How long do I have to make a medical negligence claim in Ireland
Medical Negligence

How long do I have to make a medical negligence claim in Ireland?

4 minute read

As we have one of the Republic of Ireland’s most reputable and high-performing medical negligence legal teams, we frequently receive enquiries from individuals who were injured as a result of medical negligence in the past. Unfortunately, some people are not aware that there are time restrictions for filing a medical negligence claim, and as a result, some cases may become ineligible for compensation.

The time limits and exceptions are outlined in the Statute of Limitations Act 1957 and the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991.

How much time do I have to file a claim and when does the time limit start?

You have a two-year window from the date of the medical negligence to begin legal proceedings. However, there are certain circumstances that may alter the start date, such as:

  • If you were a minor at the time of the medical negligence, the time limit begins on your 18th birthday.
  • If you were not immediately aware of your injuries or they took a while to develop.
  • You were incapacitated. For example, you were in a coma.
  • You lacked the capacity to manage your affairs.

A judge may make exceptions in rare cases, but it is best to consult with a legal expert to determine if your situation qualifies. If you would like a consultation with an expert, Contact Us today.

It is important to note that the two-year window applies to beginning legal proceedings, not the moment you contact a solicitor. Remember to give your solicitor enough time to issue proceedings.

Is there a deadline for resolving a case once a claim has been filed?

Once your solicitor begins legal proceedings, there is no set time frame for resolving the case. However, prolonged delays are not in the best interest of any party involved and our legal team will work to resolve the case as efficiently as possible. As medical negligence cases can be complex, it is not unusual for them to run on for several years.

The court may regularly review the case to ensure it is progressing.

Why is there a time limit for medical negligence claims?

The government has implemented a time limit to encourage swift action and to ensure that the chances of a fair trial do not decrease as time goes on. This is because memories can fade and gathering evidence becomes more difficult with time.

Why would someone wait to file a claim?

We have encountered various reasons for individuals allowing the time limit to expire that would not meet the requirements for exceptions from the courts. Some examples include:

  • The person was unaware that they were entitled to file a claim. It is important to understand your rights.
  • They were unsure if their claim was viable until someone else convinced them otherwise. It is always best to seek independent legal advice from a qualified solicitor as soon as possible.
  • The person was unaware that they were entitled to file a claim. It is important to understand your rights.
  • They intended to file a claim but kept postponing it due to other commitments until it was too late.
  • They believed that there was an unlimited amount of time to initiate a claim.

If you were injured as a result of medical negligence, what should you do?

Do not let time run out on your claim. We offer confidential initial consultations with a medical negligence expert who can assess the viability of your claim. There is no harm in asking, even if you have doubts.

We have streamlined our services to make them convenient, accessible and stress-free.

You can learn more about our services on our Medical Negligence Claims page or Contact Us to arrange a consultation.

In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.


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