Compensation claims for an eye surgery error – typically as a result of eye laser treatment or a cataract removal procedure – are classified as medical negligence claims and therefore do not come under the remit of the Injuries Board.
Part of the reason for this is because compensation claims for an eye surgery error are particularly complex. Liability can be determined by such issues as whether a patient gave their informed consent before undergoing eye surgery, or if they contributed to the cause or extent of their injury due to their own lack of care.
Furthermore, many compensation claims for an eye surgery injury can revolve around the events before or after a procedure was performed. The failure to identify a pre-existing condition or a failure in post-operative care are more likely to be responsible for an eye injury than the negligence of an ophthalmologist during surgery.
Making Compensation Claims for an Eye Surgery Error
As the option of applying to the Injuries Board for an assessment of your claim is not available to you, you should speak with a medical negligence solicitor. The solicitor will investigate the cause of your injury, identify whether it was due to negligence or the failure to obtain your informed consent, and recommend a course of action.
Often, the recommended course of action is to write to the negligent party with evidence of negligence, inviting them to make an offer of settlement. If liability is admitted, your solicitor will negotiate a settlement of compensation based on whether the injury can be corrected via revision surgery and factors such as how your injury impacts on your quality of life and employment opportunities.
If liability for your eye injury is denied, your solicitor will issue court proceeding provided that he or she believes you have a strong case that will succeed in court. Many compensation claims for an eye surgery error are resolved before a court hearing takes place – the issuing of court proceedings often prompting the negligent party to make an out-of-court offer of settlement.
Eye Surgery Error Compensation Claims Made on Behalf of Children
If your child has been injured, you can represent them in legal action as a “next friend”. The process for being approved as a next friend involves a check to make sure that any eye surgery error compensation claims made on behalf of children are in the child´s best interests and that there is no conflict of interest between the child and the parent representing them.
The claims process is the same as when an adult is making compensation claims for an eye surgery error with the exception that, when a settlement of compensation is agreed, the settlement has to be approved by a judge to ensure it is appropriate and it is then held by the court until your child becomes a legal adult at the age of eighteen.
While the court is holding the funds, you can apply to access the compensation settlement for your child´s medical or educational needs if, for example, you require the funds to pay for revision surgery or to purchase visual aids. Applications of this nature are usually dealt with quickly provided that you have evidence for the use of funds to support your application.
Speak with a Medical Negligence Solicitor for More Information
If you or your child has sustained an injury due to an error made before, during or after eye surgery, you are advised to speak with a medical negligence solicitor at the first practical opportunity. Although the Statute of Limitations allows two years in which to make compensation claims for an eye surgery error from the date on which the injury was diagnosed, the complexity of such claims means it may take some time for investigations to be completed and sufficient evidence of negligence compiled.