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Death Due To Medical Negligence

Fatal Injury Compensation Claims

We understand that the loss of a loved one is one of the most painful experiences that you can go through. But knowing that a loved one’s death is caused by medical negligence can make that emotional trauma seem so much worse. Amid the grief and confusion, it can be tough to make sense of what happened.

Therefore, if you have any cause to believe that medical negligence occurred, resulting in the death of your loved one, you may be able to claim compensation. We understand this is never an easy decision to make at such an emotional and distressing time and, no amount of compensation can replace your loved ones.  It is, however, important that you know what your options are. Here at Been Let Down, we have highly skilled medical negligence solicitors who will be able to review your concerns and provide you with the options available to you. Our medical negligence solicitors appreciate the devastating impact the loss of a loved one can have. Therefore, you can be assured that your claim will be dealt with in a highly professional and sensitive manner.

If you are concerned that your loved ones cause of  death could be due to a possible negligent treatment, please contact us to discuss if you can make a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act. You can talk to one of our legal experts in confidence by calling 0800 234 3234 or you can contact us online today.

Who can I make a claim against?

You can bring a claim for medical negligence against a private healthcare provider or the NHS, if you feel that negligent treatment has contributed to your loved one’s death. Often, your loved one will have been receiving medical treatment from several medical professionals. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the claim and establish who should be held to account for the failings and/or errors that led to the fatality.

While not an exhaustive list, the type of healthcare professional most often subject to a medical negligence claim can include:

  • GPs
  • Surgeons
  • Medical consultants or specialists
  • Anaesthetists
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists

Our team will ensure that the correct medical professionals are identified, during the investigation of your claim.

Who can make a claim for medical negligence resulting in death?

You can make a claim for medical negligence resulting in death if you are a ‘dependent’ of the person who has died on behalf of their estate. A none-exhaustive example of dependents are as follows:

  • Next of kin (husband or wife)
  • Civil partner
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Close family members (aunt, uncles, cousins etc).

Furthermore, if a Will exists, then the named executor/executrix can make a claim for medical negligence on behalf of your loved one’s Estate, for the negligent treatment your loved one suffered from prior to their death.

It can be legally complex when claiming compensation for medical negligence resulting in the death of your loved one. However, this should not put you off, as it just means you should be sure to enlist the services of experts who know what is required – and who can help you succeed.

The events that can lead to death by medical negligence can often vary. Here are just a few examples of the claims that we have supported:

  • Death due to doctor’s negligence during surgery or treatment
  • The failure to detect or properly diagnose a medical condition
  • Failure to diagnose or treating any form of cancer that was present
  • Prescription errors leading to death.

When a medical professional is responsible for the loss of your loved one, we will work with you to gather the necessary evidence.

Why should I trust Been Let Down with a fatal injury claim?

At Been Let Down, our dedicated team of medical negligence solicitors will support your claim with great care and understanding. We know the loss of a loved one is a time of great distress and trauma, which is why we will ensure that you get the help and guidance you require.

We are an independent law firm and we always act exclusively in the best interests of the people we help – people like you, who are coming to terms with a loved one’s passing. At each step of the process, you can trust our legal experts to be empathetic and open with you. More importantly, you can trust us to achieve the best possible outcome.

It is why we have such a proven track record of success in cases where medical negligence has caused the death of a loved one. We will do all we can to ensure your claim is settled in your favour.

The skills and experience of our solicitors are strengthened by professional membership of the Law Society – the independent professional body for solicitors in England and Wales. And we are fully authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority too.

If you believe that private healthcare or NHS negligence is responsible for the death of a loved one, call us on 0800 234 3234 or contact us online, as soon as you are ready to.

How much does it cost to make a claim?

If we think you have a strong case for medical negligence resulting in the death of a loved one, we will investigate further on your behalf. As part of this, we will seek – with necessary written consent – copies of relevant records. We also engage a medical professional for expert opinion. If a claim meets all the criteria, it is brought on behalf of the estate of your loved one.

It is also possible that we can offer to pursue the claim on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. This is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means that, while the claim is still made on the behalf of your loved one’s estate, if we’re not successful in pursuing your claim, there will be no charge, unless the claim is deemed to be fraudulent, or you have failed to comply with our reasonable requests to pursue your claim. Should we win your claim, we’ll take some of our fee from your compensation. This is simply a percentage of the compensation awarded and we’ll agree this with you beforehand which means extra peace of mind for you.

Why should I claim?

We fully appreciate that financial compensation for medical negligence resulting in death is the last thing on your mind right now. However, there are many ways it could help you and your family.

Firstly, it can be a real lifeline if you are struggling to work at the moment or if your family lost its main breadwinner. The compensation you receive can provide you with the breathing space you need to start rebuilding your lives after a loved one’s passing.

Secondly, it can help you to start planning for the future. If you have dependents, you may be worried about how you will support your family. Compensation is the best way to ensure the future of your family. Those who are negligent will expect such a claim. Of course, you are also entitled to justice in a situation that is unfair and could have been easily avoided.

Thirdly, making a medical negligence claim can sometimes be the most effective way to change how things are done. If poor training or processes contributed to a death by hospital negligence or otherwise, your claim can be the watershed moment that stops it from happening ever again.

Of course, you may feel you are not ready to deal with the claims process. But this is where we will help. Our job is to lift the burden of making a compensation claim from you. That way, you can focus on the day-to-day needs of you and your family at a time when it is most important.

How does the claims process work?

Once you decide to make a claim for death by medical negligence and we believe that you have a strong case, your solicitor will represent the estate of your loved one throughout the process.

In some cases, it might be necessary to carry out a post-mortem, so that the cause of death is conclusive. It may also be necessary if your loved one’s death or fatal injury is the result of an accident, violence, surgical operation or medical treatment.

If the post-mortem is inconclusive, however, an inquest may be ordered.

Your solicitor will require full details of the circumstances that led to a loved one’s death. Family members also need to provide an exact timeline of events leading up to when they passed away – as well as key dates and any symptoms/problems that occurred. This is referred to as a witness statement.

With all of the necessary proof of medical negligence resulting in the death of a loved one, your solicitor will then prepare a case for court (if required).

Will I or my family need to go to court?

It is unlikely that a claim for death by medical negligence will go to court. Very often, cases are settled before this stage. NHS Resolution is the agency responsible for handling NHS negligence claims in England. According to its 2019-20 annual report, just 0.6% of claims went to court.

So, it is unlikely that you will have to go to court. However, if you do, engaging the services of a professional fatal injury negligence lawyer means you can be sure that you will get the help and support you need every step of the way. You will never be left to face it on your own.

What does a claim need to prove?

In order to prove that your loved one was subjected to negligent treatment, two elements, known as: ‘breach of duty/liability and causation’ must be established. This means that we must show that on the balance of probabilities the treatment was negligent, which means that, it was more likely than not (over 50%) for the treatment to have been negligent.

  • Liability/Breach of Duty: We must be able to prove that your loved one’s death was caused due to a negligent error/s. This means that we must show that the treatment that your loved one received fell below the standard of treatment, which would have been expected from a medical professional/s of the same discipline.  Hence, we must demonstrate that other medical professionals from the same discipline would not deem the actions of the treating medical professional/s of your loved one to be acceptable.
  • Causation: Once breach of duty is established; we must be able to prove that there is a linked causation to the breach of duty. This means that we must be able to demonstrate that your loved one suffered from avoidable harm/death, as a direct consequence of the negligent treatment they received, which would have been avoided had it not been for the negligent treatment.

Please note that both of these elements must be established in order to prove that your loved one was afforded negligent treatment.  Therefore, if breach of duty is established but we cannot demonstrate that this caused any further complications or show that the condition was such that the standard of treatment would not have affected the final outcome, then we would not be able to prove that your loved one’s treatment was negligent.

If you are unsure about any of the above, please do get in touch and we will be happy to help. Call us today on 0800 234 3234 or contact us online.

How long do I have to claim?

Our advice is to get in touch with us as soon as you believe that you have a claim for medical negligence resulting in the death of a loved one. This is because the details are more likely to still be fresh in your mind. Furthermore, there are time limits that apply to such claims.

You normally have three years from the date of your loved one’s death in which to lodge your claim with the court. It can, however, vary in exceptional circumstances. Even if you are close now to that time limit, we still may be able to help.

Call us on 0800 234 3234 to speak to one of our expert legal team. You can also fill out our online claim form to request a call-back for a time that suits you.

We know that claiming for the death of a loved one caused by hospital negligence can be hard. For family members left behind, you may still be in a state of shock. Our priority is to support you at an emotionally tough time – and do all we can to get the compensation you deserve.

How much compensation could my family receive?

In cases of medical negligence resulting in death, compensation amounts differ between each case. This is because the amount will reflect the facts of your medical negligence claim.

In the first instance, the total amount will comprise General Damages. This is for the pain and suffering caused to your loved one by the negligent action of a healthcare professional or care giver. The amount is determined by Judicial College guidelines.

Any final compensation award also includes Special Damages. This is guided by your personal situation and includes factors such as loss of earnings or any other financial impact the loss of your loved one is having on the family members left behind.

Contact us today

For expert legal advice and sensitive support at a time when you need it the most, please get in touch today – call us on 0800 234 3234 or contact us online and a member of our friendly legal team will call you back.

 

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