In short - yes. This is a common question in personal injury or clinical negligence claims and has recently come before the High Court in judicial review proceedings.
Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that errors made by healthcare professionals or accidents can be fatal, leaving behind devastated family members and loved ones.
At Anthony Collins Solicitors we understand that making a claim for compensation will be the furthest from your mind at the time of your loss but in certain cases, any compensation claim could be essential for the family to carry on after the death. If someone has died as a result of a third-party's fault then it may be possible to make a claim for compensation. This is the case even if someone is partially at fault.
Representation at inquests and insight into fatal accidents
At Anthony Collins Solicitors, we know that money will never be able to compensate you for the death of someone you love. Our specialist solicitors pride themselves on being able to offer a compassionate and caring service to their clients, and we have acted for thousands of individuals over the years at extremely difficult times in their lives. We will always be sensitive to your particular needs and only ever act by your wishes.
A personal representative (Executor of a Will or Administrator of an Estate) can make a claim on behalf of the loved one who has died. Spouses, civil partners, cohabitants (of two years or more) and other relatives can also make a claim as a dependent.
The law with fatal accidents
The law about fatal accident claims is complex, and it can sometimes be difficult for the family to know whether or not they have a case and how to set out their claim. There are various laws relating to fatalities that would require careful consideration when embarking on making a claim. Broadly speaking, the family of the deceased may be able to make the following claims:
- A claim on behalf of the estate - this can be for pre-death pain and suffering including expenses incurred (e.g. funeral expenses and financial losses arising from the death such as loss of earnings).
- A claim on behalf of dependants - dependants can claim for loss of financial support (e.g. loss of earnings) and loss of services of their loved one (e.g. childcare, DIY, etc.).
- A statutory claim for bereavement damages, which is currently fixed at £12,800.
Representation at inquests
It may well be that the Coroner will be asked to hold an inquest to investigate the circumstances relating to the death. It is important to note that the purpose of the inquest is not to find fault with any party. An inquest is essentially set out to establish the following:
- Who the deceased was
- When they died
- Where they died
- How they died
An inquest is a fact-finding exercise and being represented there can often be important because we can ask questions of the witnesses who may have important information about the circumstances surrounding the deceased’s death. This can be useful in simply providing an explanation for you and your family as to exactly what happened but also when deciding whether or not to pursue any claim for medical negligence or an accident claim.
Supporting you in getting the justice you deserve
If we can help, we will talk to you about the best way forward for you, including funding options open to you. We are also happy to talk to you on a no-obligation basis if you already have a solicitor but would like a second opinion or you are unhappy.
If it helps, we can meet you at home or a neutral venue regardless of where you live. If you choose to instruct us, you will be represented by a solicitor who will be your contact from day one, right the way through to the conclusion, keeping you updated throughout.
Medical or clinical negligence can be a difficult thing to move on from, especially when it’s not your fault and it's life-changing. You can rest assured you'd be in the best possible hands - read about the support we've provided to other clients in their time of need here. Find out here what happens in a typical negligence compensation case. Whatever your case, please contact us and we will work with you to help you get the justice you deserve.
I couldn't have got such a good result without you. You supported and advised me through a very traumatic and upsetting time, following the death of my mother. Charlotte Measures was brilliant, she was sympathetic, understanding and very professional.Miss M.
We are grateful for the work that you did which was very excellent. May we say how thankful we are. Deep down in our hearts we are so thankful for everything. Thank you for the hard work you have done.Anonymous.
On behalf of myself and jmy family I would like to thank you for your help and support during a very sad and difficult time for us all.Mr Cavan Meredith.
Head of the claimant clinical negligence and personal injury department.
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