How do I claim compensation for death during surgery? My husband died unexpectedly during a knee operation and it has left the family devastated. What can we be compensated for and is there a time limit?
To claim compensation for death during surgery the first thing you should do is contact a solicitor with experience in dealing with death from surgery compensation claims. After you inform them of the particular circumstances of your husband’s death they will be able to give you all the specific information you need in a sensitive manner that will put your mind at ease about the claims process. If they think that your claim has sufficient strength they may offer to legally represent you in pursuing a claim for compensation for death due to surgical negligence.
You can claim for a number of factors when claiming for the death of a loved one, your solicitor will be able to explain this to you in full. One of these factors is dependency claim. Here you can be compensated for the financial support that your husband provided the family and any other dependants. It will also have to be proven that you and any children under 18 were reliant upon your husband’s earnings. However, only a certain amount of these earnings will be accounted for in your compensation for death during surgery claim as it will be assumed that some of that money will have been spent by your husband for his own personal use. If your husband played a large role in domestic activities and in child rearing this will also be taken into consideration when calculating your final compensation for death due to surgical negligence settlement.
You should also be able to make a bereavement claim against the NHS or private hospital involved with your husband’s untimely death, which is separate from the previously mentioned elements of compensation for death during surgery claim. The Fatal Accidents Act in 1976 sets the amount that a bereaved relative of someone who has died due to medical negligence at £11,800. It also limits the length of time for claiming for a death during surgery to three years. This time period generally commences from the date that the death occurred. Occasionally this time limit begins when the cause of death has been established.
All of the information provided here is merely a general guide to how to pursue a death from surgery compensation claim after the death of a family member or loved one, it is by no means a substitute to the specific advice a solicitor, who has knowledge of your situation, will be able to provide. Therefore it is in your best interest to contact one at the first possible moment so that you may begin the claims process for compensation for death during surgery.