Am I still in time to make a claim for compensation for a pierced bladder during surgery that occurred during a hysterectomy last year?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Under the Statute of Limitations (Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004) you have two years from the ‘Date of Knowledge’ that an injury has taken place in which to make a compensation claim for a pierced bladder during surgery. However it would be in your best interests to speak with a solicitor as soon as you possibly can to get your claim for an injury during a hysterectomy under way – especially if you have not already officially registered a complaint about your injury.

The process for making a claim for an injury during a hysterectomy would normally involve your solicitor discussing with you the injury and the consequences it made to your quality of life, whether there are any ongoing health issues and if you have suffered any stress or anxiety since the unfortunate event. Your solicitor would then – with your permission – access your medical notes and have them reviewed by an independent medical expert to ensure that your potential claim for hysterectomy injury compensation is justified and worth your while to pursue.

If you still wish to proceed with a claim for compensation, the solicitor would send a ‘Letter of Claim’ to hospital at which you underwent the procedure to advise them that you are making a claim for an injury during a hysterectomy and that you are claiming injury compensation for a pierced bladder during surgery. It is when the hospital acknowledges the ‘Letter of Claim’ that the period allowed in which to claim hysterectomy injury compensation comes to a close (i.e. not the date on which you first talk to a solicitor or even when the ‘Letter of Claim’ is sent).

Although it is not necessary at this stage to inform the hospital of how much hysterectomy injury compensation you are claiming (indeed all the consequences of the surgical error may not yet have been identified), the ‘Letter of Claim’ usually supports what has been already been advised to the hospital in a ‘Letter of Complaint’. The ‘Letter of Complaint’ is a formal statement saying that you have sustained an injury and, as a rule, should be sent to the hospital within a year of the injury being sustained.

If you have not yet sent a ‘Letter of Complaint’, it will not disqualify you from claiming compensation for a pierced bladder during surgery, but it is the most pressing reason why you should speak with a solicitor without delay. Please advise the solicitor when you speak with them whether or not you have sent a ‘Letter of Complaint’ and, if you have already written one, let him or her know its content.

Should you be close to the two-year Statute of Limitations for making a claim for an injury during a hysterectomy, the solicitor will advise you of any changes that will be made to the above procedure to ensure the ‘Letter of Claim’ is submitted in good time.