I would like to pursue a compensation claim for an injury I got during an operation last year and would like to know how I could be affected by the Statute of Limitations for professional negligence. Could you please explain?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
The Statute of Limitations refers to the limited amount of time allowed to pursue a personal injury claim, after the “Date of Knowledge”; however, the Statue of Limitations for professional negligence is one of several exceptions to the general rule. Broadly speaking, this time limit is two years from the Date or Knowledge – which is usually the date on which the accident occurred.
The Date of Knowledge for the Statute of Limitations for professional negligence, however, goes against the general tenet. For example, should an illness have been misdiagnosed by a medical practitioner, the date of knowledge would be the date when the correct diagnosis was made, meaning that the Statute of Limitations for professional negligence two-year time period would begin from then. Another exception would be if a medical instrument was left inside a patient during surgery resulting in a loss, injury or deterioration of an existing condition. The Date if Knowledge would in this case be when the instrument was eventually discovered inside the patient.
It must be remembered that no two cases are identical, even when injuries sustained are the same, and each case relies on information pertaining to its individual merits. If you have suffered an injury in an accident that was not your fault and believe that you may have a potential personal injury compensation case, it would be worth your while to contact a professional solicitor as soon as possible after the accident occurs, to lessen the impact of the Statute of Limitations Professional Negligence and discuss any queries you may have.