The Personal Injuries Board do not assess cases of medical negligence. Medical Negligence proceedings must be brought directly to either the District, Circuit or High Court, depending on the injuries sustained.
In order to issue proceedings for Medical Negligence it is necessary to obtain a medical report showing the cause of the injury and the liability of the healthcare professional. Such a professional can be a Surgeon, Doctor, Nurse, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist etc.
In order to have a report prepared, the client must give their authority to take up their medical records. The medical records are then sent to a medical expert for assessment and thereafter the expert will give a price for the report.
Unfortunately, it is almost always necessary to obtain an expert medical report from the UK. Very few healthcare professionals in Ireland will write a report that is critical of a colleague. If it is not obvious, who is at fault for the injury, for example, Paramedics, Accident and Emergency Staff or a Surgeon. Then it may be necessary to obtain more than one report. This can make medical negligence litigation expensive, with reports usually upwards from £1,500.00. The expert will also confirm prior to payment whether they will be in a position to travel to Ireland to give evidence in court. In most cases a report can be written on site of medical records alone and it is not necessary for an expert to travel over and assess the client. However a patient’s assessment may be required at a later stage by the Defendant.
If the report suggests negligence on the part of the healthcare professional, then an expert barrister is briefed for their opinion. The client can then make an informed decision as to whether they wish to proceed with an action.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.