Fatal Medical Negligence Claims

Claim Compensation for Fatal Medical Negligence

If a family member dies as a result of negligent medical care, our expert solicitors can guide you compassionately through the process of Claiming Compensation for Fatal Medical Negligence

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  • “They are able to handle all clinical negligence claims including the very biggest catastrophic brain injury claims.”

  • “Stephanie is absolutely fantastic. She works incredibly hard for her clients and has a great deal of compassion.”

Expert support for medical negligence death compensation

This page will help you understand what your options are and answer many of your questions. You will learn more about our experience in fatal medical negligence claims, and what you can expect from our lawyers. Finally, you can find out how we have helped other families achieve high-value compensation awards following a death by medical negligence.

Table of Contents

What are fatal medical negligence claims?

If a clinician makes a mistake and the patient dies as a result, the family of the deceased may be able to make a claim for compensation. The test is whether the medical professional failed in their duty of care to the patient. Usually, this means the clinician has gone against standard operating procedures, practices and advice.

Common medical negligence death cases include:

  • Errors made in surgery that could have been prevented if something had been done differently
  • Surgery that took place when it wasn’t actually required
  • Delayed diagnosis so the condition was no longer treatable
  • Misdiagnosis of a condition which meant the real condition wasn’t treated
  • Negligent care in a hospital or care facility
  • Medication errors where the patient was given incorrect medication that caused their death
  • Childbirth errors which led to the death of the mother or baby

A medical death in any scenario will usually open up the possibility of a compensation claim. Please call us as soon as you are able to discuss your situation.

Who can bring a fatal medical negligence claim?

In theory, any close family member who suffers as a result of the death can claim for medical negligence compensation. However, it is usually the children, spouse or civil partner of the deceased who will bring the claim. Dependents who relied on the deceased for financial support can claim for the financial losses they suffer as a result of their loved one’s death.

Are there any time limits to bringing a fatal medical negligence claim?

In most cases, you must start your fatal injuries compensation claim within three years of the date of the negligent medical treatment. If you do not immediately link the death to the actions of medical staff, then the three-year time limit will start to run on the date you learn about the medical mistake.

With any medical negligence claim, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. This will give us plenty of time to take some early steps, such as making a complaint to the NHS or medical practitioner concerned. Medical professionals are bound by what is called the ‘duty of candour.’ This means they must be open when things go wrong and apologise, which can be used to secure an early admission of liability.

How much compensation for medical negligence resulting in death?

Receiving compensation will not bring your loved one back, but it can help protect you against the financial consequences of their death. We work out how much compensation you will get based on a number of things including:

  • Loss of your loved one’s salary and benefits
  • The pain and suffering your loved one may have experienced before death
  • Funeral costs
  • Medical expenses

Everyone’s situation is different. With over 40 years of experience in negotiating fatal medical negligence claims, we’ll make sure your compensation covers your needs so your family will be financially secure in the future.

What happens at a coroner’s inquest?

When someone dies, a doctor will issue a certificate stating the cause of death. In some rare cases, however, a coroner may launch an inquest into the circumstances of the death. This might happen if the death occurred during surgery, or the death had no explainable cause. The purpose of the inquest is to find out why and how the person died.

For relatives of the deceased, a coroner’s inquest is often a highly emotional experience. Taking a legal representative to the hearing will ensure that the right questions are asked so you get the answers you are looking for. This will help you come to terms with what happened, and it can also help to gather important information regarding a potential medical negligence claim.

In some circumstances, a coroner is able to make factual findings of failures in the care or treatment of your loved one. These findings can be helpful if a family chooses to pursue a claim for compensation.

What legal support is available for bereaved families?

There are two key pieces of legislation that govern the support available to bereaved families:

  • The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934
  • The Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

The Law Reform Act allows the deceased’s estate to claim for pain and suffering, loss of income, funeral expenses, and services like nursing care. The Fatal Accidents Act enables dependents to claim for financial losses, bereavement damages (fixed at £15,120), funeral expenses paid by the dependents, and loss of consortium. A dependent broadly, including spouses, civil partners, long-term cohabitants, parents, children, and others who were financially reliant on the deceased. Dependents must demonstrate the likelihood or reality of financial loss due to the death. Additionally, bereaved families can claim Bereavement Support Payment.

Find out more about the legal support available to bereaved families here.

Why choose Osbornes as your fatal negligence solicitor?

Specialist medical knowledge and understanding

By choosing Osbornes Law, you will have a professional and understanding team in your corner that will work tirelessly to help you get the answers and compensation you are looking for. Our team is led by Stephanie Prior, who before becoming a lawyer, worked within the NHS as a nurse. This means that Stephanie knows NHS procedures inside and out, is fluent in medical terminology and is able to spot inconsistencies in medical records. Our specialist solicitors are also members of the Action Against Medical Accidents and the Law Society’s panel for medical negligence solicitors.

You only have one opportunity to make a claim so it is vital that you get the very best representation.

Osbornes Law is recognised as one of the top firms in the medical negligence field. Many of the families we help want answers, and they want to stop similar tragedies from happening to other people. We can guide you through the official complaints process, as well as handle your compensation claim.

When you contact Osbornes Law, our specialist medical negligence solicitors will assess your claim and tell you whether you have a medical negligence claim. We will advise you on what happens next and the timeline of your claim. All of this is done on a no-win no fee basis, meaning you have no financial risk.

Speak to us about a fatal clinical negligence claim

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    • Osbornes is a very respected firm in the marketplace.

      Chambers UK 2024

    • They handle really complex cases very well

      Chambers UK 2024

    • The clinical negligence team are knowledgeable and professional in their approach and demonstrate a high level of skill in litigation work.

      Chambers UK 2024

    • Osbornes Law offers experience in obstetric and fatal claims as well as niche cauda equina cases.

      Chambers UK 2024

    • Osbornes Law is an established firm which handles a breadth of complex and high-value clinical negligence matters.

      Chambers UK 2024

    • Osbornes has a skilled team of solicitors advising clients on a wide range of clinical negligence matters.

      Legal 500 2024

    • Hard working, approachable, good knowledge of clinical negligence and clients’ specific conditions

      Legal 500 2024

    • A joy to work with and always 100% client focused at all times.

      Legal 500 2024

    • The clinical negligence team at Osbornes is much lauded for its ability to ‘represent the diverse range of London-based clients

      Legal 500 2024

    • “The team is very quick and efficient in responding."

      CHAMBERS UK 2023

    • "Obsbornes Law is always client-focused and works tirelessly to obtain the best outcomes for clients."

      CHAMBERS UK 2023

    • ‘They are ambitious for their clients and expect high standards from all who work with them.’

      Legal 500 2023

    • "Osbornes somehow combine the accessibility of a local firm, with the professional standards of a national or city outfit."

      Legal 500 2023

    • "Osbornes, is described as having ‘superb judgement and a medical knowledge that is second to none."

      Legal 500 2023

    • Stephanie has developed a particularly strong reputation for her handling of birth injury claims, as well as cases concerning surgical negligence and delays in surgery.

      Chambers UK

    • "An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Stephanie Prior takes on complex cases and gets excellent results. She has a background in medicine which serves her clients well and is a realistic but tough litigator."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Stephanie Prior is hugely dedicated, adored by her clients, tenacious, efficient and extremely knowledgeable."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Stephanie Prior is very good with troubled clients and is easily able to make them feel at ease."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Stephanie shows sensitivity and deals with things in an understanding way."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • Osbornes provides a very intimate and personal client service which is increasingly rare in this sector.

      Legal 500 2020 - Clinical Negligence

    • The lawyers in the team are highly experienced and will drive cases very hard on behalf of their clients.

      Legal 500 2020 - Clinical Negligence

    • "Stephanie Prior has a realistic attitude to the complexities of the cases. She wins the trust of her clients and goes the extra mile to ensure they get the best outcomes."

      Legal 500 2020 - Stephanie Prior

    • "Stephanie Prior... manages a varied caseload, including obstetric claims, child and adult brain injury cases and fatal and non-fatal spinal cord injury cases."

      Chambers UK

    • "Stephanie is experienced, knowledgeable of all aspects of clinical negligence work, and strategic in running cases."

      Chambers UK

    • "An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."

      Chambers UK

    • "The team were extremely professional in putting my needs first. There was a joined-up approach to catering for the client, and all lawyers involved were briefed and constructive."

      Chambers UK

    • Stephanie Prior is always very professional and kind. Highly recommended.

      Medical Negligence Client

    • Quite simply excellent, with a highly competent and well-rounded team. They understand complex medical litigation and have been our lifesavers, and we will always owe them our immense gratitude.

      Medical Negligence Client

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