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For over 30 years, Boyes Turner’s medical negligence lawyers have helped families through the emotional trauma, legal formalities and financial devastation that follow a loved one’s death from medical and healthcare mistakes.

We understand that money can’t take away the feelings of loss that follow a loved one’s death, but we know that where the family relied on the deceased as a financial provider, parent or home-maker, their bereavement is often compounded by worries about money and how they and their family will cope.

Compensation can resolve long-term financial hardship. Having the means to pay for essential help, and restored financial stability for the future, can ease the adjustment into a new way of family life.

Fatal injury medical negligence claims need handling by specialist solicitors. Medical negligence claims are complex, and fatal cases have their own additional legal requirements and complexities. Our clinical negligence lawyers are nationally recognised for our expertise in complex and high value compensation claims, including claims for the family following maternal (mother) death from birth injury and cervical cancer negligence, or arising from the loss of a high-earning partner or parent. 

We understand that it can be difficult to talk about a loved one’s death, particularly when it occurred in distressing or traumatic circumstances. Our compassionate lawyers handle each client’s case sensitively whilst gathering the evidence needed to recover their full entitlement to compensation. We are also experienced in helping clients who have suffered psychological injury after seeing their loved ones suffering. We are here for bereaved partners and families who have been affected by death following medical negligence, and will discuss your claim, confidentially, with sensitivity, and advise you how we can help.

Previous cases include:

  • £253,000 compensation for the husband of a 51-year-old woman who died after an NHS trust and two private consultants failed to diagnose and treat a subarachnoid haemorrhage and brain aneurysms. The defendants denied liability but an out of court settlement of £253,000 was negotiated in the months leading up to trial.
  • £250,000 compensation for the widow of a man who died after three GPs misdiagnosed his chest pains as reflux and failed to refer him for cardiac review, despite his history of heart problems.  Correct referral for an exercise ECG would have led to an angiogram and surgery which would have prevented his death. Two of the doctors denied liability throughout the claim but settlement was finally achieved without the need for trial.
  • £200,000 compensation for the son of a woman who died after her atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm) was incorrectly treated by negligently administered cardioversion (a procedure which shocks the heart back into its correct rhythm). Our client was the youngest child  and only dependant of the deceased. After his mother’s death his grandmother mother took over his care and approached our medical negligence team for help with making a claim for the boys’ loss of dependency on his mother’s care and income. 
  • £265,000 compensation settlement in a fatal claim arising from delayed diagnosis and treatment of a young woman’s cervical cancer. By the time the cancer was diagnosed it was inoperable and the young woman was treated with chemo radiotherapy, which caused radiation enteritis and loss of fertility. She died, leaving two children, after a recurrence of the cancer and further chemotherapy.

Who can make a fatal injury medical negligence compensation claim?

Where someone’s death was caused by medical negligence, the deceased’s dependants, partner and their ‘estate’ may be entitled to compensation. Where more than one person is entitled to claim (e.g. where the deceased left dependent children and a partner) our specialist fatal injury lawyers will explore with you who is the most appropriate person to bring the proceedings and how each claimant’s interests can best be protected.

We recover compensation for bereaved and dependent families of patients whose deaths were caused by:

  • Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis;
  • Delayed referral to hospital or to a specialist;
  • Delayed or incorrect medical treatment;
  • Delays in ordering scans and other medical investigations;
  • Misinterpretation of biopsies, scans and other investigation or test results;
  • Communication and follow-up failures;
  • Ventilation, resuscitation, anaesthetic and oxygenation errors;
  • Surgical errors;
  • Medication errors;
  • A&E/emergency care errors;
  • Obstetric errors;
  • Failed or incorrect risk assessment or management;
  • GP errors.

Common causes of death arising from medical negligence include:

  • Brain injury;
  • Brain haemorrhage;
  • Complications of pregnancy and birth, such as obstetric haemorrhage, uterine rupture, stillbirth;
  • Infection and sepsis;
  • Cardiac arrest and heart failure;
  • Emboli, clots and stroke;
  • Cancer and tumours;
  • Organ failure (heart, lungs, kidneys etc);
  • Epilepsy.

We also help ‘secondary victims’ who have suffered severe psychological injury from witnessing their loved one’s death in traumatic circumstances.

What compensation can the family claim after medical negligence causes fatal injury?

Fatal injury compensation claims are governed by The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934. Together, these two statutes give the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate (those who inherit from their will or intestacy) and the deceased’s dependants the right to claim compensation for their losses.  

Fatal medical negligence claims are complex and must be handled by specialist solicitors to ensure that family members, and those entitled under the deceased’s estate, receive their full entitlement to compensation. If any dependent children are entitled to compensation, the settlement must be approved by the court, to safeguard the children’s interests.    

The amount and type of compensation that can be claimed in a fatal injury case depends on the deceased’s and their family’s individual circumstances. Fatal injury medical negligence claims often include one or more of the following types of compensation.

  • Dependants (usually the deceased’s children, husband, wife, partner, grandchildren, elderly relatives) who were dependant on the deceased can claim for:
    • their loss of dependency on the deceased’s income – the financial support they have lost;
    • their loss of dependency on the deceased’s ‘services’ -  the cost of replacing the things that the deceased did for them, such as:
      • providing child-care;
      • housework and running the home;
      • providing and cooking meals;
      • driving;
      • gardening;
      • DIY.
  • compensation for the deceased’s pain, suffering and disability leading up to their death;
  • costs of the deceased’s care leading up to their death;
  • reasonable funeral expenses;
  • other reasonable costs and expenses caused by the deceased’s injury and death. 
  • A statutory ‘bereavement payment’ can be claimed where the deceased left a:
    • husband, wife or civil partner;
    • unmarried cohabitee partner who was living with them at the time of their death and had done so for at least two years;
    • a minor child.

We can also recover compensation for those who were injured in the same event, such as:

  • where a baby suffers brain injury as a result of the maternity mistakes that caused his mother’s death in childbirth:
  • where a ‘secondary victim’ suffers psychological injury from witnessing their loved one’s traumatic death.

Representation at inquests

We can help our clients with advice and representation at inquests after medical mistakes cause fatal injury.

Depending on the circumstances of the deceased’s death, the coroner may:

  • request a post-mortem;
  • decide to hold an inquest;
  • take statements from witnesses, including the family.

If you are approached by the coroner’s office after healthcare mistakes led to a family member’s death, we recommend that you contact us immediately for advice. 

We can help our client families by:

  • advising about the inquest;
  • gathering important evidence before, during and after an inquest;
  • challenging the cause of death;
  • representing the family at the inquest, to ensure that their questions are answered;
  • obtaining an admission of liability and interim payment from the NHS or healthcare provider;
  • negotiating a compensation settlement.

How much compensation can you get for medical negligence?

How to make a medical negligence claim?

How long do medical negligence claims take?

How to fund a medical negligence claim?

How can you prove medical negligence?
Is there a time limit for claiming medical negligence compensation?
Will I need to go to court to claim medical negligence compensation?

Fatal negligence cases

Awards & Accreditations

Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients

What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

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"Very Professional "

Boyes Turner helped me through one of the toughest times in my life. They were very professional whilst remaining friendly. At times the process was emotionally tough but they were very patient with me and went through everything with me until I understood it. I cannot recommend them enough. 

Boyes Turner Client

"We cannot thank Susan and her team at Boyes Turner enough"

Words cannot express how grateful we are to Susan and her team for the level of commitment and dedication shown to our family during a time which would be difficult for anyone. Susan demonstrates a calm professional manner which helped us to feel at ease. Her level of knowledge has proven to be the best in the field and we fully recommend her to anyone seeking to investigate birth injury claims. You can be confident that Susan and her team will scrutinise the medical notes thoroughly and will keep you well informed throughout the process. We are very pleased with the outcome of our child’s case and know that her work has resulted in justice being achieved. Our family will now be able to move forward in the knowledge that the finances are securely in place for our child to receive a suitable care package, purchase equipment and receive necessary lifelong therapy. We cannot thank Susan and her team at Boyes Turner enough.

Boyes Turner Client

"I would like to say a huge thank you to Fran Rothwell"

I would like to say a huge thank you to Fran Rothwell for the exceptional work that she has carried out on my behalf. She is knowledgeable, efficient and has great attention to detail.Fran has kept me informed throughout the entire process and has been a great support to me, always being at the end of the phone, or on an email, whenever I needed her. She truly wants the best for her client and is passionate about getting justice. Fran also has a kind and compassionate nature and takes her time to explain what is going on in a clear and simple way. This has been extremely helpful to me during a difficult time.It is certainly reassuring having such strong women behind me.

Boyes Turner Client

"The journey with Julie was interesting! "

From a speculative inquiry to a life changing award, the journey with Julie Marsh was interesting. Julie kept me informed along the way explaining exactly what was going on and more importantly why. The team that was assembled certainly knew their stuff which meant I got all the necessary support to keep going. Thank you all. 

Kevin Ridsdale

"Successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation"

Boyes Turner staff were always helpful and quick to respond. Communicating from the other side of the world presented no problems. Boyes Turner secured generous early interim payments that allowed me to continue my (non-funded) medical treatment that otherwise I could never have afforded. My Boyes Turner solicitor successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation and continuation of funding for future medical treatment and associated costs giving me great peace of mind. Thank you so much Annabelle! I would recommend Boyes Turner solicitors. They are professional, courteous and helpful. 

Brian