Claiming For Medical Negligence Resulting In Death

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How Much Compensation For Medical Negligence Resulting In Death?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 5th March 2024. In this guide, we discuss making a compensation claim on behalf of a loved one or family member for medical negligence resulting in death.

If a loved one or someone you were financially dependent on has suffered death by medical negligence, it may be possible to claim compensation from the party responsible for the fatal medical negligence.

We’ll discuss within this guide the criteria for bringing forward a medical negligence case on behalf of a loved one or family member who has died.

This guide also covers the different types of medical negligence that could potentially lead to death. We will also address commonly asked questions such as “what is the average payout for medical negligence resulting in death?”.

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If you would like to speak to an advisor about claiming for fatal medical negligence, please get in touch with our team today. Our advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can offer free advice. To reach them, you can:

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You can also watch our video below which explains the key takeaways from our guide:

Select a Section:

  1. How Much Compensation Could You Receive For Medical Negligence Resulting In Death?
  2. Eligibility Criteria For Fatal Medical Negligence Claims
  3. Who Can Claim For Medical Negligence Resulting In Death?
  4. Examples Of Medical Negligence Resulting In Death
  5. Is There A Time Limit For Making A Fatal Medical Negligence Claim?
  6. Fatal Medical Negligence Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

How Much Compensation Could You Receive For Medical Negligence Resulting In Death?

In this section, we are going to look at how death by medical negligence payouts in the UK are calculated. 

Compensation payouts awarded following a successful claim for death by medical negligence can include general damages, which covers the pain and suffering of the deceased. To help arrive at a figure for the harm they suffered, legal professionals may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

This document provides guideline compensation figures for different types of harm, some examples of which you can find below. Please note that these are guidelines only. 

Guideline Compensation Brackets

Type of Harm Details JCG Bracket
Fatality plus claim add-ons This considers compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering as well as any losses affecting their dependents, such as lost income. Up to £550,000+
Very Severe Brain Damage The injured party has suffered very severe brain damage resulting in little to no meaningful response to their environment, no language function, double incontinence and requiring full-time nursing care. £282,010 to £403,990
Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia Awards for tetraplegia will consider the injured party’s life expectancy, awareness, pain and if they can communicate. £324,600 to £403,990
Paraplegia In this bracket, the injured party may have increasing paralysis. The award will consider pain, independence level, depression, their age and life expectancy. £219,070 to £284,260
Severe Psychological Damage The injured party will not be able to cope with their life or personal relationships. The prognosis is very poor. £54,830 to £115,730
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Permanent issues will prevent the person from functioning as they did pre-trauma with all areas of life negatively affected. £59,860 to £100,670
Injuries Resulting In Death – Full Awareness The person will be fully aware of their injuries before slipping into unconsciousness. They will die within a few weeks up to 3 months. £12,540 to £23,810

What Else Could I Claim?

Other forms of compensation could also be claimed, including for:

  • Funeral expenses. 
  • Loss of consortium (or loss of a special person). This is compensation for losses that cannot be financially quantified elsewhere. It covers loss of companionship and the impact on familial relationships. 
  • Financial dependency. This can cover the loss of past and future earnings if you were reliant upon the deceased for income. 
  • Loss of services. Examples of this can include helping with childcare or DIY around the house. 

Additionally, certain relatives may also be eligible to claim the bereavement award set out in Section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. It is a fixed sum of £15,120 and will be divided if more than one relative claims. 

Speak with an advisor to further discuss how compensation is awarded for a wrongful death due to medical negligence.

Eligibility Criteria For Fatal Medical Negligence Claims

If your loved one passed away due to medical negligence, you may be wondering if you could make a wrongful death claim.

First, you need to establish that medical negligence occurred. All medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients, which means that the treatment they provide must meet a minimum standard.  If they fail to meet this standard, and the patient suffers unnecessary or avoidable harm, then this is medical negligence. 

The steps that professionals are required to take can vary between disciplines, but the General Medical Council (GMC) provides information on how professionals are expected to act in their Good Medical Practice.

Then, you need to be able to prove that your loved one passed away as a result of this harm. To do so, you will need evidence that proves the treatment they received was sub-standard and that this caused their wrongful death.

Only certain people can seek compensation following the death of a loved one. We’ll go into more detail about who can make a claim in the next section. Read on for more information, or contact our expert medical negligence team to find out if you can claim.

Who Can Claim For Medical Negligence Resulting In Death?

If you can establish that a loved one has died because of medical negligence, for the first six months following their death, the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 states that the deceased’s estate can make a claim on their behalf for their pain and suffering.

They are the only party who is able to make this type of claim. They can also bring forward a claim on behalf of the deceased’s dependents.

If no claim has been made on their behalf within the first 6 months, the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows certain dependents to claim for the impact the death has had on them. Some examples of dependents eligible to claim include:

  • A spouse or civil partner of the deceased (current or former).
  • A child, stepchild or someone who was treated as a child by the deceased.
  • Aunts, uncles, siblings or cousins of the deceased.

To see whether you may qualify as a dependent or for more advice about claiming for medical negligence resulting in the death of a loved one, get in touch with our advisors for free today.

Examples Of Medical Negligence Resulting In Death

There are many ways that negligent medical treatment could lead to a fatality. However, as we’ve already mentioned, not all cases of harm will result in a valid medical negligence compensation claim. Below, you can find some examples of how a fatality could occur in a medical setting.

  • Misdiagnosis of cancer: When cancer is misdiagnosed, this can allow the disease to spread to the point that it becomes untreatable.
  • Delayed treatment: Similar to the above, avoidable delays in treatment can allow cancer and other diseases to spread or progress.
  • Prescription and medication errors: Being given the wrong medication or the wrong dosage can result in a fatality caused by allergic reactions, overdoses, and negative interactions.
  • Surgical errors: Avoidable errors during surgery can lead to death through blood loss or infection.

Contact our team of advisors today to get more information on fatal medical negligence payouts in the UK. Or, keep reading for further insight into claiming for medical negligence.

Is There A Time Limit For Making A Fatal Medical Negligence Claim?

If you are seeking compensation on behalf of a loved one for their medical negligence death, you must initiate proceedings within the time limit. Generally, this is 3 years from the date of the deceased’s passing. 

Alternatively, the claiming process can be started within 3 years of the date of knowledge. This is when the harm the deceased suffered was first connected to medical negligence, such as following an inquest or postmortem.

It is important to note that for these type of claims, only the deceased’s estate can launch the claim for the first six months following their death.

After this time, the deceased’s dependents can start a claim for how the death has impacted them. 

If you have any questions about the limitation period, please contact one of the advisors from our team.

Fatal Medical Negligence Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you are interested in starting a fatal injury claim for compensation for medical negligence after a loved one was fatally harmed, one of our solicitors may be able to help.

There are many benefits to working with a solicitor on your claim; for example, they can help you collect evidence to strengthen your claim, and can also answer any questions you have throughout the claims process.

Our solicitors work under a No Win No Fee contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When you work with a solicitor under a CFA, you aren’t required to pay any upfront or ongoing fees in order for them to work on your claim. Additionally, you won’t pay any fees for their work if your claim fails.

If it succeeds, your solicitor will take a success fee. This is deducted directly from your settlement award as a small percentage. However, this percentage is legally capped.

Contact Our Team

To find out if you could be eligible to work with one of our solicitors, contact our advisors today. They can offer a free consultation, through which they can answer your questions and evaluate your claim. To get started:

  • Call on 0800 073 8804
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  • Use the live chat feature

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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.

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