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Fatal Claims and Inquests

If a member of your family dies as a result of medical / dental treatment that you have concerns about then it is possible to investigate such treatment by means of pursuing a complaint and / or pursuing a compensation claim. In some cases an Inquest may be held.
It is important to note that the purpose of the Inquest is limited and is specifically not designed to attribute blame for the death but to ascertain:

  1. Who has died;
  2. When they died;
  3. Where they died;
  4. How they died and in what circumstances. 

You may come away from the Inquest feeling that some of your questions have not been answered, but that will be because of the limited remit of the Inquest. The verdict at the Inquest will not prevent us pursuing a civil claim after the Inquest should we feel that there are still prospects of succeeding.
It is possible for us to advise you on the Inquest process and, if appropriate, represent your interests at the Inquest. It is important to get advice as soon as you are aware of a Coroner’s involvement or if you feel the Coroner should be involved.  
In fatal claims compensation is worked out slightly differently to other claims. If we are able to prove that the alleged negligent treatment caused or materially contributed to the deceased’s death then compensation can be made up of all or some of the following (depending on what is applicable to your particular case);

  1. Bereavement damages – a set sum is paid to certain dependants (as defined by the law). The figure is currently £12,980 for deaths on or after the 1 April 2013. If before then the sum is £11,800.
  2. Funeral expenses.
  3. Dependency claim - this is a claim by surviving relatives who were financially dependant upon the deceased.
  4. Loss of services claim – a claim can be made if the deceased provided services to you and / or other family members, i.e. caring for you, caring for grandchildren, looking after the house etc.
  5. Financial losses incurred prior to the deceased’s death and as a direct result of the alleged negligent treatment, i.e. travelling expenses.
  6. Care and attendance provided to the deceased by family and / or friends prior to his / her death and as a direct result of the alleged negligent treatment.
  7. Payment for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity arising prior to the deceased’s death.