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"Tim Spring heads the ‘assiduous’ team at Moore Blatch LLP."

Legal 500 2016

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When you lose a loved one, compensation can provide a lifeline for you following such a traumatic event in your life particularly where there is a dependency.

Where a medical accident or medical negligence has resulted in a death a claim can be brought under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.  There are two distinct claims:

  1. A dependency claim for financial losses for qualifying dependants.

  2. A bereavement claim for non-financial losses. 

These claims are quite different from any claims which may be vested in the estate of the deceased.

Dependency claim

Persons entitled to make such a claim are:-

  • The wife or husband, or former wife or husband, of the deceased. 

  • Any person who was living with the deceased in the same household immediately before the date of death, and had been so living for at least two years before that date, and was living during that time as the husband or wife of the deceased.

  • Any parent or other ascendant of the deceased.

  • Any person who was treated by the deceased as his parent.

  • Any child or other descendant of the deceased.  This includes step-children and illegitimate children.

  • Any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any marriage to which the deceased was at any time a party, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that marriage.

  • Any person who is, or is the issue of, a brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the deceased.

A claim can be made in respect of the financial consequences of the death.  This can cover earnings or money spent by the deceased on the qualifying dependant; savings set aside for their future use and also the value of services rendered. 

Funeral expenses

Damages in respect of funeral expenses incurred by the dependants of the deceased are also recoverable.


The Fatal Accidents Act makes provision for an award of damages for bereavement.  This award is fixed at £12,980 for all deaths after 1 April 2013.

A claim for bereavement damages can only be made for the benefit of the husband or wife of the deceased, the parents of the deceased (if the deceased was a legitimate minor) or the mother of the deceased (if the deceased was an illegitimate minor).  There is no claim for bereavement damages by a child in respect of the loss of a parent.

General damages

The estate of the deceased is also entitled to recover compensation for the pain and suffering of the deceased prior to his death

When should I contact a solicitor?

You or your family should contact a solicitor as soon as possible. The sooner we can commence work on your claim the sooner we can begin to assist you.

If you believe that you or someone you know has suffered as a result of medical negligence please contact Tim Spring. We deal with clients throughout the country and we will visit you at your home, hospital or rehabilitation unit.



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