Statute of Limitations for Medical Negligence in Ireland

How will the Statute of Limitations for medical negligence in Ireland affect claiming compensation for my son who was not treated correctly when he contracted MRSA?

The Statute of Limitations for medical negligence in Ireland will not affect your son’s claim in the same way as it would an adult’s due to the fact that children are not permitted by Irish law to pursue a claim on their own behalf or to advise a solicitor. Typically, a medical negligence claim time limit would be two years beginning on the date that the cause of medical negligence consequence has been determined. However, this two year time limit will not begin until a child turns eighteen – when they will be permitted to make a claim on their own behalf – meaning that they will have up until the age of twenty to initiate a claim.

Although the Irish statute of limitations will effectively allow you thirteen years in which to pursue a claim on behalf of your child, it is still advisable to contact a medical negligence claims solicitor at the first possible moment so that you may discuss the viability of your child’s claim. Medical negligence claims can be complicated due to the difficult nature of establishing that negligence even occurred, so it is always best to initiate a claim while evidence is still recent.

If you do not want to wait the considerable amount of time allowed by the Statute of Limitations for medical negligence in Ireland for your child to make a claim, you or a legal guardian will have to claim on your child’s behalf representing them as their “next friend”. This means that you will advise a solicitor for them and also accept financial liability should your child’s claim ultimately be unsuccessful.

There a number of other exceptions to the medical negligence claim time limit allowed by the Irish Statute of Limitations, however these are quite rare. These include if a potential claimant has been rendered mentally incapacitated as a result of medical negligence, or if a judge agrees to extend the time limit if they consider a claim to be truly exceptional. It is unlikely that any of these apply to your son’s case; however a medical negligence claims solicitor will be able to inform you if they do.

The information provided here regarding the Statute of Limitations for medical negligence in Ireland and how it may affect your son’s claim for the negligent treatment of his MRSA is merely general advice. It is by no means a substitute to the specific legal advice you will be able to obtain from a medical negligence claims solicitor after you have informed them of the circumstances in which your son was not treated correctly and the subsequent impact it has had on his quality of life. Therefore, it is advisable that you contact your solicitor to discuss your son’s potential claim at the first available opportunity.