Within this guide, we discuss when you could make a claim for death by hospital negligence if a loved one has died. We will set out the specific eligibility criteria that will need to be met in order to have a valid medical negligence claim, as well as the different parties that can make a claim and what they can make a claim for.
Additionally, we will share the time limit that must be adhered to when starting a fatal clinical negligence claim. We will also share some examples of how a wrongful death could occur due to a medical professional providing a substandard level of care.
Furthermore, we will share the various forms of compensation that could be awarded for a successful claim. This guide will end by taking a look at how an experienced No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could help you claim compensation.
If you have any specific questions that you would like answered, you can contact a member of our advisory team. They are available to reach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via the following contact methods:
- Call 0161 696 9685
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Select A Section
- Death By Hospital Negligence Claims Explained
- Who Could Make A Fatal Medical Negligence Claim?
- How Could A Death By Hospital Negligence Occur?
- How Much Compensation For Death By Medical Negligence?
- Make A Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis For A Death Caused By Medical Negligence
- Contact Us To Start A Fatal Medical Negligence Claim
Every medical professional, regardless of the medical environment they work in, owes their patients a duty of care. Per their duty of care, they must provide their patients with the minimum standard of care when treating them. If a medical professional were to provide negligent medical treatment, this could cause their patient to suffer from various consequences, and in some cases, could cause their death.
In order for a claim for a loved one’s death by hospital negligence to be valid, the following criteria would need to be met:
- The deceased was owed a duty of care by a medical professional.
- This duty of care was not adhered to, and the patient suffered due to negligent treatment.
- Due to this, the deceased suffered a wrongful death.
To see whether a claim for medical negligence resulting in the death of a loved one is valid, continue reading this guide. Additionally, you could contact one of our advisors to receive free advice for your particular case.
When claiming for a loved one’s death by hospital negligence, under the Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934 (LRMPA), the deceased person’s estate is allowed to bring forward a claim following the deceased’s death. This can be a claim on behalf of the dependents and for the pain and suffering of the deceased prior to their death. The dependents cannot make their own claim in the first six months following the death.
If no claim has been made after six months, under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA), the dependents of the deceased can bring forward their own claim for impacts the death has caused them to experience. However, it is only the estate that can make a claim for the pain and suffering the deceased suffered before they died.
Under the FAA, the following relatives qualify as a dependent:
- The deceased’s wife, husband or civil partner (current or former).
- A person who lived with the deceased for two years or more prior to their death as spouses.
- The deceased’s parents or those treated as one (e.g. a step-parent).
- Children or other descendants of the deceased. This includes stepchildren or someone else they regarded as like their child.
- A sibling, uncle, or aunt of the deceased.
How Long After A Death By Hospital Negligence Could You Claim?
The time limit for starting a medical negligence claim for wrongful death is three years. This runs from the date of death or the date of knowledge. This refers to the date it was first realised that the deceased’s death was linked with medical negligence. This can be formed on the date of an inquest or of a post-mortem.
Please call if you have a question about hospital negligence resulting in death and whether you could be eligible to pursue a claim as a dependent.
As previously stated, all medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients, regardless of whether they are part of the public or private healthcare sector. This duty also extends to various medical settings, including pharmacies, GP surgeries and hospitals.
If a medical professional were to provide a substandard level of care (negligent treatment), this could lead to a patient suffering various complications, and in certain situations, could even lead to death.
- A medical misdiagnosis – For example, if cancer was misdiagnosed because the practitioner breached their duty of care. A misdiagnosis could allow it to spread to other parts of the body and become untreatable.
- Medication errors – If a patient were to be given the wrong medication or the incorrect dosage due to a medical professional not providing the correct level of care. This could lead to a fatal allergic reaction or overdose, for example.
- Surgical errors – A fatal error made during a surgical procedure could lead to death.
These are just a few examples. If you would like to know whether you could make a claim due to a loved one’s death by hospital negligence, you can contact our advisors.
As previously mentioned, the deceased’s estate can make a claim on behalf of the deceased for their pain and suffering under a head of claim known as general damages and for their financial losses up until the date of their death under special damages. If they are successful, compensation will be awarded.
Those valuing fatal medical negligence claims may refer to the compensation brackets found within the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document lists compensation guidelines for various types of physical and psychological injuries, and we have listed some in the table below.
Please note that this table is only a guide. The first entry in this table has not been taken from the JCG.
|Death And Additional Payments
|Up to £550,000+
|A payout addressing the deceased's pain and suffering, alongside dependency payments like a loss of consortium and of present and future earnings.
|£324,600 to £403,990
|At the top end of the bracket will be cases where physical pain is present or where there is a significant effect on senses or ability to communicate.
|£219,070 to £284,260
|The body's lower half is paralysed. Among the factors affecting the level of award are the sufferer's age and life expectancy and the extent of any pain they experience.
|£282,010 to £403,990
|There will be little, if any, evidence of meaningful response to environment, little or no language function and double incontinence.
|Psychiatric Damage Generally
|£54,830 to £115,730
|The injured person has marked issues with their ability to cope with life, education and work, relationships with family, friends, among other things.
|£59,860 to £100,670
|All aspects of life will be negatively affected with severe permanent issues preventing a return to normal working and social life.
|Injuries Resulting in Death
|£12,540 to £23,810
|Initial full awareness is followed by fluctuating levels of consciousness across four to five weeks. Death ensues within a couple of weeks, or as many as three months.
Other Forms Of Compensation That Could Be Awarded
Other forms of compensation that could be awarded for a successful wrongful death claim include:
- Funeral expenses or funeral costs.
- Loss of services. This could include childcare or home improvements the deceased helped with.
- Loss of consortium, which could also be referred to as loss of a special person. This payment attempts to compensate for lost companionship and the effect on familial relations.
- Financial dependency for the impact the loss of the deceased’s income has had. This can also cover past and future losses.
Additionally, under Section 1A of the FAA, certain qualifying relatives could also claim a bereavement award. This is a lump sum of £15,120 and can be awarded to or split between:
- A wife, husband or civil partner.
- A person who lived with the deceased for two years immediately prior to their death as husband, wife or cohabiting partner.
- The parent of an unmarried minor, or the mother if the minor was born out of wedlock.
Contact our advisors today to discuss your case and to receive free advice. They may also connect you with one of the fatal medical negligence lawyers on our panel.
You could seek fatal medical negligence compensation as a dependant with the help of one of the experienced clinical negligence solicitors on our panel. Furthermore, a solicitor from our panel can support you in claiming compensation under No Win No Fee terms.
Claiming on a No Win No Fee basis under a Conditional Fee Agreement with a solicitor, means they won’t take any upfront payments for their services. You also will not need to pay them for their work while the wrongful death claim is in progress or is unsuccessful.
Should the claim be a success, they will deduct a small percentage from the compensation awarded to you. This is referred to as a success fee, and there is a legal cap in place that limits how much this percentage can be.
You can get in touch with us today for a free initial consultation. Our advisors can answer any questions you may have about fatal medical negligence claims. After giving you a free claim assessment, they could put you in touch with one of the specialist solicitors on our panel if you have good grounds to claim for the effects of a wrongful death due to medical negligence.
To get started, either:
Discover More About Hospital Negligence Claims
You can learn more about medical negligence claims and fatal injury claims through our further guides:
- A review of fatal accident claims and how to seek compensation as a dependant.
- How to make a fatal accident at work compensation claim.
- A guide for if someone was harmed by GP negligence and wants to seek compensation.
These resources might be useful:
- NHS guidance on handling grief after bereavement when someone you care for passes away.
- Government information on applying for probate. This is required if you plan to act on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
- The NHS explains how to complain.
Thank you for looking through our guide. Please call if you have any questions related to claiming for a death by hospital negligence.