Medical Negligence And Wrongful Death Compensation Guide

By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 23rd February 2024. Has a loved one or someone you were dependent on died because a trained medical professional breached the duty of care that they owed them? If so, then you may be able to make a medical negligence claim for wrongful death.

Within this guide, we’ll discuss the potential ways medical negligence may cause wrongful death and how to establish whether you’re eligible to make a fatal accident claim.

We’ll also discuss the key steps to making a claim for wrongful death by medical negligence. You might be wondering how much compensation you could receive for a successful claim; our guide offers examples of guideline medical negligence payouts.

If you would like to speak to an advisor about claiming for fatal medical negligence, then you can call our team on 0161 696 9685. You can also contact us online instead by using the website’s claim form or our 24/7 live chat service.

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Select A Section

  1. Medical Negligence And Wrongful Death Compensation Payouts
  2. Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For The Death Of A Family Member?
  3. How Could Medical Negligence Lead To Wrongful Death?
  4. How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim For Wrongful Death Caused By Medical Negligence?
  5. No Win No Fee Death By Medical Negligence Claims
  6. Additional Help With Medical Negligence And Wrongful Death Compensation Claims

Medical Negligence And Wrongful Death Compensation Payouts

If a loved one has died due to medical negligence, you may be able to make a wrongful death claim. In this case, you might be wondering how much compensation you could receive.

Below, we have provided some examples of medical negligence payouts in the UK for wrongful death. The amounts listed have been taken from the most recent update of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), released in April 2022.

The JCG is a document that is used by various legal professionals to help them value claims. This is because the JCG assigns compensation brackets to different mental and physical injuries at various severities.

The amounts are also based on previous claims. Please note that the first entry is not taken from the JCG.

Judicial College Guideline Amounts

Type of Harm Other Details Amount
Fatality plus add on claims Awards may include compensation for the deceased person’s pain and suffering as well as any losses affecting dependents, such as lost income. Up to £550,000 and over
Brain Damage – Very Severe The person will require full-time care and will show little meaningful response to their environment. Various factors will affect how much is awarded. £282,010 to £403,990
Quadraplegia/Tetraplegia The higher end of this bracket is applicable to cases where the person experiences physical pain and their communication skills and senses have been affected. £324,600 to £403,990
Paraplegia The figure awarded will vary depending on different factors e.g. the severity of pain, the psychological impact, the age and life expectancy of the injured person. £219,070 to £284,260
Psychiatric Damage – Severe A severe case of psychiatric damage that has an impact on the person’s ability to cope with life and their relationships. £54,830 to £115,730
PTSD – Severe All areas of the person’s life will be negatively affected, and they will be unable to function the same as they did pre-trauma. £59,860 to £100,670
Injuries Resulting in Death – Full Awareness The person will be fully aware of their injuries before fluctuating in and out of consciousness for a few weeks before dying within 3 months. £12,540 to £23,810

Do not hesitate to contact one of our advisors today to learn more about how much compensation you could receive for a successful wrongful death claim. Our friendly team is available 24 hours a day to help you and offer free legal advice.

What Else Can Private Healthcare And NHS Compensation Payouts Include?

In this section, we’ll provide some more information on private healthcare and NHS compensation payouts.

While the wrongful death claims calculator in the section above can give you an idea of what you could receive for the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased, there are other headings you may able to claim under.

These headings are tailored to the suffering you may have experienced as a result of losing your loved one due to medical negligence, and include:

  • Bereavement awards: Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, certain relatives are entitled to a bereavement award of £15,120, which is awarded by the government. If the deceased was an unmarried minor, their parents may receive this award. Otherwise, either the spouse of the deceased or the cohabiting partner for two or more years is eligible.
  • Loss of services payment: This covers any loss of services that may have been provided by the deceased. For example, picking children up from school, or the cost of DIY around the house.
  • Dependency payment: If you were financially dependent on the deceased, you may be able to claim a dependency payment to help with any financial hardship you may be experiencing. This will take into account the finances of the deceased, such as their income, investments, savings, and pension.

Our advisors can provide more information on what you could potentially claim for following the wrongful death of a loved one due to medical negligence. Get in touch today for a free estimated value of your claim, or read on to find out more.

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Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For The Death Of A Family Member?

To be eligible to make a claim for compensation for the wrongful death of a family member due to medical negligence, you will need to prove that they were fatally injured due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care.

All medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients, which means that they must provide care of a minimum standard. Failing to do so and causing avoidable harm as a result is known as negligence.

Under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 (LRMPA), the deceased’s estate can make a claim on behalf of the pain and suffering of the deceased.  They can also make a claim on behalf of the deceased’s dependents. They are the only party who can start a claim during the first six months after the deceased’s death.

Who Qualifies As A Dependent?

After six months have passed since the deceased’s death, the deceased’s dependents can make a claim for how the death has impacted them.

Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, the following people qualify can qualify as a dependent:

  • A wife, husband or civil partner (current or former).
  • Somebody who lived with the deceased for two years prior to their death and who lived together during this time as spouses.
  • A parent of the deceased or someone who was treated as the parent.
  • A child of the deceased or someone who was treated as a child (such as a stepchild).
  • A brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the deceased.

For more advice on wrongful death claims and whether you have valid grounds to claim for the wrongful death of a family member due to medical negligence, please contact our advisors for free today.

Claims On Behalf Of The Deceased’s Estate

When somebody dies due to medical negligence, they still have the right to make a compensation claim for their pain and suffering and their death. Obviously, they can’t actually make the claim themselves, which is why the right to claim is passed to their estate.

The estate can launch a fatal accident claim on behalf of the victim and any compensation can be added to their estate.

This can be a complex claim to make so we’d recommend you use a medical negligence specialist like those on our panel of solicitors. They will be able to guide you through the legal process, explaining everything to you along the way. If the victim didn’t leave a will, we can still help with obtaining the relevant paperwork to proceed.

How Could Medical Negligence Lead To Wrongful Death?

There are many ways that fatalities could occur due to medical negligence. However, as we’ve already mentioned, your case must meet the fatal medical negligence claim criteria. Some examples of how medical negligence could lead to wrongful death include:

  • Misdiagnosis: For example, if cancer was misdiagnosed as a result of a doctor failing to properly read a scan, this could allow the disease to metastasise and spread beyond the point of treatment.
  • Surgical errors: Errors in surgery can also lead to fatalities. For example, if a surgeon were to nick an artery, this could lead to massive blood loss, causing the patient to go into shock and pass away.
  • Hospital-acquired infections: Infections acquired as a result of sub-par hygiene in hospitals, such as pneumonia and meningitis, can be fatal. 
  • Prescription errors: If a patient had a known allergy to a certain drug, and this drug was administered by a doctor anyway, this could cause them to go into anaphylactic shock, which in some cases could be fatal.

These are just a few examples of when you could potentially make a wrongful death claim due to medical negligence. To learn more, or have your case evaluated for free, contact our team of advisors today. Alternatively, you can read on to find out more about how to seek compensation.

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How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim For Wrongful Death Caused By Medical Negligence?

Whether you are seeking compensation on behalf of a deceased loved one from a private healthcare provider or the NHS, negligence payouts for death cases must be started before the time limit expires. This is generally three years from their date of death.

However, the claim can be started within three years of the date of knowledge. This is when their death was first connected to negligence, such as following a postmortem or inquest.

Get in touch to find out more about NHS compensation payouts. This guide for death due to medical negligence can also help answer any questions you may have.

No Win No Fee Death By Medical Negligence Claims

Now that you’ve learned more about death by medical negligence payouts for UK claims, you might be interested in finding a solicitor. Working with a solicitor can bring a number of benefits to a claim; for example, a solicitor can use their knowledge to explain complex legal jargon and help further strengthen a claim. 

Our panel of solicitors could represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. By offering their clients a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), our panel of solicitors don’t take a fee to start working on a claim, nor to continue their work. Similarly, in the event of an unsuccessful claim, they won’t take a fee for their work. 

If your fatal medical negligence claim is successful, then your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation. They take this as a small percentage, though this percentage is capped by legislation. This legislative cap helps to make sure that you keep the majority of what you receive. 

Contact Us

Our advisors are here to help with claiming after a medical professional breached their duty of care, causing avoidable harm. If you’d like to start your free consultation and find out if working with a solicitor from our panel is right for you, contact our team today:

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Additional Help With Medical Negligence And Wrongful Death Compensation Claims

Hopefully, you now have enough information about medical negligence death claims to decide what your next steps will be. For further information, we’ve provided some more relevant and useful guides below:

More Helpful Guides:

For more information on medical negligence wrongful death claims, call our team on the number above. They can provide further clarification on matters such as medical negligence death payouts in the UK.