Fatal Injury Claims

The death of a loved one is a very painful experience and the knowledge that the death need not have occurred can make the situation infinitely more distressing. Where a loved one’s death was the result of medical negligence, it is normal to be angry and to want answers.

However, a loved one’s death can also leave you with significant practical issues to deal with, such as the loss of their income and other types of support they provided. Claiming compensation is therefore often essential to allow you and your loved ones to rebuild your lives.

We understand that the thought of making a claim for death due to medical negligence may seem intimidating and confusing at an already challenging time. However, with the right specialist legal advice and support, the process can be kept as straightforward as possible, helping to make this difficult situation a little easier.

Wolferstans’ medical negligence solicitors have extensive experience with even the most complex and contentious fatal injury claims, having secured substantial settlements for our clients over the years. We offer compassionate, practical support, helping you to achieve a fair outcome for you and your loved ones.

Our exceptional expertise means we can ensure no detail is missed when building your case, giving you the best chance of a positive outcome. With the benefit of our experience, we can also provide a highly accurate valuation for your claim, helping to ensure you do not run the risk of settling for less than the claim may truly be worth.

Wherever possible we will aim to keep the claims process out of court, by focusing on non-confrontational dispute resolution. This means we can typically agree a settlement without the need for you to attend a court hearing, making the process easier on you, as well as saving you time and keeping the costs to a minimum.

We offer a free initial no obligation consultation during which we will be able to tell you if you have a claim worth investigating further.

To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on 01752 292204.

Our fatal injury claims service

We work with families pursuing fatal injury claims related to medical negligence throughout England and Wales. This includes claims involving:

  • Late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of an acute medical condition
  • Failure to refer a critical condition for appropriate treatment
  • Failure to provide appropriate emergency treatment
  • Fatal surgical errors
  • Catastrophic drug errors
  • Stillbirth or maternal death
  • •Negligent surgical aftercare leading to fatal post-surgical infection

How compensation claims for death due to medical negligence work

We understand how difficult fatal injury claims can be on the loved ones of the deceased, so provide empathetic, straightforward advice and guidance through every stage of the claims process.

A typical fatal injury claim will involve:

  • Building your case e.g. applying for medical records, collecting witness evidence and consulting independent medical experts.
  • Contacting the relevant healthcare provider with the details of your claim.
  • Ensuring the defendant responds to your claim in a timely fashion.
  • Assessing the defendant’s response and advising you of your options.
  • Negotiating with the defendant and/or using alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation or independent evaluation, to secure a suitable settlement.
  • Submitting your claim to the relevant court and representing you at a court hearing where required to resolve the matter.

Find out more about the process of making a clinical negligence claim.

Funding a death due to medical negligence claim

Worrying about the cost of a fatal injury claim should never put you contacting out medical negligence lawyers. Wherever we believe there are valid grounds for a claim, we will find a funding option that suits you.

Normally for fatal injury claims, this means using a ‘no win, no fee’ deal, also called a ‘conditional fee agreement’. This means you do not need to pay anything towards your legal fees and expenses to start a claim and will only need to make a contribution if your claim is successful.

In the event of a successful no win, no fee fatal injury claim, the legal fees you pay will be calculated according to a percentage of the compensation secured. This means you will always be able to keep the majority of the funds received.

Other options for funding fatal injury claims include legal expenses insurance, which is often included with home insurance policies, as well as being offered with some bank accounts and credit cards.

To discuss your options for covering the cost of a fatal injury claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Find out more about funding a medical negligence claim.

Our expertise in fatal injury claims involving medical negligence

Over the years we have built a reputation for successfully securing compensation in even the most challenging fatal injury claims. We have the experience to ensure no potential angle is overlooked, while making the whole claims process as smooth and easy as possible for you and your loved ones.

Wolferstans is accredited by the Law Society for Clinical Negligence, recognising our particular expertise in this area. We are also Lexcel accredited by the Law Society for excellence in legal practice management and client care.

Various members of our medical negligence team are also on the Law Society and AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) Specialist Clinical Negligence Panels and have been accredited by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) as Clinical Negligence Specialists and Brain Injury Specialists.

Find out more about our medical negligence claims team.

Common questions about fatal injury claims

You will normally have 3 years from the date of death to bring a claim for a fatal injury due to medical negligence.

There can be exceptions to this, however, such as if you only became aware later that medical negligence was a factor in the death. It is therefore strongly recommended to speak to an experienced fatal injury claims lawyer no matter how much time has passed.

Exactly what you can claim following a death due to medical negligence will depend on the circumstances, but this will typically include compensation for things including:

  • Loss of the deceased’s income (including pension income)
  • Loss of services provided by the deceased
  • General costs incurred as a result of the death
  • Funeral expenses
  • A bereavement award (available to some family members) currently set at £12,980
  • Who can claim compensation following a fatal injury?

To make a claim for death due to medical negligence, you will normally need to be a dependent of the deceased or a representative of their estate.

People who are commonly eligible to make fatal injury claims include the deceased’s:

  • Spouse or civil partner Parent Child Other close relatives (such as a sibling, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle, or cousin) A former spouse of the deceased (in some circumstances) Any other person who was dependent on the deceased
  • Spouse or civil partner
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Other close relatives (such as a sibling, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle, or cousin)
  • A former spouse of the deceased (in some circumstances)
  • Any other person who was dependent on the deceased

To be able to make a claim, you will need to show that you were dependent on the deceased at the time of their death. This includes being financially dependent on them, but also covers other forms of dependency, such as relying on the deceased’s care and assistance as part of your daily life.

If you have concerns about treatment that a loved one received, we would strongly recommend you speak with us and we can advise you whether you are able to pursue a claim on their behalf.

When someone dies as a result of suspected medical negligence, there may be an inquest to determine the cause of death. We can support and represent you during the inquest process, providing the compassionate, expert legal advice and guidance you need to ensure you questions are answered.

Once an inquest has established the cause of death, it should be clear whether medical negligence was a factor. If this is the case, a further court hearing will not usually be required as it will normally be possible to agree an out-of-court settlement with the NHS Trust or other individual or organisation found responsible for the death at the inquest.

Further information about fatal injury claims

For more information about claiming compensation for death due to medical negligence and all types of medical negligence claims, please take a look at our news, blogs and our series of helpful leaflets covering specific issues.

Start a fatal injury claim with us today

To arrange a free initial no obligation consultation and find out more about starting a claim for a fatal injury due to medical negligence:

To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on 01752 292204.