If the loss of a loved one was a result of a medical mistake or error, then you may be able to pursue a fatal claim on you and your family’s behalf.
Many of our clients who have lost a family member because of medical negligence contact us to:
What Sort of Mistakes Result in Fatal Claims?
Medical mistakes can occur in many situations and unfortunately sometimes this may result in death.
We have been involved in numerous fatal claims, where we represent families at an inquest and then also during the civil action.
Who Can Take a Fatal Claim Following the Death of a Loved One?
A claim can be taken by a ‘dependent’ of the person who died.
A dependent includes:
The civil action claim will include the cost of funeral expenses and inquest fees as an item of expense in the claim.
We are well known as being experts in fatal claims and inquests. We provide compassionate and professional advice and support throughout the fatal claim and inquest.
Medical Negligence Inquests
Medical professionals are obliged to report a death to the Coroner where a death occurred because of medical negligence. This covers situations where an unexpected death occurred in a hospital or where a person has been transferred to a hospital from a nursing home.
The Coroner must be notified in cases of death because of a healthcare acquired infection, maternal or late maternal death, any stillborn child, death intrapartum or infant death.
If family members suspect medical negligence and they are concerned about the standard of care given to the deceased person, they can communicate this concern to the Coroner.
Quite often when our office investigates a fatal claim, we notify the Coroner of our concerns in relation to potential medical negligence and this can result in an inquest being held in relation to the death.
In cases where the death occurred as a result of a medical or surgical procedure, regardless of when the death took place, the Coroner will commence investigations once a question arises as to whether or not the procedure contributed to the deceased person’s death.
What is an Inquest?
(a) The identity of the deceased;
(b) The place of death;
(c) The time of death;
(d) How the deceased died.
Who can participate in the Coroner’s investigation?
Properly interested persons can participate in the Coroner’s investigation and these may include:
- The family and next of kin of the deceased;
- Personal representatives of the deceased;
- Representatives of a board or authority in whose care the deceased was at the time of death, for example, hospital;
- Those responsible for the death in any way.
- Representatives of insurance companies;
- Properly interested persons under the provisions of the Safety Health & Welfare at Work Act 1989; and
- Others at the discretion of the Coroner.
The Coroner’s service is a public service for the living, which, in recognising the core value of each human life, provides a forensic and medical legal investigation of sudden death, having regard to public safety and health epidemiology issues.
The Coroner must consider issues, which if left unremedied, might lead to further deaths. This is where our expertise becomes essential in circumstances where, based on our experience of representing families at inquests for a considerable number of years, we endeavour to ensure that recommendations are made so as to try and avoid further deaths occurring in hospitals where a death has occurred as a result of medical negligence.