims usually involving legal action taken against the healthcare professionals or institutions at fault. 

Claims can arise from a range of surgical settings, including elective procedures, emergency operations, and post-operative care.

Common Types of Surgical Negligence:

Incidents of surgery negligence can be varied but some of the most common types include: 

  • Wrong Site Surgery: Where a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body.
  • Surgical Instruments Being Left Inside Patients: A very preventable mistake that can lead to serious complications for the patient.
  • Nerve Damage: Caused by surgical error, this can lead to long-term impairment, pain and medical complications for the patient.
  • Anaesthetic Errors: Incidents such as administering an incorrect dosage or failure to adequately monitor the patient’s response can lead to harm.
  • Infections Acquired During/Post Surgery: Infections can occur as a result of inadequate sterilisation of surgical instruments, or substandard post-operative care.

Potential Consequences of Surgical Negligence:

Incidents of surgical negligence can often have serious, life-altering consequences, such as:

  • Physical Pain and Suffering: Immediate and long-term health issues as a direct result of surgery negligence.
  • Additional Medical Treatment: Patients may need to undergo further treatments, including corrective surgeries and rehab, which may not have been necessary with proper care.
  • Financial Strain: Expenses arising from additional medical care, loss of earnings, and other costs can put significant financial pressure on patients and their families.
  • Emotional Distress: The mental burden of surgical negligence should not be underestimated as trauma experienced from surgery can have far-reaching emotional and psychological effects.

Common Causes of Surgical Negligence:

Understanding the common causes of surgery negligence can help in identifying potential claims. Several factors can contribute to surgical, including:

  • Human Error: Simple human error, mistakes or lapses in concentration can have catastrophic consequences for patients. 
  • Communication Failures: Poor communication between surgeons, doctors and multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) can lead to surgical errors. 
  • Administrative Errors: Mistakes in patient records, test results, or prescription orders can have serious consequences.
  • Skill Gaps & Lack of Resources: Surgeons operating beyond their capabilities or without adequate support can lead to incidents of negligence during surgical procedures. 
  • Systemic Issues: Failure by Hospitals and healthcare providers to uphold safety and care standards can be a cause of surgical negligence. 

How to Make a Claim for Surgery Negligence:

Step 1: Seek Legal Advice

The first step in making a surgery negligence claim is to consult with a solicitor experienced in this field. Medical negligence law is complex, and a specialised solicitor can provide you with advice tailored to your specific situation. 

They will assess the merits of your case, help you determine whether you are eligible, advise you on the likelihood of success, and guide you through the process. 

Patrick J Farrell Solicitors specialise in medical negligence, don’t hesitate to contact us regarding your concerns and to see if you’ve potentially been involved in medical negligence. 

Step 2: Gather Evidence

Your solicitor will request your complete medical records, which are crucial for supporting your claim. You will need to compile all of your medical records, correspondence, and any other documentation related to your care. These provide evidence of the care you received and are essential for establishing a case of negligence.

Step 3: Independent Medical Assessment

It may be necessary to have an independent medical expert evaluate your case to establish whether the care you received was substandard and constituted negligence. 

Step 4: Letter of Claim

Once your solicitor has gathered all necessary evidence, they will draft a Letter of Claim and notify the hospital or healthcare provider that you intend to take a case against them. Your Letter of Claim outlines the details of your claim, the alleged cause of negligence, and the resulting harm or injury. 

Step 5: Response and Resolution

The hospital or healthcare provider, through their own legal team, will respond to your Letter of Claim. They can either accept responsibility and work towards a settlement; or they can dispute the claim which will lead to legal proceedings. 

Many claims are settled out of court, and  your solicitor will negotiate on your behalf to arrive at fair compensation for  your injuries, any financial losses, and any future care needs. However, if a settlement can’t be reached, your case may proceed to court where your solicitor will prepare for and represent you in any court proceedings.

Seeking Legal Support for Surgical Negligence

Surgical negligence claims can be highly complex and typically require a deep understanding of both medical and legal practices. If you believe you have been a victim of surgical negligence, we highly recommend you seek expert legal guidance.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to surgical negligence, contact us today for a consultation. Our expert team is committed to providing the compassionate guidance and support you need to achieve the best possible outcome.

Have You Experienced Medical Negligence?
Let the Experts Stand By You.

At Patrick J Farrell & Company Solicitors, we understand the profound impact medical negligence can have on your life. With a legacy founded by Patrick J. Farrell and carried forward by a dedicated team, we have been advocates for justice for over four decades. Our commitment to putting our clients’ interests first, combined with our extensive legal expertise, makes us the ideal partners in your pursuit of justice.

From the moment you walk through our doors to the resolution of your case, you’ll be treated with the utmost courtesy, respect, and understanding. Choose us – where your well-being is our top priority. Reach out to us today and let our experienced solicitors guide you every step of the way.

Talk to a Medical Negligence Solicitor


More Medical Negligence Resources

Medical Negligence Solicitors

A&E Claims

Delayed Diagnosis Claims

Making a Medical Negligence Claim

Wrong Site Surgery Claims

Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

Surgery Negligence Claims

Hospital Negligence

Birth Injuries to Children

Birth Injuries to Mothers

Birth Injury Claims: Guide to Concerns and Compensation

Will Irish healthcare issues cause an increase in medical negligence claims?

Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Procedures

Hip replacements and joint replacements

Cosmetic Surgery Claims