Ireland considers medical negligence awards in instalments

The Irish government is considering a new system whereby medical negligence compensation would be paid in annual instalments rather than as a lump sum.

Presently, people who lodge a successful personal injury claim against the state for medical negligence receive a lump sum award in compensation. However, it is believed that the UK’s periodic payment system could soon be introduced in the Republic of Ireland.

A conference, “Catastrophic Birth and Child Injuries” took place in Dublin yesterday and the annual instalment system was a topic on the agenda.

Michael Boylan from Augustus Cullen Law, a leading Irish law firm that specialises amongst other things in medical negligence cases, explained that the periodic payment system made provision for patients to receive annual inflation linked payments and care costs every year.

He went on to say that this was a more accurate and equitable way to help people who had suffered catastrophic injuries.

Meanwhile, a leading personal injury solicitor has urged claims management companies in the UK to support the government’s reforms of the personal injury marketplace.

John Spencer, a director at CS2 Lawyers, pointed out that the current system is dysfunctional and threatens the ability of accident victims to access justice. He explained that the commercial incentives and practices that have become entrenched in the industry are making many people increasingly uncomfortable.

The well-being of personal injury victims has to be at the forefront of the system and that will only come about if there is a change in that system, he added.

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