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How Much Compensation For Care Home Negligence Resulting In Death?

By Marianne Herondale. Last Updated 4th April 2022. Welcome to our guide on care home negligence death claims. When our family members are getting older and more infirm it can become impossible to carry on caring for them at home. Putting them into a care facility is sometimes the only solution. When you’ve taken the decision to put your loved one in a care home, it can be a very difficult time for everyone involved, but at least you believe that they are in safe hands and will be well cared for by compassionate and well-trained staff.

While most care homes in the UK are safe and caring environments, where elderly people are treated with respect and looked after well, unfortunately sometimes your loved one will be a victim of negligence, suffering an accident or an injury at the hands of the care workers themselves. Sometimes the injuries sustained or lack of care can be so significant that your loved one, unfortunately, does not survive. When this happens, it can be very difficult to deal with, but one option open to you is to seek compensation against the care facility involved for their failure in their duty of care towards your loved one.

If your loved one has died as a result of negligence during their stay in a care home, you could well have a valid compensation claim against the home in question. Although we know that no amount of money will ever be able to bring back your loved one, some financial recompense can go a long way towards helping to pay for funeral expenses and other ad hoc costs that have been incurred as a result of their death such as helping to support dependents.

If you have evidence to support a valid claim against your loved one’s care home, you will need the advice of a qualified firm of solicitors with plenty of experience in the field, and that’s where we can help. We are a skilled and expert team of highly experienced personal injury claim advisors in the area of care home negligence and we can help you to form a successful case. In this guide, we look at what is involved in care home negligence death claims, and how you could start one.

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A Guide to Claiming Compensation for a Care Home Death

Care Home Negligence Death Claims

Care Home Negligence Death Claims

In this helpful guide to making a claim for compensation for a care home death, it is our mission to share our knowledge and to point you in the right direction of all the elements to bear in mind when you make a nursing home compensation claim for negligence resulting in death against your loved one’s care home.

In this guide, we look at how to make a claim against both an NHS and a privately run care home, as well as detailing more information about who is able to make the claim and the amount of compensation you are likely to be awarded should you be successful. You can also find out more about our No Win No Fee claim service which makes it easier for you to embark on your case, and help you to find out more about how to get started with your claim for compensation.

What is a Care Home Death Claim?

If your loved one has died as a direct result of negligence on behalf of the care home in which they were residing and its staff, you could have a good case for compensation.

Care homes have an obligation to treat all of their patients with the highest level of care and compassion, providing the best possible treatment available, however unfortunately this does not always happen.

When a resident has suffered as a result of neglect or negligence on behalf of the care facility, and eventually lost their life as a result of an injury, accident, incorrect treatment, withheld treatment or poor standards of care, their dependents or family is within their rights to make a claim against the home for compensation in respect of the loss of their loved one and the neglect that they suffered, as well as to compensate for costs such as the expense of arranging their funeral.

For more information about care home negligence death claims, get in touch with us at any time.

Wrongful Death Negligence Claims Against Care Homes

Making a decision as to whether or not to make a negligence claim against either an NHS or a private nursing home can be a tricky one to make. It can be difficult to sue your loved one’s care home for wrongful death negligence and it is not something to be taken lightly. You can safely assume that the care home in question will fight such a claim since it will not want its reputation to be in jeopardy by rumours of neglect or negligence amongst its staff.

Standards have been set by the UK’s government relating to the minimum level of care that should be provided in a care home, and any failure to comply with those standards that have resulted in a resident’s injury or fatality can legally give rise to a valid compensation claim. We are able to help our clients with valid wrongful death negligence claims against care homes to help them to secure as much compensation as possible. If you contact our team, we can discuss the matter with you and offer you helpful advice as to the next steps to take.

Wrongful Death Due to Negligence and Neglect in a Care Home

A definition of the duty of care required by residents in a care home has been published by the Royal College of Nursing and it details the way in which healthcare professionals must perform their duties with their patients’ best interests in mind. By following these practices, patients should have the lowest possible chance of being harmed through the care that they receive.

Sadly, on occasion, the framework for duty of care has been known to fail, and in some cases, it, unfortunately, leads to the care home resident’s death. If your loved one has become a victim of wrongful death due to negligence and neglect during their stay in a care home, you will, as a family member of the deceased person, have a good cause for claiming for care home compensation against the facility in question.

Any claim for a wrongful death which has occurred in a residential care home is different from any personal injury claim relating to care received in such a facility. This is because there will be extra damages attached to such a claim, including payments in respect of financial support for any dependents and the cost of arranging the funeral.

What happens when someone dies in a nursing home?

When a nursing home resident passes away, the death in care home procedure dictates that their death must be pronounced officially by a care home or hospital doctor or hospice nurse.

The person pronouncing the death must also complete the relevant forms to certify the time, place and cause of death in order for a legal death certificate to be issued. A death certificate is a vital document which is required for numerous purposes including for many property-related, financial-related and life insurance-related transactions, and therefore it is vital that the death is properly reported and documented in order to avoid future problems.

Deaths in care homes statistics

Care Home Negligence Death Claims

Care Home Negligence Death Claims

According to statistics from the Office for National Statistics, sourced from the Care Quality Commission, there were 105,087 deaths in care homes in England in 2021. 

It is important to note that the statistics do not explain the causes of these deaths, and they may not all be due to negligence or neglect. However, if someone has died due to negligence in a care home, an eligible family member under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 could claim.

To find out more about care home negligence death claims, get in touch with our advisors at any time.

Claiming for a Care Home Failing to Provide a Primary Health Need

All UK care homes are required to provide a suitable level of care for their residents’ primary health care needs, and failing to comply with these requirements can lead to them being liable for the payment of compensation to the families of those who have lost their lives in their facilities due to neglect and negligence. All health care professionals are obliged to do all they can to ensure that their patients are well cared for, with care home patients’ primary needs being determined on an individual case basis.

The duty of care negligence definition means that any care home or staff members thereof who fail to provide a suitable level of care for those patients’ primary needs are guilty of serious medical negligence, and a compensation claim can be pursued through a solicitor who is experienced in nursing home claims.

Claiming Against the NHS for Negligent Death in a Care Home

Provision of a high level of care in a nursing home is extremely important to the NHS, and while the National Health Service only operates a small number of facilities when compared to private establishments, the ones in existence generally have a high level of experienced and skilled staff.

When a negligent death claim is made against an NHS facility, if the care worker in question is found guilty of neglecting their patient, they are likely to lose their job and, not only that, they will be prevented from ever working in the healthcare field again. Since obtaining care home nurse qualifications takes a long time, effectively ending the employee’s career through a negligent death claim is a serious issue. You will therefore be required to prove beyond doubt that the care worker in question was negligent when suing a care home for neglect, and to do this, you will undoubtedly require the assistance of an experienced solicitor from our team who can help you in pursuing your NHS negligent death claim.

Claiming for a Fatal Accident by a Slip Trip or Fall in a Care Home

One common cause of injury in a care home is a fall, trip or slip, however occasionally, these accidents can result in a fatality, especially if the resident in question hits their head.

Under UK health and safety laws every company running a care home is required to maintain a safe working and living environment for both employees and residents and this also includes maintaining pavements and keeping all floors and walkways free from obstructions and hazards which could lead to a fall, trip or slip. Any failure in compliance with health and safety legislation which leads to a fatal accident would be a just cause for a compensation claim against the facility in question.

Claiming for an Injury in a Care Home as a Care Worker

All UK care homes are regulated under the UK’s health and safety standards and under these regulations, it is stipulated that employees must have a safe environment in which to work. As part of this, all staff members must receive full training in all elements of their job which relate to the maintenance of those standards.

If you have been injured while working as a care home employee because of poor health and safety practices or alternatively because of a lack of training in the performance of your duties, you have a good cause for a compensation claim.

Care Home Injury Facts and Statistics

Every year, the NHS publishes its annual Quality Accounts for all of its jurisdiction areas across the UK. These nationwide statistics reveal that:

  • Around 5% of all people working in care homes are likely to fall victim to some type of work-related illness
  • Around 2% of care home employees will be a victim of a work-related injury or accident.
  • In a single year, 4.8 million days of work are lost through work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • The number of falls experienced by older people living in care facilities is three times higher than the figures for older people cared for in the community.
  • Every day, two care facility residents in the UK will die from starvation.

It is therefore easy to see that, while we often assume that our elderly relatives will be safe in a care home, this can’t be guaranteed. It is also easy to see that care workers have a high risk of experiencing an occupational health problem.

Who can Claim for an Accident in a Care Home?

There are four different groups of people who are legally entitled to claim for compensation in the event of an accident in a care home. These include:

  • The victim themselves.
  • The victim (or deceased person’s) direct dependants – this is relevant in cases where the victim has been injured too badly to make a claim themselves or if they have sadly died as a result of the accident
  • The victim’s immediate family – this is in those cases where a victim is unable to pursue the claim themselves.
  • The victim’s estate – as above, this is only relevant when the victim cannot pursue a claim on their own behalf.

If you require advice or assistance in determining whether or not you have a valid compensation claim on behalf of an accident victim in a care home, contact us and we can advise you. As solicitors dealing with care home fees, we are in an excellent position to help you with your case.

What to do If You or a Loved One Has Suffered an Injury in a Care Home

If you are to be successful in making a negligence claim against a care home, you must prepare properly by going through the steps below:

  • Ensure you have outlined the facts of the case, documenting the complete timeline leading to the accident and all of the details of the way in which the accident happened.
  • Gather all evidence such as photographs of the environment around the area that the accident took place and obtain facts and details like the names of all involved care workers.
  • Obtain a medical opinion regarding the injury’s severity together with any potential lasting effects.
  • Outline all financial costs relating to the injury including any expenses like travel costs and medical bills. Also, if any loss of earnings has been incurred, these must also be included, for both the short term and for any reduced future income due to the effects of the injury.
  •  Make contact with a solicitor specialising in care home injury compensation, such as our specialist team, and begin your claim for compensation.

By following these steps, you will develop a clear idea of how the accident took place and all physical and financial implications that are likely to have been caused.

What can be claimed for an Injury in a Care Home?

When a loved one has been injured in an incident in a care home, the amount to be claimed depends on the injury’s severity and any long term financial or physical effects that may have been incurred. Some of the damages which may be claimed include:

  • General damages – this includes any physical elements of the injury including psychological trauma, physical injuries and any permanent or long term health problems directly relating to the injury.
  • Special damages this encompasses all financial costs as a result of the care home accident. This includes any out of pocket expenses and future financial implications due to lost earnings. Even losses like cancelled holidays or missed events are included here.
  • Medical expenses – sometimes these will be included in special damages, and sometimes they are dealt with separately.
  • Travel expenses – usually these too are in the category of special damages, but may sometimes be claimed in their own right.
  • Care expenses – these cover all costs of a stay in a care facility or hospice or the cost of receiving care at home.
  • Funeral costs – should the injury have resulted in the death of the patient, it is possible to claim funeral expenses.

How is death compensation calculated?

If a loved one has died due to negligence or a fatal accident, care home death compensation will be calculated based on a judgement of all of the above factors. Each case is different and is thus assessed individually according to the specific circumstances.

You can potentially claim for both the suffering the deceased experienced before their passing, and the psychological suffering you have experienced as a result of their death. For an accurate assessment of your psychological injury, you will attend a medical appointment.

All care home neglect compensation cases are different but if you contact our expert team, we can help you to determine which categories you can include in your own claim.

No Win No Fee Care Home Death Claims

While a number of personal injury solicitors who deal with care home death claims demand that their clients pay for all of their case’s legal costs on an ongoing basis, we handle cases rather differently.

Our No Win No Fee Claim service provides you with legal representation without the need to make an initial payment. If you don’t win your claim for care home death compensation, you won’t pay anything as we only take our fee if we win compensation for you.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Death of a Family Member in a Care Home?

While there is no definitive answer to how much compensation you may be able to claim for your family member’s death while in a care home, the historic data provided below can give you a basic idea as to the amounts you may be able to expect.

The compensation brackets included in the table below cover certain types of fatal injuries which you may wish to claim for following care home negligence. It also includes certain psychological injuries which may prove relevant when claiming. The brackets are based on those found in the latest Judicial College guidelines. Solicitors may use these guidelines to help work out the value of injuries and other types of harm which you may be claiming for in a compensation case.

DeathFull Awareness£11,770 to £22,350
DeathUnconsciousness Following a Brief Period of Awareness£9,870 to £10,010
DeathUnconscious Death Within Six Weeks£3,530 to £4,120
DeathUnconscious Death Within One Week£1,290 to £2,620
Mental AnguishFear Of Impending Death/Reduction In Expectation Of Life £4,380
Psychiatric Damage GenerallySevere£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyModerate£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyLess Severe£1,440 to £5,500

How to Start a Care Home Fatal Accident or Death Claim

Once you have decided that you are ready to start making a death claim or claim for a care home fatal accident that involved your loved one, simply contact us and we will offer you all the help and advice you need.

We can arrange for a free consultation where we will take down all the key details in your compensation claim case and then we will advise you on the best way to proceed with the matter. We will help you to gather the necessary information and get everything in place ready to make your claim.

Why Choose Us as Your Claims Service for a Care Home Death Claim

We are a team of skilled and experienced solicitors with a strong track record of obtaining compensation for our clients for care home death claims. We always treat our clients not as a numbered case, but as individuals with their own particular circumstances.

Our care home death claim service will help you to secure as much compensation as you can while ensuring that nothing happens to jeopardise your chances of winning your claim.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim

If your loved one has lost their life as the result of a care home negligence or neglect incident, you should make contact with us today so that we can offer you the guidance and advice you need to get started with your claim for compensation.

Call our team of care home claims solicitors on 0800 073 8804, complete our web form or use our convenient live chat facility and we will help you to determine all of your available options. In the majority of cases, we will be able to work on your behalf on a No Win No Fee basis so you won’t need to pay us any money upfront.

Helpful Links

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Death or a Fatal Accident?

Find out the full amounts of compensation you can claim for the death of a family member or loved one also call us for free legal advice.

Guidance about health and safety standards in UK care homes.

This HSE guide is intended to be used by providers and managers of care homes to give them a better understanding of the risks faced in such places. It includes detailed chapters on how to handle various potential hazards within a care home and how to report incidents if and when they occur.

NHS advice about how to cope with bereavement.

This NHS page includes advice on lifestyle adjustments and support services which could be followed when experiencing bereavement, grief or loss.

Care Home Negligence Death Claims FAQ

In this final section of our guide on care home negligence death claims, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions on this subject.

Can you sue a care home for negligence?

You can only sue a care home for negligence if the negligence caused some form of injury or harm. You would also need to prove that negligence was the cause of said injury.

However, if a care home is negligent and it does not cause harm, you could still potentially report their actions to the Care Quality Commission. They could potentially take further action that could stop the negligence from occurring again.

What is classed as neglect in a care home?

Neglect in a care home can come in numerous forms. It essentially refers to any instance where a care home and its staff fail to properly take care of a resident (or several) due to avoidable action or a foreseeable issue.

Can you sue a care home for neglect UK?

If you wish to claim compensation from a care home on your own behalf or on behalf of another party, this may be possible with the right evidence. You will need to establish in your case that you or the injured party were harmed as a direct result of harmful behaviour by a care home that reasonably could have been avoided.

Thank you for reading our guide about care home negligence death claims.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.