Is it true that if I want to claim failure to diagnose appendicitis compensation I have to go to court or can I make an application for assessment of my claim to the Injuries Board?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Answer:

According to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, the Injuries Board will assess applications for compensation “other than a personal injury arising out of medical negligence” and, as a compensation claim for the failure to diagnose appendicitis would be resolved by medical opinion rather than tangible evidence, the Injuries Board will decline to assess any failure to diagnose appendicitis claim for compensation submitted to it. However, this does not necessarily mean that litigation in court is necessary to resolve a compensation claim for the failure to diagnose appendicitis.

Once it has been established that you sustained an avoidable injury due to the failure to diagnose appendicitis which was attributable to the negligence of a medical practitioner, a solicitor acting your behalf would sent the negligent medical practitioner a Letter of Claim advising them that a claim for compensation for the failure to diagnose appendicitis was being made against them. If the medical practitioner admits liability for your injury, then negotiations can start with his or her medical insurance company to obtain a settlement of compensation for failing to diagnose appendicitis.

Only if the medical practitioner denies his or her negligence in failing to diagnose appendicitis – or the insurance company is unwilling to settle how much compensation for failing to diagnose appendicitis your solicitor believes you are entitled to – will your solicitor issue court proceedings. Even if this is necessary, the issuing of court proceedings does not mean that your failure to diagnose appendicitis compensation claim will be heard in court, as insurance companies are often unwilling to take a chance with a judge´s ruling.

At any stage once the Letter of Claim has been sent, you may be approached directly by the negligent medical practitioner´s insurance company with an out-of-court offer of compensation for failing to diagnose appendicitis. You should always refer these offers to your solicitor, as the insurance company´s motive for approaching you directly is to offer you a lower settlement in return for a swift payment. If their offer is tempting because you are concerned about your short-term finances, your solicitor can apply for interim payments of failure to diagnose appendicitis compensation until your claim is satisfactorily resolved.

No two claims for failure to diagnose appendicitis compensation are the same, but hopefully the above answers your question about making failure to diagnose appendicitis claims for compensation. It may be helpful to discuss the circumstances regarding the misdiagnosis of your appendicitis with an experienced medical negligence solicitor at the first practical opportunity.