Medical Negligence And Wrongful Death Compensation Guide

By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 22nd September 2023. 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 claim compensation for medical negligence that has led to a wrongful death.

Within this guide, we’ll discuss the potential ways medical negligence may cause 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 death by medical negligence and examples of medical negligence payouts.

Medical negligence wrongful death compensation claim guide

Medical negligence wrongful death compensation claim guide

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.

Select A Section

  1. Death By Medical Negligence Payouts In The UK
  2. Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For The Death Of A Family Member?
  3. Ways Medical Negligence Can Lead To Death
  4. Medical Negligence Payouts UK – Evidence To Support A Fatal Claim
  5. No Win No Fee Death By Medical Negligence Claims
  6. Additional Help

Death By Medical Negligence Payouts In The UK

If a loved one has died due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care, a claim for compensation for medical negligence resulting in wrongful death could be made. Compensation could be awarded for the pain and suffering of the deceased.

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 only use this table as a guide.

Type of HarmOther DetailsAmount
Fatality plus add on claimsAwards 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 SevereThe 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/TetraplegiaThe 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
ParaplegiaThe 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 - SevereA 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 - SevereAll 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 AwarenessThe 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 if you have any questions about making a 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 medical negligence 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, 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. Get in touch today for a free estimated value of your claim, or read on to find out more.

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

To be eligible to make a claim for compensation for the death of a family member, 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 harm as a result is known as negligence in medical negligence compensation claims.

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.

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 fatal medical negligence claims and whether you have valid grounds to claim for the death of a family member, please contact our advisors for free today.

Claims On Behalf Of The Deceased’s Estate

When somebody dies because of 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 medical negligence 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.

Ways Medical Negligence Can Lead To Death

There are a number of ways that death could occur in a medical setting as we’ve already touched upon during this guide. These include:

  • Misdiagnosis of an illness which resulted in the wrong or no treatment being given.
  • Medication errors meaning the patient was given incorrect medication that either caused their death or led to their illness not being treated at all.
  • A delayed diagnosis that led to their condition getting worse when it could’ve been cured had treatment begun earlier.
  • Errors in surgery that led to the patient’s death.
  • Childbirth errors which led to the death of the mother or baby.
  • Errors with the level of anaesthetic administered which caused the death of the patient.

However, you must show that a trained healthcare professional provided care that fell below the expected standard and resulted in further or avoidable harm.

Any of these causes of death can lead to a compensation claim against the NHS or private healthcare provider, so please get in touch if you think you have a valid claim. An advisor can provide guidance on medical negligence death payouts in the UK.

Medical Negligence Payouts UK – Evidence To Support A Fatal Claim

If your loved one died due to medical negligence and you are seeking to claim, you will need evidence to be eligible for medical negligence payouts in the UK. You must be able to prove that your loved one was owed a duty of care and it was a breach in this that caused their death.

Death by medical negligence payouts in the UK could be supported with:

  • The deceased’s medical records, which may include X-rays or details of known medication allergies.
  • Coroner’s report.

Our list above is not exhaustive. A No Win No Fee solicitor specialising in medical negligence claims could help you gather evidence.

Call our advisors to learn how much compensation for medical negligence resulting in death you could receive.

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.

It is important to note that for all fatal medical negligence claims, only the deceased’s estate can bring forward a claim for the first six months following their death. Beyond this point, the deceased’s dependents can start a claim for how the death has impacted them.

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 a death by medical negligence claim 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 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. 

Our advisors are here to help. 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:

Additional Help

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:

Learn more about medical negligence claims in our guides below:

Other useful 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.