Claiming Compensation For A Care Home Fatal Accident
Choosing to place a family member who is no longer able to care for themselves, and whom we are not able to care for, in a care home can be a very difficult decision to make. However, in order to make the right care choice and ensure that our loved one can get the care they need, we often choose to place our loved one or family member in a nursing or care home. We make the choice based on an assumption that we can place our trust in the care home and the staff working in it. We trust that they will be staffed by people who are compassionate and who are correctly trained. The last thing we expect is that we will be left dealing with a care home death.
In the UK the majority of care homes are operated by staff who are caring and who are dedicated to their jobs, providing a caring environment. The elderly or infirm people placed in the care home show be treated with respect and should be well looked after. However, when things go wrong, you may need to make a care home compensation claim for a wrongful death. In some cases, the care home negligence or lack of administration of proper care can be serious enough to cause a serious injury, illness, or death. In these circumstances the staff will have failed to meet the expected and legally required duty of care.
If a loved one, family member, or friend has died because of the negligent care they received whilst in a care home, you may have valid grounds to make a care home fatal accident compensation claim. Whilst we understand that there is no sum of money which can ever adequately compensate you for the wrongful death of a loved one, making a compensation claim for a death in a care home can help you be able to pay for funeral costs and other expenses which can occur when a loved one dies.
If you think you have valid grounds to make a claim for the death of a loved one, having the right team of personal injury solicitors behind you will make the process easier. This is where Accident Claims UK can help. Our team can work with you, providing you with the legal advice necessary as well as compassionate approach to your case.
In this guide we will look at the best way to make a wrongful death claim as well as taking you through the process of doing so. We will also look at example amounts of how much compensation you may be able to claim. Talk to our team today by calling us on 0800 073 8801.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Care Home Death Compensation Claims
- Care Home Death Compensation Claims
- Statistics For Deaths In Care Homes In The UK
- What Are The Common Steps To Take When A Person Dies In A Care Home
- Making A Claim Against A Care Home For Negligence Leading To A Wrongful Death
- When The Care Home Has Failed To Meet Primary Health Needs
- Care Home Death Claims Against The NHS
- Slips, Trips, And Falls In A Care Home
- Care Home Workplace Accidents And Injuries
- Who Is Eligible To Make A Care Home Wrongful Death Claim?
- How To Begin A Wrongful Death Negligence Compensation Claim
- What Can You Claim Compensation For After The Death Of A Family Member In A Care Home?
- Care Home Death: Compensation For Death Of Family Member
- No Win No Fee Claims For Incidents In Care Homes
- Making Wrongful Deaths With Accident Claims UK
- Talk To Our Team Today
- Helpful Links
According to UK law nursing homes and care homes looking after the elderly and infirm owe the residents that they care for a duty of care to ensure that residents are kept safe, in comfort, and free from harm. Unfortunately, care homes do not always live up to this expectation and at times do not deliver the requisite level of care. Resultantly, this care home negligence can lead to deaths. Negligence of vulnerable older people can lead to a variety of illnesses and injuries. Under these circumstances, and those leading to fatal circumstances, family members could be entitled to sue a care home for neglect. Situations which can lead to deaths could include slips, trips, and falls when not correctly supervised, or the ingestion of the wrong type (or amount) of medication.
The first part of being able to make a care home death claim is understanding what a wrongful death in a care home is. Wrongful death negligence means that your loved one has died because the care which they received did not meet the required standards. If this has happened to your loved one in their care home, you have have grounds to make a claim for care home neglect compensation. By law, care homes are obligated to treat their patients with the greatest level of respect and care, as well as treating them in a compassionate way. They must also always provide them with the best treatment which is currently available. In cases of negligence this has not happened. If a resident of a care home has died as a result of the way in which they were treated (due to accident, injury, or illness, or poor levels of medical care), the relatives of the deceased could be eligible to make a compensation claim.
The NHS makes public records for its yearly Quality Accounts for facilities across the country (England & Wales). Available statistics from the Office for National Statistics show the following information for care home deaths and other injuries across the country. The most common reasons for wrongful care home deaths and fatal accidents (ie, those which are preventable) are:
- Slips, trips, and falls.
- Ulcers and/ or pressure sores.
Statistics also show that elderly people who are living in care homes are around three times more likely to be victim to a slip, trip, or fall than for people of the same age living and being cared for at home. As such, whilst we often believe that the family members which we are placing in a care home will be better cared for and safer, this is not always the case. In general, incidents in care homes are more common than thought and as many as one hundred people per day are injured in care homes across the UK.
As with any type of death, if someone dies whilst in a care home, there are certain steps which must be taken for their death to be officially recorded. The care home death (whether a negligent death or due to natural causes) must be officially pronounced by a doctor or nurse. They could be under the employ of the care facility itself, or from a local medical facility such as a GP surgery or hospital. The medical professional who pronounces the death will need to fill in and file official forms to record the person’s death so that a death certificate can then be issued and the death legally recorded. This death certificate will also record the official cause of death which, if recorded as a wrongful death, can serve as evidence in your claim. Death certificates are also used to prove the person is legally dead and helps with financial, property, and other issues related to things to insurance.
Choosing to make a care home compensation claim is not always an easy choice and the decision to do so will often come at what is an emotionally charged time. Suing a care home for neglect should not be taken lightly and it should be assumed that if you go ahead the operator if the care home will defend their actions. However, the government has set minimum standards of care which should be provided to people in care homes. Failing to meet these standards and in a way which leads to the death of the resident could entitle people to make a claim for compensation for the death of a family member. Our team and the personal injury claims solicitors we can provide you with will help you to secure the full amount of compensation you are owed.
The Royal College of Nursing has published guidelines covering the duty of care which care homes need to meet for patients. This states that the care home and staff must operate with the residents best interest in mind. Following these guidelines reduces the risk of people being injured or having a fatal accident.
Making a wrongful death negligence claim is different to making a more general personal injury claim. This is because there are different things which can be claimed for in the case of a wrongful death. Additional damages can be claimed for expenses such as funeral costs and payments to those who were financially dependent on the deceased.
As we have looked at, any care home operating in the UK is legally obligated to provide their residents with the necessary level and type of care to meet their primary or main health care needs. This means keeping them in the best possible level of health. Failure to do this means they could be considered negligent and liable if this lack of care has led to a death in a care home. Staff and healthcare workers employed by or serving the care home are also required to do everything they reasonably can to make sure that the residents care needs are met.
Across the UK the NHS takes the provision of care to elderly and vulnerable people very seriously and endeavours to do so. Whilst the NHS is responsible for operating a small fraction of the number of care homes across the country, the ones it does operate do so at a high level of service provision with the staff being both experienced and well skilled. In contrast, those working in the much larger private sector tend to be much lower paid and have lower levels of qualifications or training. As such, if you are making a claim against a facility operated and staff by the NHS, the claim will be serious for the staff members involved in the claim.
If you do need to make a wrongful death negligence compensation claim against an NHS facility, it is likely that any staff involved in failing to provide the expected level of care will have their employment terminated. They will also be barred from working in healthcare roles in the future. For you to be able to make a successful claim there will be a high threshold of evidence needed. The staff member or members involved will have spent a lot of time earning their qualifications and will have their career terminated if the claim is successful. As such, in order to make a successful claim you will need to use a very experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer.
Slips, trips, and falls are one of the most common causes of injury or death in the general population. As such, this is also reflected in people in care homes where the chance of suffering this type of accident is markedly increased. If the victim strikes their head when they fall over they are even more likely to suffer this type of injury. Health and safety legislation states that companies operating residential or day care homes must maintain an environment which is safe for staff, visitors, and residents. This duty of care extends to both internal and external areas. Flooring and pavements must be kept in good condition and free from hazards. If the operator has failed to meet this requirement or has specifically breached health and safety legislation in some way, and if this breach has led to an incident in care homes, they can held liable for the resulting injury or death.
Residents in care homes are not the only people who are owed a duty of care by the operator and who could suffer an injury, illness, or even fatal accident in a care home. Employees at care homes can also be subject to accident or injury. The operator of the care home owes the employees a similar duty of care to work in an environment which is safe as they do to the residents and others visiting the property. Part of this duty of care is ensuring that all staff members are fully trained. Having the correct training ensures that both staff and residents are kept as risk free as possible.
If you are a healthcare worker who has been injured or the relative of a health care worker who has died as a result of a workplace accident our team can help you to make a compensation claim.
If you have had an accident as a resident of a care home, or if a relative has died as a result of care home negligence, there are criteria you must fulfil to be eligible to sue the care home for neglect. The categories for people who can make a compensation claim include:
- The person who was injured may make a claim on their own behalf.
- In the event of a death, the dependants of the victim can make a compensation claim.
- Immediate family members of the victim. This is applicable for those who either can not make a claim themselves or who has died as a result of their actions.
- The estate of the victim can also make a compensation claim after a death.
To find out whether you qualify to make a compensation claim for the death of someone you know in a care home, contact our team today. We can assess whether or not you will have a valid claim and the likelihood of successfully claiming compensation.
In order to successfully claim compensation for death in a care home you will need to go through certain steps and processes. We have set these out below for you to note down.
- You will need to be able to clearly show the facts surrounding the accident or injury which caused the death, and how this happened.
- Collect as much evidence of the circumstances leading to the accident or injury as possible. Collect a timeline to show how and when it happened.
- Ask any witnesses for their contact details so that they can also provide supporting evidence.
- Take photographs of the scene of the accident and injuries.
- Get a copy of the medical report which states the cause of death.
- Record any and all financial costs you have faced as a direct result of the person’s death. This could include the cost of a funeral or any lost income.
If you follow these steps you and the solicitor who works on your claim will have a better understanding of what happened and what type of claim you can make.
Once you have completed the steps above, you are ready to start making a claim. At this point you can contact our specialist team to start getting the advice and help that you need. Our team will organise your free assessment. In this we will look at the key details of what happened in your claim and start to gather together evidence of the accident and injuries.
If a loved one has died as a result of a care home fatal accident, there are different categories of compensation which you could be entitled to claim. These can include the following:
General damages. In this case this is paid out for the actual injuries leading to the death.
Special damages. These cover financial costs and any expenses which you have had to pay for.
Medical costs. This covers medical bills and could sometimes be included in the special damages category.
Care costs. This could include a refund for care home fees on death which have already been paid out for.
Funeral expenses. This is paid out to cover some or all of the cost of a funeral.
Each case and claim is different. To find out what your claim could be worth, talk to our team today.
Due to the varied circumstances it is difficult for us to definitively say how much compensation for medical negligence resulting in death you could be entitled to without knowing the circumstances of your claim. However, in the table below we have provided some example amounts of compensation you could be awarded.
|Death - general compensation||Fatal accident/ injury||£12,500 - £300,000||Average settlement for deaths.|
|Unconsciousness which leads within a week to death.||Fatal accident/ injury||£2,230 As a extra|
|Death with awareness||Fatal accident/ injury||£18,980 As a extra||Victim has serious injuries. Treatment will last up to five weeks.|
|Accident or injury leading to unconsciousness and death||Fatal accident/ injury||£8,500 As a extra||Victim has serious injuries and will be unconscious within three hours. Death will happen in under two weeks.|
|Resulting in immediate unconsciousness. Death will happen in less than six weeks.||Fatal accident/ injury||£3,500 As a extra|
|More general mental anguish||Serious/ severe||£4,100.00 As a extra||General anguish and fear.|
Losing a loved one, especially a loved one whom you were financially dependant upon can be very difficult for your financial position. As such, many people can be put off the idea of making a death in a care home compensation claim as it could further strain finances. However, using a no win, no fee service you will not have to make any payments unless and until your claim is successfully concluded. In the event that your solicitor can not claim compensation for you, you will not have to make any payments.
Accident Claims UK have a highly experienced and skilled team of people who can help you to make a successful compensation claim. Our team are experienced in helping people to make care home death compensation claims and will treat you and your claim with the care and compassion you deserve.
You can contact us today by calling our dedicated team on 0800 073 8801. You can also send the details of your claim to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view the full range of ways to contact us here.
Help and advice for how to cope with bereavement after the death of a loved one in this NHS guide.
Health and Safety in Care Homes
Guidelines for health and safety operations in care homes in the UK.
Deaths Due To Medical Negligence
Our guide to making a compensation claim for a death caused by medical negligence.