Fatal medical negligence claims cover compensation for a death due to medical negligence by a GP doctor or by hospital staff. Losing a loved one is hard on those left behind, but to discover it is due to medical negligence can be difficult to bear.
Unfortunately, the financial costs of losing your loved one are also high and can be hard to deal with at a difficult time. Funeral expenses, medical bills and day-to-day living costs can add up very quickly.
Someone is responsible for the negligent medical treatment of your Mum, Dad, son or daughter, and you can claim compensation for the loss. You should not be out of pocket for fatal medical negligence by a doctor or hospital.
A No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor will help fight your claim for compensation for the fatal medical negligence.
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What is fatal medical negligence?
Fatal medical negligence is when a person dies due to negligent medical treatment. It is medical treatment that no other medical professional would provide care of the same low standard.
The fatal medical negligence could be from the delayed diagnosis of a condition or errors during surgery, but it is always a result of medical treatment below acceptable standards.
If you believe your loved one died unnecessarily, you may have a fatal medical negligence claim for compensation.
It may not be obvious at the time, but a case of fatal medical negligence often comes to light when you have the space to realise it or from talking to others.
Fatal medical negligence is a death due to unacceptable medical treatment, and you will have a claim for compensation against the negligent doctor, consultant or hospital responsible.
Common fatal medical negligence claims
Common fatal negligence claims are for avoidable deaths in a hospital or when a doctor provides less than professional medical treatment.
A fatal medical negligence claim gives the ones left behind some financial comfort for losing the loved one.
Common fatal medical negligence claims are for:
- Errors during surgery
- Mistakes in medical treatment
- Late diagnosis of a condition
- Misdiagnosis of a fatal condition
Errors during surgery
Errors during surgery can happen, but they should not cause the patient’s death. Surgery is a skilled procedure, but even the simplest operation can be fatal when it involves medical negligence.
The surgeon may nick an artery during surgery, not notice it, and the subsequent blood loss may cause a shock to the body that kills the patient.
A negligent surgeon may damage an internal organ during surgery, causing the death of the patient when in recovery.
If a surgeon does not follow appropriate post surgery procedures, like giving an antibiotic or anticoagulation after surgery the if the patient develops a blood clot or an infection there may be a successful fatal medical negligence claim. A blood clot in the calf, a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), may move to lungs and become a fatal pulmonary embolism (PE).
Mistakes in medical treatment
Mistakes in medical treatment can lead to the patient becoming very ill and in some cases may result in their death.
Medical negligence in the treatment of a patient happens, and you may not realise it until your loved one passes away.
Putting a patient on the wrong medication not only fails to treat the illness but delays the treatment of the actual disease. It often happens in cancer patients where the delay in starting treatment can be fatal.
Prescribing a patient medication to which they are allergic can have a fatal outcome. Interactions with other medications can cause internal bleeding or stroke in some people.
Putting someone on a too high or too low of a dose, can do a lot of damage; in some people, it is fatal.
Late diagnosis of a condition
Late diagnosis of a condition such as a missed cancer, or heart problem is serious fatal medical negligence. Your doctor should give careful attention to your health and look for the warning signs of illness.
The late diagnosis of cancer only delays its treatment and allows the cancer to grow. The only option may be aggressive radiotherapy or surgery, and the patient may be too weak by that stage.
Heart conditions can get worse if not diagnosed, and the correct medications and treatment are not started.
The patient may die due to the medical negligence when they could have been saved if diagnosed earlier in life.
Misdiagnosis of a fatal condition
Misdiagnosis of a fatal condition can happen in the A&E, when an ambulance is called, or even at the GP. The medical negligence of a misdiagnosis delays treatment and is often fatal.
Prompt action is necessary for the treatment of stroke, and the NHS FAST guidelines are clear on what is necessary.
The signs of a heart attack are clear to diagnose, but patients can die if left untreated.
Misdiagnosis of a diabetes or medication-related loss of consciousness is clear medical negligence, and the patient may die for the need of correct treatment.
Each form of fatal medical negligence leaves bereaved relatives wondering what happened and why their loved one died.
A No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor can file a compensation case for those relations who can make a claim.
Who can make a claim for fatal medical negligence?
Husbands, wives, long term cohabiting partners of more than two years, children and executors of the deceased estate (will) can make a claim for fatal medical negligence. They are the ones left behind, the ones who have to pick up the pieces while also paying the bills.
Medical expenses and funeral costs all have to be paid when a loved one dies. In the case of fatal medical negligence, only close relations can make a claim for compensation to cover costs.
On the list of relations who can make a claim for fatal medical negligence compensation is:
- Errors during surgery
- Mistakes in medical treatment
- Late diagnosis of a condition
- Misdiagnosis of a fatal condition
To make a claim for fatal medical negligence, you will need to be related to the deceased in some way, as above.
Your No Win No Fee will file the compensation claim and outline what you can expect when you make the case.
Compensation for in a fatal medical negligence claim
Compensation in a fatal medical negligence claim is for expenses, costs and losses incurred after a loved one passes away.
Many people do not realise the costs involved in handling a funeral and dealing with life after someone dies. Hidden fees and unexpected costs can add up along with the usual day-to-day ones.
Compensation in a fatal medical negligence claim covers:
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA)
- Funeral costs
- Loss of earnings
- Household expenses
- Medical expenses
- Loss of benefits
- Childcare costs
- Counselling services
Pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA)
Although a loved one may have died as a result of a fatal medical negligence claim any pain, suffering, loss of amenity they suffered before passing away as a result of the medical negligence can be claimed by their estate after the loved one passes away. This claim does not die with the passing of your loved one it becomes part of their estate and will be distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate.
Funeral costs can be very high and often catch people by surprise. The cost of a funeral director and their services on the day can be over £10,000.
Crematorium or graveyard costs also come into the overall funeral bill.
Loss of earnings
Loss of earnings covers the income from the deceased. If the one who passed away were the household’s sole earner, those left behind would soon feel the effects of the lost income.
You may claim for loss of earnings of the deceased for the rest of their expected working life in certain circumstances.
Household expenses are for utility bills, groceries and rent or mortgage repayments. When the sole earner dies, the home can be at risk for non-payment of rent and the mortgage.
All your household expenses can be covered by the compensation claim for medical negligence.
Medical expenses are always left to be paid by the deceased’s family. If the patient was ill for some time and needed constant care, the medical expenses could be high.
Paying medical expenses after fatal medical negligence can be upsetting, but they need to be paid.
Loss of benefits
Loss of benefits can hit the household when a loved one dies due to fatal medical negligence. Illness benefit, unemployment allowance, disability benefit and pension income will be lost when the recipient dies.
Claiming for loss of benefits will come under a compensation claim for fatal medical negligence.
Childcare costs add up quickly and cover everything from clothing to education and childminding services. If a husband or wife dies, the bereaved will need to provide the care for the children, and children cost money.
Your childcare costs never seem to stop, but you will need to claim for them.
Counselling services can be invaluable when there is a fatal medical negligence case to come to terms with for those left behind. Talking with someone and facing the future is vital but can cost money.
Including counselling costs can be a real benefit from a fatal medical negligence claim for compensation.
What is the average payout for fatal medical negligence in the UK?
The average payout for fatal medical negligence in the UK can vary from around £15,000 to more than £500,000, depending on the circumstances.
The bereaved loved ones will have differing costs, as above, and the compensation claim for medical negligence reflects the individual needs.
Your No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor will handle your case and file the compensation claim against those responsible for the fatal medical negligence.
Who can be responsible in a fatal medical negligence case?
A medical professional can be responsible in a fatal medical negligence case. It is the lack of care by the doctor, hospital consultant, GP and paramedic that lead to the avoidable death of your loved one.
The lack of professional care can be difficult for the family to accept and understand, but it does happen. When it happens to your father, mother, son or daughter, you will need to take on a fatal medical negligence claim.
No one likes to get involved in legal matters, especially when dealing with the loss of a loved one in a medical situation. Like a lot of things in life, the fatal medical negligence case will need to be faced, and those guilty made to pay for their negligent treatment.
A No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor will take your case, and the first part may involve a coroner’s inquest.
Why have a coroner’s inquest in a fatal medical negligence case?
A coroner’s inquest in a fatal medical negligence case is to decide what happened in the death of your loved one. A coroner’s court is an upsetting place to be, but it is a necessary part of the process.
The coroner’s inquest may take place when a death happens:
- In unexplained circumstances
- Is legally requested by a family
It is the coroner’s job only to determine a cause of death, not to decide who is responsible for it.
The coroner will decide at an inquest:
- The name of the person who died
- When they died
- Where the person died
- The circumstances of the death, the how they died
The fourth point is the vital reason for the coroner’s inquest.
A coroner’s inquest will not make a finding of negligence and order compensation to be paid rather the coroner will identify how the person died and the evidence at the inquest will often be very useful for a separate medical negligence claim. If a coroner has concerns as to the safety of the care provided they can make a Regulation 28. report to an individual, organisations, local authorities or government with a view to them taking steps to improve future safety.
Your No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor will handle your case and take you through the steps of the fatal medical negligence compensation claim.
What are the steps involved in making a fatal medical negligence claim?
The steps involved in making a fatal medical 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.
When you follow the steps correctly and get all the facts and figures together, your medical negligence solicitor will do the rest.
Step 1: Seek medical advice
Seek medical advice on the circumstances of your loved one’s medical care immediately you realise they suffered fatal medical negligence.
Step 2: Contact a specialist medical negligence solicitor
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 your case, see where the problem lies, and advise if your loved one experienced fatal medical negligence.
The Medical Negligence Team also have a 100% Compensation Guarantee scheme, where you get all the money awarded in a negligence claim.
You are the one who is left bereaved due to the fatal medical negligence, and you should get all the money due for the suffering.
Step 3: Your medical negligence solicitor obtains the medical records
Your medical negligence solicitor obtains the medical records of your loved one with your permission. By reading the records, they will confirm if they think you have a valid fatal medical negligence case.
The No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor can ask for a coroner’s inquest to determine the full facts around your loved one’s death
The medical negligence team will know from reading the medical records and the coroner’s report if the case will result in compensation being paid.
Step 4: The medical negligence solicitor sending a letter of claim to the negligent party
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 medical 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.
Step 5: Getting a response from the negligent party’s insurer
Getting a response from the negligent party’s insurer will move your 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 fatal medical negligence claim can be valued.
The two parties will meet to decide on your fatal medical compensation payment.
Your solicitor will negotiate with the negligent party and use their experience to get the compensation you deserve.
Step 6: Issuing court proceedings
Issuing court proceedings is the next step if they deny liability in your fatal medical negligence case. Going to court happens, too, when they are not prepared to pay a fair amount for the losses you have suffered.
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.
Using a No Win No Fee solicitor
Using a No Win No Fee solicitor is the only way to a successful fatal medical negligence 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 from losing a loved one to fatal medical negligence, and you deserve the compensation to get your life back to normal.
How long do I have to make a claim for fatal medical negligence?
You have three years to make a claim for fatal medical negligence. All medical negligence claims are subject to limitation periods.
For example, in England and Wales, medical negligence claims must generally be brought, court proceedings issued within three years of the injury, or three years of knowledge of the facts giving rise to the 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 medical negligence claim or court proceedings.
Persons under a disability, who lack capacity, are not subject to any limitation period.
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.
Each year there are between 8,000 and 10,000 successful medical negligence claims against the NHS. Suing the NHS for medical negligence can make some people feel uncomfortable.
Amounts in compensation claims awarded against the NHS range from £1000 to over £10 million. The amount you receive covers minor injuries such as scarring to 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, and for that they deserve respect and the best medical treatment.
Contact The Medical Negligence Team
Contact the Medical Negligence Team today to discuss your fatal medical 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. You and your loved ones suffered the effects of losing someone to fatal medical negligence, and you deserve every penny of the compensation.
Contact us at the Medical Negligence Team for all your medical negligence needs.