Fatal injury compensation claims
We understand that the loss of a loved one is one of the most painful experiences you can go through. However, knowing that a loved one’s death has been caused by GP or hospital 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 resulted 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.
We have highly skilled medical negligence solicitors who will be able to review your concerns and inform you of your options if a loved one has died as a result of GP or hospital negligence. Our solicitors understand the devastating impact the loss of a loved one can have on you and your family. You can be assured that your death claim due to GP or hospital negligence will be dealt with in a highly professional and sensitive manner.
If you are concerned that your loved one’s cause of death could be due to possibly 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 fill out our online contact form to request a call back at a convenient time.
Who can I make a claim against?
If you are considering suing a GP or hospital for wrongful death, you may be wondering where to start and who to claim against. That is where we come in.
If you believe a loved one’s death was caused by GP or hospital negligence, you can bring a claim for medical negligence against the NHS or a private healthcare provider. 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 an NHS negligent death claim can include:
- Medical consultants or specialists
Our medical negligence team will ensure that the correct medical professionals are identified during the investigation of your death claim due to GP or hospital negligence.
Who can make a claim for GP or hospital negligence resulting in death?
You can make a claim for GP or hospital negligence resulting in death if you are a ‘dependant’ of the person who has died. Dependants include but are not limited to:
- Next of kin (husband or wife)
- Civil partner
- Close family members (aunt, uncles, cousins, etc.)
Furthermore, if a Will exists, then the named executor/executrix can make a claim for death as a result of GP or hospital negligence on behalf of your loved one’s Estate for the negligent treatment before their death.
It can be legally complex when claiming compensation for hospital negligence resulting in the death of your loved one. However, this should not put you off. 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 due to GP or hospital 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 treat 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 to sue a hospital for wrongful death.
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 cause’s great distress and trauma, which is why we will ensure that you get the help and guidance you need.
We are an independent law firm and we always act 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 dedicated specialist medical negligence team will be empathetic and open with you from the off. More importantly, you can trust us to achieve the best possible outcome.
When it comes to suing a GP or hospital for wrongful death, we have a proven track record of success in cases where GP or hospital negligence has resulted in 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 their membership of the Law Society – the independent professional body for solicitors in England and Wales. We are fully authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority too.
How much does it cost to make a death by GP or hospital negligence claim?
If we think you have a strong case for GP or hospital negligence resulting in the death of a loved one, we will investigate further on your behalf. As part of this, we will seek – after obtaining necessary written consent – copies of relevant medical records. We also engage with medical professionals to obtain expert opinion. If your claim meets all the criteria, we can make a claim on behalf of the Estate of your loved one.
Our expert medical negligence solicitors can discuss funding options with you further, but most of our cases are run on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. This is also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, or CFA. This means there will be no charge if we are unsuccessful in pursuing compensation, unless the claim is deemed fraudulent or you have failed to comply with our reasonable requests to pursue your claim.
Should your claim be successful, our fee will simply be a percentage of the compensation awarded. We will agree this with you beforehand, which means you will not be bombarded with unexpected costs at this difficult time.
Why should I make a death by GP or hospital negligence claim?
We fully appreciate that financial compensation for hospital negligence resulting in death is the last thing on your mind right now. However, here are just some of the ways it could help you and your family:
- Firstly, it can be a real lifeline if you are struggling to work because of the death of a loved one or if your family has 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 start planning for the future. If you have dependants, you may worry about whether you will be able to support your family. Compensation is the best way to ensure the financial future of your family.
- Thirdly, making a death by GP or hospital negligence claim can sometimes be the most effective way to make a positive change and drive up standards of treatment provided by healthcare providers. If poor training or processes contributed to a death, your claim can be the watershed moment that stops it from happening again. This is especially useful in NHS negligence death cases.
Of course, quite understandably, you may feel you are not ready to deal with the claims process. However, this is where we come in. 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?
If you have recently lost a loved one, making a claim may feel like all too much on top of what you are already going through. We understand you are still grieving the loss of a loved one, so the last thing you want to do is go through an arduous claims process.
That is why we have made the process for suing a GP or hospital for wrongful death as simple as possible. The claims process usually goes as follows:
- Once you contact us, one of the solicitors in our medical negligence team will listen to your unique circumstances. We will tell you there and then whether we feel your case is strong enough to claim compensation – completely free of charge.
- If we think you have the grounds to bring a case, it is up to you to decide whether you want to proceed. We will never put pressure on you to make a claim – that is your decision entirely.
- If you decide to make a claim for GP or hospital negligence resulting in death and we believe that you have a strong case, your medical negligence 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 the cause of death of your loved one is conclusive. However, if the post-mortem is inconclusive, an inquest may be ordered.
- Your medical negligence solicitor will require full details of the circumstances that led to your 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 the necessary proof of GP or hospital negligence resulting in the death of a loved one, your medical negligence solicitor will then prepare a case for court (if required).
- We take most cases on a No Win No Fee basis, so even if your claim ultimately proves unsuccessful there will not be anything for you to pay. If we are successful in securing compensation for death by GP or hospital negligence, we will charge a pre-agreed success fee. We will always make our fees clear before you agree to go ahead with us.
Will I or my family need to go to court?
It is unlikely that a claim for death by GP or hospital negligence will go to court. Very often, cases are settled before this stage. NHS Resolution is the agency responsible for handling NHS negligence death claims in England. According to its 2020-21 annual report, just 0.3% 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 specialist and experienced medical negligence legal team means you can be sure 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?
To prove that your loved one was subjected to negligent treatment, two elements must be established: a breach of duty and causation. We must show that on the balance of probabilities the treatment was negligent. This 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 expected from a medical professional(s) of the same discipline. Put simply, we must demonstrate that other practitioners from the same discipline would not deem the actions of the medical professional(s) who treated your loved one to be acceptable.
- Causation: Once a breach of duty is established, we must be able to prove that the negligent treatment caused the death, which could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent treatment.
Both elements must be established to prove that your loved one suffered from GP or hospital negligence resulting in death. Therefore, if a breach of duty is established but we cannot demonstrate that this caused any further complications, we would not be able to prove that your loved one’s treatment was negligent.
How long after a death can you sue a GP or hospital?
Our advice is to get in touch with us as soon as you believe that you have a claim for GP or hospital negligence resulting in the death of a loved one. This is because the details are more likely to 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. However, it can vary in exceptional circumstances, so it is worth getting in touch even if you are close to that time limit as we still may be able to help.
We know that suing a GP or hospital for the wrongful death of a loved one caused by medical negligence can be hard. For the 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 GP or hospital negligence resulting in death, compensation amounts differ between each case. This is because the amount will reflect the unique circumstances surrounding your claim.
In the first instance, the total amount will comprise of ‘General Damages’. This is for the pain and suffering caused to your loved one by the negligent action of a healthcare professional or caregiver. The amount is determined by the 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 to start your claim
For expert legal advice and sensitive support at a time when you need it the most, please get in touch today. You can call us on 0800 234 3234 or contact us online and a member of our friendly medical negligence legal team will call you back at your convenience.
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