Claiming Compensation for a Wrongful Death

The death of a loved one hardly bears thinking about, but it does happen.  When you lose a loved one, money will be the last thing on your mind.  However, very soon financial pressures may mount, especially if the loved one was the breadwinner.  Further, there may be medical fees and funeral and other expenses to pay.

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What is a wrongful death claim?

Sometimes deaths happen when, frankly, they shouldn’t.  Deaths due to medical negligence, or the carelessness or negligence of others are examples of deaths which shouldn’t happen.  If someone is killed by a drunken or dangerous driver, then a claim can be made in the civil court for damages.  In the same way, if a doctor or surgeon kills a patient because surgery goes wrong (and the surgery was not of the standard reasonably expected of a doctor) or he was careless, then damages can be claimed.

What kind of losses can I claim for in a wrongful death claim?

You will be able to claim for psychological trauma caused by the death, and any medical fees you incur, such as psychiatric care fees.  You will be able to claim for the medical fees of the person you lost.  If you depended on your loved one financially, you may be able to claim for the salaries and wages he or she would have earned during his lifetime.  There are also special provisions relating to pension and educational costs which can be claimed for.  In fact, you may be able to claim for anything you would have received had the loved one not died.

How do I claim financial compensation for wrongful death?

There are time limits to make a claim, and normally you have 3 years from the date of death in which to make a claim for compensation.

You will then have to make a claim in the civil courts (such as a county court) for damages.  This means issuing legal proceedings (also known as ‘suing’) against the person you are claiming caused the wrongful death, such as the doctor, hospital or drunken driver.

When it comes to court, you will then have to prove the defendant is guilty ‘on the balance of probabilities’, which means you must convince the court there is at least a 51% chance the of the defendant’s guilt.  This is a lower burden of proof than in the criminal court, therefore even if the person was acquitted in a criminal court, a claim can be successful in a civil court.

Who can help me claim financial compensation for a wrongful death?

The court process can be stressful, and complicated.  You will need to prove the damages, the amount you are claiming for and provide justification for it.  You will also have to prove the other person is at fault, which may require intense investigation.  It does not have to be a complicated process.  Contact us at Manners Pimblett and we can do the hard work for you.  We offer NO WIN NO FEE* agreements on personal injury matters, call one of our experts today for more information. 0845 0770772.

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