Occasionally, medical negligence results in the death of a patient. If this should happen to a member of your family, you need to be aware that there are two possible types of claim for medical negligence you may be eligible for. Here is a brief summary of these options and to find out when medical negligence causes death.
Medical negligence claims on the estate’s behalf
The Miscellaneous Provisions Act of the 1934 Law Reform states that in the event of a death through medical negligence, compensation claims can be brought forward by administrators, executives or personal representatives of an estate. Surviving claims are essentially derived from what would have been available to the deceased before death.
Whether the claim against death incurred through medical negligence follows illnesses, accidents at work or other circumstances, a claim for compensation for loss of amenity, suffering and pain of the deceased may be made. Suffering and pain may have arisen if the death was not instantaneous, but occurred after a prolonged period of suffering. Loss of amenity may include the deceased’s inability to indulge in interests, hobbies and so on. In other words, their enjoyment and/ or quality of life were affected in a detrimental fashion. Under this act, it is not possible to claim for future financial losses.
Dependent’s claims for compensation
According to the 1976 Fatal Accidents Act, dependents may also claim for compensation following death caused by medical negligence. In this case, it must first be proven that you were indeed dependent on the deceased in some manner. A wife depending on her husband’s income, for example, would be eligible to claim, as would dependent children. Fringe benefits, like health insurance, for example, may also be considered in such cases. Other benefits, known as pecuniary benefits, may allow a dependent to claim for care or other services the deceased used to provide.
Individuals typically qualifying as dependents in death by medical negligence claims include spouses/ legal partners, children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents. It may also be possible to claim statutory bereavement awards. Here, dependent categories are limited to spouses and parents. When medical negligence causes death, there members of the family may be qualified for a sum of money.
Medical negligence, work accidents and other claims
Whether you need to claim for compensation following death or injuries incurred through accidents, your first step is to call the free-phone number of Accident Advice Helpline and speak to one of the company’s friendly legal advisors. This will help to establish what type of claim you can make, who to claim against and how likely it is that a claim will be successful. Call free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no-obligation advice about making a claim.
Date Published: October 17, 2013
Author: David Brown