How to file a claim for medical negligence in Italy
A patient who suspects that the worsening of his/her health conditions, following treatment or a surgery, is caused by medical malpractice should first address his thoughts to an expert lawyer and to a medical-forensic examiner with specialist knowledge.
In 2017 the so-called reform “Gelli” entered into force in Italy and, since then, it is not possible anymore to issue legal proceeding unless a technical consultancy has been set, or unless mediation has been attempted.
The preventive technical consultancy (consulenza tecnica preventiva) shall be requested by a filing an instance to the competent court, which will appoint a consultant to carry out the necessary investigations, to draft an evaluation, possibly establishing medical responsibilities and to attempt to find an amicable solution between the parties. The medical evaluation is useful to assess whether or not a claim for medical negligence would be grounded.
Upon this preliminary procedure, the patient may file a claim for medical negligence to the competent court, requesting for compensation. The claim may be filed against the healthcare institution or the health professionals involved.
According to the legal reform, the term to file the claim against the healthcare institutions is 10 years from the injury, as a contract based liability is involved; whereas the claim against the health professionals shall be filed within 5 years, as tort liability is involved.
In the event of the claim filed against the healthcare institution, the patient has now the possibility to issue legal proceeding also against the insurance company covering any liability of the hospital or of the health professionals involved in the claim.
Negligence can be very difficult to be proved and that is why it is highly recommended to be assisted by experienced lawyers. VGS Lawyers can guide you through the various steps of the claim ensuring a great chance to succeed.