Bringing a claim for GP negligence
- Failure by your doctor to diagnose your medical condition properly.
- Where your local healthcare provider has failed to provide an appointment to see a doctor quickly enough, resulting in the significant untreated worsening of your condition.
- Failure by your doctor to carry out enough testing to accurately diagnose your condition.
- Situations where you have been prescribed incorrect medication of treatment courses.
- Failure by your doctor to recognise common but serious issues, where an earlier diagnosis may have significantly extended your life or prevented a significant decline in your quality of life.
- Failure by your doctor to refer you to a specialist where it was needed.
- Failure by your doctor to attend home visits, where required.
- Failure by your doctor to keep accurate records, resulting in the obscuring of important patient information that impedes diagnosis and treatment.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the questions often posed to our medical negligence team.
What are the consequences of GP negligence?
Medical negligence isn't solely confined to hospitals; GP consultations can also lead to significant harm. For instance, failure to refer a patient for cancer investigations can worsen their condition. Incorrect medication prescriptions may cause serious, long-term side effects, while improper treatment assessments can result in organ damage. Failure to detect conditions like meningitis or unstable angina can lead to severe consequences like cardiac arrest. As our primary healthcare providers, GPs must accurately diagnose, prescribe, and refer when necessary. Negligence in these duties can seriously exacerbate conditions.
Should I make a formal complaint?
Yes, this should be the first thing you do if you believe your doctor has behaved negligently. Start by raising the complaint directly with the healthcare facility where your GP is based. Medical doctors are overseen by the Medical Council, which investigates complaints regarding a doctor's ability to practice medicine. If a complaint is deemed serious and questions a doctor's fitness to practice, the Council has the authority to limit the doctor's registration, potentially revoking their right to practice in Ireland. Detailed guidance on making a complaint about a doctor can be found on the Medical Council's website, including this useful PDF.
Will suing my GP affect my healthcare treatment?
Bringing a claim against your GP can be a sensitive issue, but it should not affect the quality of healthcare you receive. Healthcare professionals are bound by ethical obligations to treat all patients fairly and without discrimination, regardless of any legal disputes. However, it's possible that the personal dynamics between you and your GP might change, which could affect your comfort level. If you're concerned about this impact, consider discussing your healthcare needs with another doctor within the practice or seeking treatment elsewhere to ensure you continue to receive unbiased care.
How do I sue my GP for negligence?
You should first consult with a solicitor specialising in medical negligence. They will assess the merits of your case, including whether the care fell below a reasonable standard and caused harm. If there's a case, they will guide you through the process, which typically involves obtaining medical records, securing expert medical opinions to support the claim, and then proceeding through the legal steps required, such as issuing legal proceedings. It's important to act promptly due to strict time limits for making such claims, generally two years from the date of the incident or when you first became aware of the harm.
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About McCarthy + Co
With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with medical negligence cases, McCarthy + Co. has expertise in bringing successful claims against GPs and other medical staff who have delivered negligent care. We are a family-run business, and we pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial, and helpful advice.
Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork, but we work with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance on any form of personal or medical injury.
Our Awards & Accreditations
We are a multi-award winning firm, accredited by the Law Society of Ireland.
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Flor McCarthy wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.
Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.
John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.