Fatal surgical negligence, when a loved one passes away due to medical negligence during surgery, is a tragic way to lose a parent, child, partner, or spouse. When a loved one dies, it is always an upsetting time, but if it is due to the negligence of others, there is an insult to the loss. 

Losing a loved one in surgery may be due to errors with the anaesthetic, incorrect monitoring of the heart or when the surgeon cuts an artery or damages the bowel during a routine operation. Many surgeries carry a high risk, but surgeons must be aware of the dangers and operate with care on your loved one. 

The family left behind will suffer the anguish and sorrow due to the fatal negligence. Dependents will also lose their financial security and may need to make major changes to their lives. 

If a loved one suffers below acceptable surgical care by a medical professional, you might be able to claim compensation from those responsible. 

A No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor can make your claim for fatal surgical negligence and get you the compensation you deserve.

Fatal surgical negligence

What is fatal negligence?

Fatal negligence is when a loved one loses their life due to the lack of duty of care by those responsible for them. The family trusts the person with the duty of care to look after their loved one and to always give them a professional service. 

The deceased’s family may be able to claim compensation on behalf of the estate for the fatal negligence. They may be able to claim for the economic effects of the death today and in the future, and for other damages from the fatal negligence. 

A No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor can advise the dependents and make their fatal negligence claim for compensation.

What is fatal surgical negligence?

Fatal surgical negligence is when a patient dies due to a lack of duty of care by the surgeon, the surgical team, or the NHS hospital involved. It is surgical care below a standard that no other surgeon acting professionally would provide.  

Fatal surgical negligence comes in many forms, and the family left behind may find it very upsetting to learn that a loved one has died due to medical negligence. 

The fatal surgical negligence could be due to surgical errors, lack of care by a surgeon or by undergoing unnecessary surgery. 

Medical negligence is medical care below that any other medical professional acting at an acceptable level would provide. In a fatal surgical negligence case, the NHS hospital or private care clinic has not provided your father, mother, son, daughter, husband, or wife with an acceptable level of medical care, causing their death. 

Your No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor can look at your case and see if you have a valid fatal surgical negligence claim for compensation.

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Common claims for fatal surgical negligence

Common claims for fatal surgical negligence range from surgical errors to anaesthesia errors and low standards of hygiene care during surgery. The claims for surgical negligence have the common factor of a lack of duty or care towards the patient. 

Surgery carries a high risk of complications. The surgeon and surgical team should be aware of the dangers and take all precautions to prevent death during surgery. 

Some common claims for fatal surgical negligence are:

Surgeon nicks an artery during surgery

A surgeon nicks an artery during surgery, causing fatal bleeding can happen when undergoing any type of operation. The surgeon and the surgical team must be aware of the possible complications and not miss the signs of the bleeding. 

Uncontrolled blood loss will put pressure on the heart and other organs. If left undiscovered, the patient may suffer fatal shock and pass away during or after surgery.

Patient dies from undergoing unnecessary surgery

A patient dies from undergoing unnecessary surgery due to a failure to inform the patient and family or not informing them fully of the dangers and alternatives. 

The patient must be fully informed of what surgery entails and the risks involved. 

A patient or their family must be told if there is an alternative to surgery that carries less of a risk to their life. The patient may prefer to take medication and not undergo surgery if they think the surgery carries too much risk. 

A failure to inform of the alternatives to surgery is common in older patients, and those left behind may have a claim for fatal surgical negligence.

Faulty medical equipment causes the death of a surgery patient

When faulty medical equipment causes the death of a surgery patient, the family is entitled to know what happened and maybe claim for compensation. Equipment must be serviced regularly and replaced if in danger of failing during surgery. 

Medical equipment such as monitors, heart pumps, breathing equipment and surgery tools should not fail. When they do, they may cause the patient’s death, an unnecessary death if the equipment is working properly. 

The family left behind may have a fatal surgery negligence claim for faulty medical equipment causing death.

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Poor hygiene standards lead to the death of patient in surgery

Poor hygiene standards can lead to the death of a patient in surgery when there is a lack of duty of care from the hospital authorities. Hygiene standards must be imposed and kept by the hospital; errors can lead to the death of a patient in surgery. 

The patient is vulnerable to infection when on the operating table. Low hygiene standards can lead to bacteria thriving and infecting the patient during surgery. 

Sepsis, MRSA, and other fatal conditions can spread quickly in surgery, and all precautions must be undertaken.

Errors in anaesthesia led to the death of a patient during surgery

Errors in anaesthesia led to the death of a patient during surgery is a common claim for fatal surgical negligence. Anaesthesia can have many effects on the heart and other organs, and care must be taken when administering it.

If the anaesthetist gives too much or too little of the anaesthesia drug, it can kill the patient. The errors may be due to mistakes in the patient’s notes or errors when reading the notes. 

The patient may die due to heart failure or shock, and the family may have a claim for fatal medical negligence.

Delays in surgery led to the death of a patient

Delays in surgery leading to the death of a patient is a common claim in poorly run hospitals or where the doctors fail to refer a patient in time for surgery. Delays can happen when the doctor does not examine a patient thoroughly, or they do not deem the patient needs surgery. 

Administration errors can also cause delays in surgery. Not having enough staff on duty or not assigning a patient to surgery when prescribed can cause delays and cancellations of necessary surgery. 

If a loved one suffers fatal surgical negligence, the family and loved ones left behind can make a fatal negligence claim for compensation.

Compensation for fatal negligence claims

You can seek compensation for fatal negligence claims in amounts from the low £10,000s to over £10 million in some cases. 

The compensation varies depending on several factors, and surgical negligence claims sometimes see very high awards, such as when a young mother passes away or the main breadwinner in the family dies due to fatal medical negligence. 

Compensation amounts in fatal surgical negligence claims can be:

  • Failing to take a patient’s history leading to death – £52,000
  • Failing to diagnose a medical condition before surgery – £63,800
  • Surgical errors leading to death- £125,600
  • Mistakes made by unqualified medical professionals during surgery- £196,900
  • Delays in referring a patient for surgery resulting in death – £224,500
compensation claim calculator

All amounts are approximate and are only a guide to what is possible in fatal negligence claims. Figures can be high in some claims as a loved one could leave behind a family and others who rely on them for care. 

The family left behind will be able to claim for future care and educational expenses and the other costs in the future.

As in all medical negligence claims, each case is dealt with on merit and how much those left behind suffer due to the fatal surgical negligence. 

A No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor will be the one to advise you on a fatal negligence claim. They will know from experience what your case may be worth and how to make a successful claim. 

Your No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor will handle your fatal negligence claim for compensation and for all damages incurred.

Our Process

Our team members have a higher career win rate with a 75% success rate on NHS letters of claim, compared to an industry average of 54.5%.

Enquiry

The first step is to get in touch and tell us what went wrong. It’s free and easy. Call our 24-hour helpline: 0800 246 1122 or request a callback here.

Medical Evaluation

Once you have spoken with our team we’ll let you know how we can help. Typically the next step is to obtain your medical records for us to review.

Legal Letter

Once all your medical records have been received they will be reviewed by a medically & legally qualified member of our team. If there is evidence of medical negligence we will send a letter of claim to the negligent party outlining your medical negligence claim.

Who is eligible for fatal negligence compensation?

The family, parents, dependents, husbands, wives, and partners who are left behind after the fatal medical negligence may be eligible for compensation. They are the ones who have suffered the loss, and the clear fatal surgical negligence has caused mental anguish and deep financial strain, possibly for life. 

Loved ones in a fatal surgical negligence case are known as ‘dependents’ and can be:

  • A spouse or former spouse of the deceased
  • Someone who lived with the deceased for two years before death as a husband, wife, or civil partner.
  • Blood children, adopted children or those who became children through marriage or civil partnership
  • Parents and those acting as parents, such as a guardian or step-parents
  • Grandparents or great-grandparents
  • Brothers, sisters, cousins, and other direct relatives

When your loved one is a victim of fatal negligence, or you have lost a loved one through surgical negligence, you may have a claim for compensation.

What can you claim for when you sue for fatal surgical negligence?

You can claim compensation for any damages that occurred when you sue for fatal surgical negligence. 

There are two types of compensation damages due when suing for any type of medical negligence: General damages and Special damages.

General damages are when you sue for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity, PSLA, your loved one may have experienced due to negligence before their death.

  • Pain is that above what is normally expected for their procedure. 
  • Suffering is the inconvenience and changes to their life
  • Loss of Amenity is any difficulty they had in doing everyday tasks, such as walking, sitting, playing sports, and sleeping before passing away

Special damages include loss of earnings, future care costs, and out-of-pocket expenses. 

  • Loss of earnings includes compensation for time off work and any reduction of income into the home in the future. 
  • Future care costs are for any care you will need, as was provided by your loved one who passed away as a result of the fatal negligence. 
  • Out-of-pocket expenses cover medical appointments, travel, accommodation, and meals. 

Be sure to keep payslips, receipts, and proof of any losses you experience due to the medical negligence.  

You and other loved ones deserve compensation to cover all losses, including loss of life, medical costs, and long-term care needs. 

When a loved one passes away from the effects of surgical negligence complications, you can make a claim for fatal surgical negligence compensation.

medical negligence compensation types

Fatal negligence due to failure to follow NICE guidelines

Fatal negligence due to failure to follow NICE guidelines is behind many of the common fatal surgical negligence claims. NICE guidelines exist to try and eliminate errors in the NHS, but when they are not followed, fatal negligence may occur. 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is a government-sponsored body set up to reduce the errors within the NHS. They identify ‘never events,’ the errors which should never happen, and issue guidelines on how to avoid them.

The NICE guidelines are like a list of how-to and how-not-to information points for performing all types of surgery. NICE continually updates all information, and the guidelines should be followed by anyone involved in surgery. 

When all members of staff and the hospital authorities follow the NICE guidelines, surgery should go as planned. If staff and the hospital do not follow all NICE guidelines, fatal negligence can happen due to the lack of duty of care involved. 

You can claim fatal medical negligence compensation when the surgical team or the hospital authorities do not follow NICE guidelines and your loved one dies during surgery.

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Who is responsible for fatal surgical negligence?

A medical professional is responsible for any fatal surgical negligence. When dependents bring a claim for fatal surgical negligence, they claim against the NHS Trust or private clinic that employed the medical professional responsible.

A medical professional responsible for the fatal surgical negligence could be:

  • The doctor who failed to order adequate surgical monitoring
  • The surgical team who missed the signs of a nicked artery
  • The hospital consultant who failed to refer the patient for surgery
  • The nurse who failed to monitor the patient during or after surgery
  • The hospital responsible for surgical protocols and NICE guidelines
  • The hospital responsible for hiring suitable medical professionals
  • The hospital responsible for providing surgical care
Who is responsible for medical negligence

Every medical professional owes you a duty of care when dealing with your health problems. You may suffer fatal surgical negligence if they are negligent with that duty of care and do not provide you with a professional service when under their care.

Medical negligence is treatment below an acceptable standard by a medical professional. Instead of putting the care needed into your surgical care, the treatment team made avoidable errors, which is clear medical negligence. 

By behaving less-than-professionally, the doctor risked the health of a loved one, and the financial and emotional effects could be with you for life.

You can claim compensation for the fatal surgical negligence and get help getting your life and that of the other dependents back on track.

What are the steps involved in making a fatal surgical negligence claim?

The steps involved in making a fatal surgical negligence claim go from seeking medical advice to issuing court proceedings. 

The steps are a part of any successful compensation case, and settlement can happen at any stage in the process. 

Your medical negligence solicitor will do the rest when you follow the steps correctly and gather all the facts and figures.

Seek medical advice on the injuries your loved one suffered during, before or after surgery, as soon as you realise they experienced fatal surgical negligence.

Contact a specialist medical negligence solicitor who operates on a No Win No Fee basis and tell them what went wrong. The right solicitor will look at the case, see where the problem lies, and advise if your loved one suffered fatal surgical negligence. 

The Medical Negligence Team also have a 100% Compensation Guarantee scheme, where you get all the money awarded in a negligence claim. 

Your loved one suffered medical negligence, and you should get all the money due for the suffering to your life caused by the fatal negligence.

Your medical negligence solicitor obtains the medical records with your permission. By reading the records, they will confirm if they think you have a valid fatal surgical negligence claim. 

The medical negligence team will know from your loved one’s medical records if the case will result in compensation being paid.

The medical negligence solicitor sending a letter of claim to the negligent party is the next step. The letter will ask them to admit the fatal surgical negligence in what is known as ‘sending a letter of claim.’ 

When the negligent party receives the letter of claim, it has up to four months to provide a written response.

Getting a response from the negligent party’s insurer will move the compensation claim closer to a conclusion. 

The insurer will either admit the medical negligence or say they intend to defend the case. Deciding to defend the case is known as ‘deny liability’ in legal terms. 

If they admit liability, your loved one’s fatal surgical negligence claim can be valued, and the two parties will meet to decide on the compensation payment. 

Your solicitor will negotiate with the negligent party and use their experience to get the compensation you deserve.

Issuing court proceedings is the next step if they deny liability in your fatal surgical negligence claim. 

Going to court happens, too, when they are not prepared to pay a fair amount for the damages suffered by those left behind. Your medical negligence solicitor issues the court proceedings.  

Remember that less than 1% of medical negligence cases end up in court, and very few of those cases ever make it to the courtroom.

making a medical negligence claim

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“Our pharmacist gave my husband the incorrect medication and while on holiday and taking the medication my husband became seriously ill. We had to rush home from Spain as a result of this. Medical Negligence Team recovered the costs for our abandoned trip and compensation for the pain my husband endured while he was recovering. They were very friendly, responsive and we received 100% of the compensation with no deductions.”

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“Medical Negligence Team Law quickly settled my claim. They were friendly and helpful throughout the whole process and above all I received 100% compensation recovered with no deductions.”

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“My pharmacy issued me with quetiapine rather than venlafaxine which had a significant impact on my mental health. Andy, Anthony and the team at Medical Negligence Team were incredibly helpful and obtained compensation for the pain and suffering I endured as well as payment for loss of earnings. They paid all the compensation, 100%, to me. I would highly recommend them.”

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“Medical Negligence Team Law quickly settled my medical negligence claim and I received 100% of the compensation recovered. I would highly recommend them.”

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“My late father had a fall in hospital breaking his hip which required surgery. The fall was due to a lack of supervision. Medical Negligence Team won our case and got us the compensation we deserved. We received 100% of the compensation recovered. Many thanks to all the team at Medical Negligence Team. Would definitely recommend them.”

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“Your care and support was outstanding, making me feel supported and reassured and you kept in constant contact with any worries I had explained and swiftly responded to thank you, would recommend highly.”

Mr B.H., Brighton

“I needed surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. The NHS did the wrong operation first time round and they drained rather than remove the cyst. I then had to have a further operation to do the operation they should have done first time round with significant pain in between as the cyst came back. Medical Negligence Team quickly settled my claim. I received 100% of the compensation and was delighted with the service and communication throughout. They really are medical negligence experts”

Mrs T.S., South Yorkshire

“I required Tegretol medication for my underlying epilepsy and nocturnal seizure control but my pharmacy gave me something completely different by mistake. As a result after many years of having no seizures I had a number of seizures, a fall and needed time off work. The Medical Negligence Team got me the compensation I deserved including money for lost wages. They also paid 100% of the compensation to me with no deductions.”

Mr J.B., Kent

“Following open surgery in October 2022 I continued to have pain in my wound. It was discovered a piece of drain had been left inside me causing me pain and suffering and the need to have a further surgical procedure to remove it. In June 2023 Medical Negligence Team Law completed my claim and I got 100% compensation awarded. Thank you.”

Mrs B, Hertfordshire

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Mrs R. R., South Yorkshire

“My pharmacy incorrectly gave me fast acting insulin causing problems with my blood sugars which made me very unwell for one month until the mistake was discovered. Medical Negligence Team Law quickly settled my claim and I received 100% of the compensation with no deductions.”

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Mrs C.M., London

Fatal surgical negligence time limits?

You have three years to make a claim for fatal surgical negligence. All medical negligence claims are subject to limitation periods. 

For example, in England and Wales, medical negligence claims must generally be brought and court proceedings issued within three years of the injury or three years of knowledge of the facts giving rise to the fatal surgical negligence claim. 

If someone has passed away, it is the date of death if the limitation period has not expired at the date of death.

Children not under a disability typically have until they reach 21 to start a fatal surgical negligence claim or court proceedings. 

Persons with a disability, who lack capacity, are not subject to any limitation period.

Can I make a medical negligence claim on behalf of a loved one?

Yes, you can make a medical negligence claim on behalf of a loved one. Under UK law, if an injured party cannot represent themselves, then a loved one can take the case on their behalf.

Surgery negligence is a perfect example of claiming on behalf of a loved one. The negligence could take a loved one’s life or leave them unable to make a claim.

Your loved one depends wholly on you and the family for care and to fight for their rights. By making a claim on their behalf for surgical negligence, you are fighting for the compensation they deserve.

A parent can make a surgical claim on behalf of a child while they are under 18. In some cases, the diagnosis of medical negligence is not made until a child is in their late teens. The child’s parents can make a compensation claim when the child is under 18, but the young adult can make one until they turn 21. 

A No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor will work with you to win the compensation claim for the surgical negligence.

Are you eligible for compensation?

If you want to obtain compensation for the negligence you have suffered, we have a simple 3 step process to make sure you get the money you deserve

  • Take our online assessment & speak with our team

  • Our team of doctors and lawyers will undertake a full medical review based on your medical records

  • We will send a legal letter of claim and our solicitors will pursue your compensation on your behalf

All case reviews are 100% cost and commitment free.

Using a No Win No Fee solicitor

Using a No Win No Fee solicitor is the only way to a successful fatal surgical negligence compensation claim. Your No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor will not charge you for a claim you do not win. 

Always have a fee agreement in place before engaging a medical negligence solicitor. If they start talking of a ‘win fee’ or a ‘success fee,’ you should walk away. The negligent party insurers should pay all fees. 

The medical negligence solicitor should also operate a 100% Compensation Guarantee scheme. When you win the case, all the money awarded should go to you, not the solicitor. 

You are the one who suffered due to the fatal surgical negligence, and you deserve the compensation to get your life back to normal.

Using a No Win No Fee solicitor

Can I make a medical negligence claim against the NHS?

Yes, you can make a medical negligence claim against the NHS. Suing the NHS for negligence is not unusual. People sue the NHS for compensation for medical negligence and receive the money they deserve for the negligent treatment. 

There are between 8,000 and 10,000 successful medical negligence claims against the NHS each year—amounts in compensation claims awarded against the NHS range from £1000 to over £10 million. 

The amount of compensation you receive covers minor injuries such as scarring and serious life-threatening negligence, which leaves you with long-term care needs. 

We trust in and use the NHS daily and do not expect negligence. It happens, though, and the NHS has a dedicated team to handle medical negligence compensation claims, called NHS resolution. 

NHS Resolution has a responsibility to treat patients who seek compensation fairly. Patients pay for the NHS through their taxes; they deserve respect and the best medical treatment.

Contact The Medical Negligence Team

Contact the Medical Negligence Team today to discuss your fatal surgical negligence claim for compensation. We have both the legal and medical experts to guide you along the steps to a successful medical negligence claim for compensation. 

At the Medical Negligence Team, we fight every compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis. You will not be out of pocket for an unsuccessful claim. 

We have a very high success rate and a reputation for a speedy and successful resolution to all medical negligence cases. 

Our 100% Compensation Guarantee puts all the money you win into your pocket. Your loved one suffered fatal surgical negligence and you deserve every penny of the compensation claim. 

Contact us at the Medical Negligence Team for all your medical negligence needs.

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