Who can make a medical negligence claim for wrongful death?
You may be able to make a medical negligence claim if you are able to prove that the medical treatment your loved one received fell below an acceptable standard and resulted in their death. There are two types of claims:
Psychological injury claim
If you have suffered a psychological injury as a result of the death of your loved one, you may be eligible for compensation.
If you (and/or your children) were dependent on the person who died from negligent medical care, you may be eligible to claim for loss of income.
These types of claims are complex and are different from medical negligence claims where an injury has occurred. It's important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
What is considered medically negligent death?
Some examples of negligent treatment that results in death may include:
- misdiagnosis of a condition or illness, such as delayed diagnosis, incorrect or wrongful diagnosis or failure to make any diagnosis
- injury and consequent death due to surgical mistakes
- incorrect emergency medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
- failing to provide post-operative care with reasonable care and skill
- failure to adequately interpret diagnostic tests
What compensation can I claim for the death of a loved one due to medical negligence?
The compensation and benefits you may receive for the wrongful death of a loved one depends on the law you're covered by and the state you live in.
Whether your claim relates to a psychiatric injury or a loss of dependency, the compensation can cover past, present and future expenses and losses including:
- Expenses relating to a psychiatric injury, including medical expenses and pharmaceutical expenses
- Loss of earnings and/or earning capacity resulting from a psychiatric injury
- Loss of financial support that would have been provided by the person who died
- Loss of services provided by the person who died
- Funeral expenses
More frequently asked questions about medical negligence resulting in death
If your loved one has started a medical negligence claim and passes away before it has concluded, a claim may still be pursued by their estate. The losses claimed by the estate may include your loved one's funeral expenses, medical expenses and lost earnings, as well as the care and assistance provided to your loved one prior to their passing.
A nervous shock claim is another term for a psychological injury claim. 'Nervous shock' often refers to the psychiatric disorder than can occur after witnessing a traumatic event.
You may be able to make a nervous shock claim (a psychological injury claim) if you have suffered mentally after the unexpected death of a loved one due to medical negligence.
Time limits to take legal action after someone passes away due to negligent medical treatment can vary under the different state and territory laws. It is important that you seek legal advice from an expert medical negligence lawyer as soon as possible to understand your options.
Extensions of time limits may be possible in some cases and also differ for children.
To make a successful medical negligence claim for the death of a loved one, you'll need to be able to prove that the action, or lack of action taken, by the medical provider (more than a reasonable mishap or mistake) resulted in premature death.
Our expert medical negligence lawyers will be able to help you through this process.
We provide our medical negligence services on a 'no win, no fee'* basis, meaning you don't pay our professional fees if your claim is not successful.
Your first consultation is obligation-free, so speak to one of our expert medical negligence lawyers about your options.
Can Maurice Blackburn represent me at a Coronial Inquest or Coroner's Court?
Sometimes, where a person has died following or as a result of medical treatment, the Coroner may undertake an investigation into the circumstances and/or cause of the death.
If the Coroner is investigating the death of your partner, child or loved one, our expert lawyers can explain the investigation process, provide you with advice about your legal options, and we may represent your family at any public hearing (an ‘Inquest’) held by the Coroner.
While it isn’t necessary to be represented by lawyers during an investigation or Inquest, we know from experience that these matters can be complicated and we may recommend that we represent you.
Process for making a claim
Our specialist medical negligence lawyers will assist you with your claim and make sure you know about your rights and options after the death of a loved one.
We'll keep you informed throughout the whole process and provide you with legal advice that is easy to understand.
Get in touch.
Tell us your story, we're here to listen. Our experienced medical negligence lawyers will review your circumstances to provide you with the best advice.
We’ll prepare your claim.
We take care of the legal process on your behalf. You will be kept informed of all stages along the way, including what fees are payable.
If your claim in successful and damages are awarded, we'll process your payment as soon as we receive it.
We’re here to help. Get in touch with your local office.
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We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.