Is There a Time Limit for Medical Negligence Claims?

What Is the Time Limit for Medical Negligence Claims*?

The time limit for medical negligence claims is generally two years from the time of the alleged negligence. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Read on to find out more about the statute of limitations in respect of medical negligence claims.

Date of Knowledge

The general rule is that a victim of medical negligence has two years less one day from the date of knowledge of the alleged medical negligence to issue court proceedings to initiate a personal injury claim.

The date of knowledge in a personal injury case is the date on which the injured person discovered the following:

  • That they had been injured,
  • That the injury was significant
  • That the injury resulted from medical negligence
  • They know the identity of the party at fault

Exceptions for Medical Negligence Legal Time Limits In Ireland

A victim may not be aware on the date of the alleged medical negligence that any negligence occurred. The person then arguably has two years less one day from the date of discovery of the alleged negligence. This could, for example, occur at a follow-up appointment when the patient discovers information about the origin of the negligence. Or indeed, it may not occur until the patient is in possession of a copy of his or her medical records. It is important to note that the date of discovery is the date the victim has constructive knowledge of the alleged medical negligence, in other words, when the victim should have known about it.

  • Time Limits for Children

Medical negligence claims involving children have a different time limit. Personal injury claims involving a minor (a person younger than 18) are approached differently to cases involving adults. A minor cannot make a claim until they turn 18. When they reach 18 years, they have 2 years less one day following their 18th birthday to issue court proceedings for a medical negligence claim. However, a parent or guardian may pursue a claim on their behalf before they turn 18 if they wish, under the “next friend rule.” Any settlement awarded to the child must be approved by way of a court ruling. Any settlement monies or court award is held in the Accountant’s Office of the High Court until the minor reaches 18 years of age.

  • Time Limits for Individuals with a Disability

If the person to whom the right of action accrues is under a disability either at the time at which that right was accrued to them or at the date of their knowledge, the action may be brought at any time before the expiration of two years from the date when that person ceased to be under a disability or died, whichever event first occurred, notwithstanding that the usual two-year limitation period has expired.

  • Time Limits for Fatal Injury Claims

Where the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act of another, such as medical negligence, which would have entitled the deceased, but for their death, to maintain a personal injury claim and recover damages, such a claim may be brought by the dependents of the deceased. However, there may be only one claim. Such a claim shall not be brought after the expiration of two years from the date of the death or the date of knowledge of the person for whose benefit the action is brought, whichever is later.

Benefits Of Claiming Early

The benefit of claiming early is that as memories fade and witnesses become unavailable, it can be more difficult to get a full picture of what occurred. A person who is entitled to bring a claim should avoid delay in prosecuting a claim as the courts have inherent jurisdiction to dismiss an action by reason of inordinate and inexcusable delay, even though the action may have been commenced within the appropriate limitation period.

Medical negligence claims are not assessed by the Injuries Board. Therefore, the only way to stop the clock on the time limit is to issue legal proceedings.

If you have a query about whether you are within the statutory time period to bring a medical negligence claim, get in touch with one of our medical negligence solicitors today.

With over 50 years of expert legal experience advising patients, we are here to provide expert advice when you need it most.
Call us today on 1800 207 207 or contact us online.

Get in touch

Nationwide services with dedicated offices in


2-4 Ely Place, Dublin 2, D02 FR58


Bishopsgate, Henry Street, Limerick, V94 K5R6


1A South Mall, Cork, T12 PV44

Share this page



Wills, Probate and Trusts

HOMS Assist provide swift case resolution and a personalised service. Contact us for all private wealth cases such as Wills and Powers of Attorney.


Property Law Solicitors

HOMS Assist provide swift case resolution and personalised service in Dublin and Limerick. Contact us today to discuss property law matters.


Family Law Solicitors

We have 50+ years experience in family law cases including child custody, guardianship, divorce and domestic violence. Contact us for swift case progression.


News Article

HOMS Assist Proudly Supports the Michal Rejmer Memorial 10-Mile Road Race for the Third Consecutive Year

News Article

Success Stories: HOMS Assist Secures Substantial Personal Injury Settlement for Delivery Driver

News Article

Rights of Cohabiting Couples: Common Myths and Misconceptions

Zombie Will

News Article

From the Headlines: Understanding Undue Influence

News Article

Buyer Beware: Buying a House From a Receiver

News Article

Who Pays Costs in Personal Injury Claims?

What we offer

We are an award winning, client-oriented law firm in Dublin, Limerick and Cork. Our solicitors provide comprehensive legal advice in an approachable and caring manner. Most of us will require a solicitor at some time in our lives. When the time comes that you do require legal support you will want to be sure that you are dealing with professionals who will work quickly and efficiently to help you. So whether you need help writing a Will, you have been in an accident, suffered an injury or illness that was not your fault, or you are looking at divorce options, we can offer clear guidance and representation to assist you in obtaining the optimum result.

Request a callback

Fill out the form below, and we will contact you shortly. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our newsletter today

Scroll to Top