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How much compensation for medical negligence resulting in death?

By Michael Patrick. Last Updated 27th January 2021. Welcome to our guide which discusses how much compensation could be awarded for medical negligence resulting in death.

If you have suffered from medical negligence, then you may question whether you could make a claim. More importantly, you may question how much compensation for medical negligence could be awarded? Every medical professional – be it a doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist, or a diagnostic staff – owes a “duty of care” to their patient.

When this professional code is violated and causes the death of an individual, the circumstances of the death may be defined as “death due to medical negligence.” When claims are made against doctors or other healthcare professionals, legal proceedings fall under the purview of clinical negligence. This guide provides an overview of the legal claims procedure that usually follows medical malpractice, causing death. If you ever need legal assistance in a similar case, this guide will provide details on the benefits and the process of engaging a law firm.

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This guide contains many sections about medical negligence causing death, which you can review from start to finish or click on any of the links to go to the relevant section directly:

A Guide to Medical Negligence Resulting In Death Claims

how much compensation for medical negligence

how much compensation for medical negligence

This guide has been created for the benefit of UK residents who may not be fully aware of the legal consequences of medical negligence cases causing death. The sections in this guide will explore the common circumstances involved in medical negligence cases, leading to patients’ death. It also discusses how and when the legally qualified persons close to the deceased can file a claim, explains the time limits for filing claims, and then describes the procedures involved in death due to medical negligence cases.

We will also examine the difficulties of estimating how much compensation for death due to medical negligence. If you are wondering how much compensation for medical negligence resulting in death cases typically involve, we will detail the costs, expenses, and other factors which are considered when deciding a settlement total. If you have any unanswered questions, feel free to contact our team and arrange a free consultation session.

What is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence involves a breach of a professional’s “duty of care,” a duty which every medical professional owes to the patient. Such a breach could involve a deviation from the standard practice, whether due to ignorance or any other reason. When a negligent act causes severe damage or even death to a patient, the circumstances are defined as medical negligence. Medical negligence can also cause minor damages, but even the slightest breach is worthy of consideration under the UK’s medical trade’s strictest laws.

Claiming for a Death Caused by Medical Negligence

Medical negligence can affect patients in a multitude of different ways. As negligence can affect almost any form of care, the ways in which it can happen and the ways in which it can affect patients are almost too many to list. However, many of the most frequent issues involve:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Childbirth Injuries
  • Medication Errors
  • Anaesthesia Errors
  • Surgery Errors

Providing medical negligence compensation examples can be difficult. If you believe that medical staff have acted negligently, resulting in death, you can discuss the matter with our legal team at any time.

Claiming Against the NHS for a Death Caused by Negligence

The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain provides healthcare for the vast majority of the population. There are occasionally cases in which an error, an accident, or a mistake occurs with so many patients and staff. In certain circumstances, these issues can be caused by medical negligence and can result in a patient’s death. In NHS negligence claims death and injury cases will often follow the same legal pathway. Medical negligence cases are typically filed against the staff members of National Health Service (NHS) in England and will involve a pre-determined legal route, involving claiming compensation from the hospital and the health service at large. As we will see in a later section, this means such cases are usually categorised as being of vicarious liability.

Claims involving negligent NHS employees are addressed through the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts. This special program is funded by NHS Trusts operating on a “pay-as-you-go” basis. If you require assistance in navigating these procedures’ complicated nature, we can provide you with expert legal advice and assistance.

Is there a Time Limit for Making a Negligence Causing Death Claim?

The standard time limit for filing a medical negligence claim is three years from the date of the incident. If you delay legal action, you may lose the chance to file a claim. If you are physically disabled due to head or brain injury, this time limit may be relaxed. In the case of a minor, this time limit is changed to three years after they reach adulthood (18 years old). Other benefits of filing claims within the three-year limit are:

  • Your memory remains fresh for documenting the details of the incident.
  • You are less likely to lose important documents.
  • Laws pertaining to medical negligence cases are likely to remain the same.

Cases involving death will likely cause a great deal of grief. This can make it difficult to file a claim. However, engaging a Claims Service can make the process much quicker and easier.

Death by Medical Negligence Facts and Statistics

Within this section of the guide, we wanted to take a moment to explore some statistics in relation to medical negligence. As addressed within their Annual Report and Accounts 2018/19, the NHS state that:

  • The number of mediations in clinical negligence claims has increased by 199% over a single year.
  • When looking at the number of settled claims in 2018/19, of 11,417 clinical cases and 4,237 non-clinical cases, the proportion that was settled without damages was 44% and 56%.
  • The NHS received 10,678 new clinical negligence claims. However, in their subsequent report from 2019/20, the NHS received a further 11,682, showing a sharp increase.
  • In 2019/20, claims relating to maternity and childbirth continue to hold the most significant value, accounting for the value of around 50% of all claims against the NHS.

If you feel that your claim matches any of the above statistics, you may be owed compensation for medical negligence. For further information, call our offices today.

Medical Professional’s Duty of Care

The “duty of care,” adhered to all medical professionals, compels them to take the maximum care and precaution in all treatment decisions, procedures, and logistics. For example, groups such as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists provide detailed and comprehensive guidelines on how medical practitioners should act in almost any given situation. Breaking from this advice can be considered an act of negligence.

The duty of care mandates that all healthcare professionals must treat the patient’s welfare as the foremost priority during any medical diagnosis or treatment procedure. If a breach of that code causes any damage to any patient, a case of “medical negligence” can be brought forth, depending on the severity and extent of the damage.

What Different Reasons for a Death due to Negligence Claim are there?

Death due to medical negligence can be caused by a variety of single reasons or a combination of reasons. These reasons can include (but are not limited to):

  • Surgeries which have resulted in complications – death resulting from poorly conducted or mistakenly prescribed surgeries or medical practices.
  • Anaesthesia mistakes – death caused by the anaesthetic, which has been incorrectly administered during surgery or other procedures.
  • Misdiagnosis – if an illness or health concern is not correctly diagnosed, which in turn leads to the issue becoming worse or the patient dying.
  • Issues with cosmetic procedures- death caused by either procedures or aftercare related to cosmetic surgeries or practices.
  • Care negligence – death due to improperly prescribed or practised care as it happens in a nursing home, which is often considered a leading cause of death in nursing homes.

You may be wondering “how much compensation will I get for medical negligence?” As we will see in later sections, the severity of the above issues will typically determine the final amount.

Death due to Medical Negligence Claims – Understanding the Differences

Generally, if you decide to file a claim, you will need to understand the differences between different categories of negligence as described by British Law. There are four main categories, which are:

  • Contributory negligence – The victim is deemed to be the responsible party for the final outcome of medical negligence, perhaps through not taking the medicine, they were prescribed. No compensation is usually awarded in such cases.
  • Comparative negligence – Here, the victim is considered partially responsible for the injuries he or she has sustained before death. A court case usually determines the level of responsibility shared by both the victim and the defendant.
  • Vicarious liability – In this instance, the claim will be made against the organisation rather than the individual that was involved in the case. For example, you might make a claim against the NHS or a private healthcare facility, rather than one specific doctor. If the act of negligence is seen as an institutional failing, the claim will likely be categorised as one of vicarious liability and may result in private or NHS compensation payouts.
  • Gross negligence – When a medical practitioner blatantly disregards the best healthcare practices, it is considered to be gross negligence. For any medical professional, the health of the patient is of the highest importance. This type of medical claim is usually contested in a court, with the medical license of the practising medical professional likely to be revoked. However, such a decision is taken by the court only after hearing the entire case.

In a consultation session with a law firm, one of the first steps in evaluating your claim will be determining which of the four categories it best fits. In doing so, we will be able to make more informed predictions and estimates about your case.

What to Do if You Have Lost a Loved One due to Negligence?

The death of a family member or loved one is undoubtedly a difficult time. In such trying moments, even the thought of fighting a legal battle can be daunting. However, if you feel that you are able to take action, we can recommend several steps which can help place any future compensation claim on the firmest footing possible. These steps are:

  • Seek a second medical opinion. To verify the claims of a medical practitioner or a hospital involved in a medical negligence case, you can seek a second opinion. If you need further medication evaluation of the situation, we can arrange this on your behalf.
  • Organise and document any evidence you can. This can include notes, emails, x-rays, and any communication or information about the case.
  • Start gathering all bills and receipts and estimating the financial losses. This can be anything from medical expenses to loss of income to expenses due to psychological trauma. When we determine how much compensation for medical negligence resulting in death, this evidence can be constructive.

When proceeding with your claim, bringing the above evidence to a law firm can form a solid foundation and can improve your chances of winning compensation.

Who can Claim for a Death Caused by Negligence?

In death due to medical negligence claims cases, only three entities have the legal right to file for such claims. These legal entities are:

  • The dependants of the deceased person.
  • The family members of the deceased person.
  • The estate of the deceased.

In other words, the compensation awarded in the case of a successful claim is likely to be used for the future financial maintenance of the dependents, family members, or the estate.

What Can be Claimed in a Death Caused by Medical Negligence Case?

When making a compensation claim, there are several costs, expenses, and damages that you can attempt to recover. These include:

  • General damages, which may include compensation for doctor’s negligence, compensation for medical staff negligence, compensation for hospital negligence, and for the pain and suffering caused to family members.
  • Special damages, which may include ambulance expenses, hospice expenses, aftercare expenses, and other expenses involving the victim.
  • Medical expenses, which may include all medical expenses before, during, and after the death of the victim, such as the need for a specialist or private healthcare.
  • Travel expenses, which may include all transportation costs for travelling between the hospital and the victim’s home, between the law office and the victim’s home, and all other trips related to the death due to medical negligence case.
  • Funeral expenses, which may include expenses paid to cover funerals in the event of death.

The process of figuring out how much compensation for medical negligence resulting in death will involve considering all of the above factors. With the advice of a professional legal team, you can be sure that you’re claiming the full compensation total and can maximise your payout amount.

No Win No Fee Death by Medical Negligence Claims

Given the devastating nature of the death of a family member of a loved one, we try to provide our clients with the maximum financial and emotional relief in a medical negligence case. We understand how trying these times can be, not only emotionally but financially as well. As such, our Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) deal – also referred to as our ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement – protects you financially. You will not be charged anything unless you win the claim and are financially compensated. This dramatically reduces the risk of working with a dedicated legal team and allows you to reduce your stress levels at an already difficult time. It’s part of our ongoing commitment to client-friendly legal services, so call us today to find out more.

How Much Can I Claim for a Death Caused by Medical Negligence?

Trying to estimate the payout totals for cases involving death can be difficult. However, the following table provides some representative injury types with associated severity levels, applicable payment terms, and descriptions. You must understand that an individual medical negligence claim settlement case is settled on the merits of the case alone, so these figures may or may not apply to your case. However, you can still use this compensation payouts guide; you can get a good idea of average payout for medical negligence resulting in death, at least in terms of how certain conditions and certain severity levels are able to affect the final compensation amount.

Reason for CompensationTypical Compensation AmountComments
Death£11,770 to £22,350Full awareness
Death£9,870 to £10,010Injuries suffered followed by unconsciousness and then death.
Mental anguishUp to £4,380Worry, stress and trauma caused by impending death. (base amount other damages will also be applied)
PTSD (Less Severe) £3,710 to £7,680Great recover would make substantial recovery in two years.
PTSD (Severe)£56,180 to £94,470An injury of this nature would have a life-altering impact, as the professional and social life of the individual would be impacted.
Brain Damage (Minor)£14,380 to £40,410An injury of this nature would make a a great recovery, but memory and sensory issues may prevail.
Brain Damage (Severe)£264,650 to £379,100An injury of this nature would take into account severe brain trauma which would impact life expectancy, physical limitations, sensory impairment, and a loss of independence.

Though the table lists several representative health conditions, it is likely that the health condition you are looking for is not mentioned at all. Nonetheless, the table can be used to illustrate how the severity of a health condition influences the compensation amount. For accurate compensation claims procedures and death compensation calculation, you should use the contact information provided below to get professional advice from our legal team.

How to Start a Death due to Medical Negligence Claim

When your close family member has died due to medical negligence, you may be curious as to your legal rights regarding the ability to claim for compensation. The legal battle can be

how much compensation for medical negligence

how much compensation for medical negligence

complicated and the circumstances may be complicated by your lack of familiarity with the laws, regulations, and processes involved in such a claim. That is why a professional team can prove to be so useful. If you are wondering where to start with a legal claim, we recommend contacting our offices immediately.

We are able to offer a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Our experienced medical negligence solicitors will hear your case, review the evidence, and objectively evaluate the circumstance in this session. If you have a strong case, our solicitors will be able to estimate the compensation settlement. We can also arrange a third-party medical opinion for an unbiased view of the case. Our legal team is ready to offer free advice and legal representation during the court proceedings if you desire. If you’d like to begin a claim, starting with this consultation is the best option.

Why Choose us as your Claims Service for a Death due to Medical Negligence Claim

Death due to medical negligence can leave the family members with a feeling of betrayal and mistrust. Given the trying circumstances, you are likely to look for a law firm that is highly ethical, friendly, and experienced in winning death due to medical negligence claims.

Our combined expertise and experience can help you win compensation for the death of family member claims. The benefits of employing our team include:

  • A no-obligation legal consultation offered for free.
  • Conditional Fee Agreement, providing a ‘No Win No Fee’ deal for clients.
  • A law firm which offers integrity, ethics, and client-friendly attitudes.
  • Expertise in everything from the legal to the administrative sides of the claim.

If you are looking for competent and trustworthy legal assistance, you have come to the right place. All you have to do is get in touch with our team right away.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim

If you think you have a claim, get in touch with us to discuss the specifics of the case. We offer advice, expertise, and a range of services designed to suit you. Call us on 0800 073 8804, chat with us on our website, or use the online contact form to get in touch. When you need legal representation, we’re a perfect choice.

Helpful Links

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Death?

There are many different things you can claim for when claiming compensation for a family member or loved one Find out full amounts of compensation that you could claim.

NHS Coping with bereavement

This NHS link explains about bereavement and information on help and support after a death.

Information on What to do after a death – Citizens Advice

This Citizens Advice link has key points on what to do after a death to help you.

How To Start a Medical Negligence Claim?

This link explains how to start a medical negligence claim for more information on how to start a medical negligence claim contact us on our freephone number or our live web chat and we will give you free legal advice on what to do next.

Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims

Have you lost a family member or loved one due to a misdiagnosis that resulted in death? contact our medical negligence specialists today.

How to make a complaint about an NHS service?

Every NHS organisation has a complaints procedure. If you have lost a loved one due to medical negligence our solicitors can help you file the complaint with your compensation claim for more information contact us today and get free advice.

How much compensation for medical negligence FAQ

What is the average payout for a medical negligence claim?

The average payout for medical negligence will inherently vary, as they take into account the unique circumstances at hand. For instance, any compensation awarded will reflect the type of damages inflicted and their severities.

What is classed as medical negligence?

Medical negligence is often identified as any medical treatment that has gone awry due to the negligence of a professional. To prove medical negligence, it will be necessary to prove that the medical professional breached the standard of care expected of them. For example, if they misdiagnosed an illness or injury or prescribed you medication you’re known to be allergic to.

My child has suffered from medical negligence, is it possible to make a claim?

If a child has suffered from medical negligence, then you could have ground to make a claim on their behalf. The parent or guardian would be appointed by the court as a litigation friend to handle the case on their behalf. However, if no claim is made by the time they turn 18, they will need to represent themselves and have until their 21st birthday to do so.

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