Can my father claim kidney stones misdiagnosis compensation after suffering in pain for many months due to being told he had a urinary tract infection?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Your father´s eligibility to claim kidney stones misdiagnosis compensation is going to depend on why your father´s doctor mistakenly diagnosed him with a urinary tract infection and whether a competent physician, presented with the symptoms displayed by your father “at the time and in the circumstances”, would have made the correct diagnosis or at least referred him to a hospital for a precautionary scan.

If a urologist was to review your father´s medical records and come to the conclusion that his doctor was negligent in his duty of care for your father, he should be able to make a claim for compensation for the misdiagnosis of kidney stones; however, in addition to requiring the services of an expert urologist, your father will also need to engage the services of a medical negligence solicitor to assist with his claim.

Under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, the Injuries Board Ireland will assess applications for personal injury compensation “other than a personal injury arising out of medical negligence”. As a claim for compensation for the misdiagnosis of kidney stones would be classed as medical negligence and resolved by the urologist´s opinion rather than by tangible evidence, the Injuries Board Ireland will decline any application for the assessment of a kidney stones misdiagnosis compensation submitted to them.

Once it has been established that your father has suffered unnecessarily, the solicitor will write a Letter of Claim to his doctor, advising the doctor that your father is making a misdiagnosis of kidney stones compensation claim and supporting it with the testimony of the expert urologist. Should the doctor deny his or her liability for the pain your father experienced due to the misdiagnosis, your solicitor will issue court proceedings. It is rare that a claim for kidney stones misdiagnosis compensation is heard in court, as the doctor´s medical insurance company will be reluctant to take a chance on the outcome of a claim for which your father´s solicitor has already compiled a strong case.

Whether liability is admitted or not, it is likely at some stage that an offer of settlement will be made by the doctor´s medical insurance company. If the offer is made directly to your father, it should be referred immediately to his solicitor. Offers of compensation for the misdiagnosis of kidney stones that are made without a full assessment of the pain and suffering your father experienced, the deterioration in his quality of life he suffered as a result and any ongoing consequences to his health are likely to be inadequate; and, by negotiation with the insurance company, your father´s solicitor should be able to obtain a far more appropriate settlement of kidney stones misdiagnosis compensation.

One important factor with regard to claims for compensation for the misdiagnosis of kidney stones is that, after a while, the memory of just how painful the condition can be is tends to fade. Your father will also find that he will forget the times that the pain he experienced from the kidney stones prevented him from enjoying a full and active life. Therefore, it is advisable that he make a note of the times when he was in pain from the misdiagnosis of kidney stones and how it prevented him from enjoying a full, active life. Thereafter, he should speak with a medical negligence solicitor at the first practical opportunity.