Wrongful Death Claims

When a person dies, or is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another, the surviving members of the victim's family may wish to sue or make a claim for "wrongful death."

Wrongful death in medical negligence claims can arise for the following non-exhaustive list of reasons:

  • Delays in a diagnosis or a treatment
  • Failure to diagnose, refer a patient to a specialist or carry out diagnostic tests
  • Failings in care provision
  • Surgical errors
  • Neglect in residential care homes whose care is neglectful, such as not feeding a patient or giving them fluids to drink – or failing to give patients the care they need.
  • Assaults on patients and refusing to help them if they injure themselves
  • prescribing errors and overdoses

Death by negligence claims can be brought against a variety of medical practitioners whether it is the doctor failing to prescribe; the nurse failing in care provision or a Pharmacist prescribing medication incorrectly.

Wrongful death claims are pursued by the closest members of a bereaved family on behalf of their loved one and usually this means a spouse, sibling, or child.

In England and Wales, death by negligence claims are usually brought under two different statues. The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 and The Fatal Accidents Act 1976. Under these Acts, bereaved families are able to claim compensation for suffering caused by a wrongful death, as well as compensation for any dependents of the deceased and damages to cover funeral expenses.

In a medical negligence claim, a person usually has 3 years from the date of the negligence, to make a claim before they are ‘statute barred’ from pursuing it. This is called the Limitation period. It is important to remember that all Dependents must bring their claim at once, as only one claim can be brought in respect of the same death under the Fatal Accidents Act.

Wrongful death settlement

The bereavement payment for the pain and suffering for the loss of a close family member, is a fixed sum of money and is divided amongst those entitled to claim it. As from the middle of 2013, the payout settlement amount is £12,980.

If you believe you have a case for a wrongful death claim on behalf of a member of your family, then please contact our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors at Davies and Partners Solicitors in one of our four offices in Bristol, Gloucester, Birmingham or London and we will be happy to discuss your claim with you.

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