How to prove medical negligence in Ireland

To prove medical negligence * in Ireland, you generally need to demonstrate that a healthcare professional breached their duty of care and further more this caused harm to the patient. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Understand the Legal Standard: In Ireland, medical negligence * is determined based on the standard of care expected of a reasonably competent healthcare professional in the same field.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant medical records, including diagnoses, treatments, and communications with healthcare providers. These will be crucial in assessing the case. Your solicitor will assist you in this step.
  3. Consult with a Solicitor: It is advisable to seek legal advice from a solicitor specialising in medical negligence cases *. They can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.
  4. Initiate the Complaint Process: Before starting legal proceedings, consider lodging a formal complaint with the healthcare provider or hospital. This can sometimes lead to a resolution without the need for legal action.
  5. Obtain an Expert Medical Opinion: To prove negligence, you’ll likely need an expert medical opinion supporting your claim. This expert should be a professional in the same field as the defendant. Again your solicitor will arrange this for you to ensure you have the correct expert for the medical negligence claim * .
  6. Issue Legal Proceedings: If the complaint process does not result in a satisfactory outcome, your solicitor can help you issue legal proceedings. This involves filing a claim in the appropriate court. The appropriate court all depends on the injury involved and your solicitor will advise on this.
  7. Discovery Process: During the discovery process, both parties exchange relevant documents and information. This is to ensure that each side is aware of the evidence that will be presented.
  8. Court Proceedings: If the case goes to court, both sides will present their evidence. The court will then determine whether the healthcare professional breached their duty of care and caused harm to the patient.
  9. Settlement or Judgment: If the court rules in your favour, you may be awarded damages. Alternatively, the case may be settled out of court if both parties agree on a resolution.
  10. Appeal (if necessary): If either party is dissatisfied with the court’s decision, they may appeal to a higher court.


It’s important to note that medical negligence Ireland * can be complex and require expert legal advice. The process can also vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case.


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* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with Reg.8 of SI 518 of 2002.