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The death of a loved one following an accident or in circumstances where there has been medical negligence is never easy. Not only is there the trauma of the loss of a loved one, but in addition, frequently there can be serious financial consequences. Our experienced personal injury and medical negligence lawyers cannot help you with the bereavement but we can help you get answers to any questions you may have as to how the death has occurred and in addition in the event of blame, secure compensation to alleviate financial hardship.

At Lester Aldridge, we are frequently called upon to advise and represent families in compensation claims and at Inquests.

We have experience of representing clients who have suffered the loss of a loved one in many areas to include the following:

Cycle Accidents

Statistics released by the Department for Transport show 102 cyclists died in Britain in 2017. It makes for uncomfortable reading. Those that choose to cycle on roads that are more and more congested and fast-moving are inevitably at high risk of injury and even death. The most common causes of cycling accidents are:

  • Vehicles turning into the path of cyclists
  • Drivers failing to see cyclists when turning or changing lanes
  • Vehicles pulling out of a junction
  • Vehicle doors opening in front of an oncoming cyclist
  • Bad roads
  • Reckless driving
  • Road Rage

We understand to only how these tragic accidents occur but also the real impact it may have on those left behind. Our personal injury solicitors specialise in taking forward cycling accidents compensation claims where a fatality has occurred.

Failure to Prevent Suicides

Medical literature suggests that most patients who die by suicide, have been in contact with family doctors in the year prior to death. Although general practitioners in the UK routinely ask depressed patients screening questions for suicidality, many risk factors for suicide are highly prevalent and therefore not always predictive. Recognising and managing suicidal patients in primary care by GPs and mental health teams can be difficult. Sadly, with increasing pressure on healthcare provider’s mistakes are made and deaths occur which could have been avoided with better and alternative treatment and care. In such cases, it may be possible to take forward a compensation claim.

Hospital Deaths

It is not uncommon to lose a loved one to suicide despite them being placed under the care of Mental Health Services either as an inpatient or in the community. It can result from a lack of all appropriate medical treatment and substandard care and result in a medical negligence compensation claim.

Deaths may also result from errors in medical treatment. In August 2019, NHS digital published a report which recorded approximately 9.3 million hospital discharges in the 12-month period April 2010 to Match 2019, from which 284,000 deaths were recorded either while in the hospital or within 30 days of discharge. Inevitably those figures do not in any way reflect or provide evidence of how many deaths could have been avoided. There are, however, many occasions where inadequate medical treatment may have caused or contributed to death examples include prescription errors, premature discharge, some sepsis cases and surgical errors to give just a few examples.

We have a team of experienced personal injury lawyers who can assist you in investigating the cause of death and advising on whether or not there is evidence of a lack of skill or care that was causative. We have experience of representing families at inquest hearings and taking forward compensation claims.

Motorcycle Accidents

In Great Britain, 19,297 motorcyclists were injured in reported road accidents in 2016. Of these, 319 were killed and 5,553 seriously injured. As with cycle accidents, motorcyclists are often fatally injured as a result of the actions of others. According to RoSPA, although motorcyclists only account for 1% of total road traffic, they account for around 18% of deaths on the road.

In-depth motorcycle collision studies have concluded that motorcycle accidents have different characteristics to collisions involving other road user groups. Accidents involving motorcyclists are more likely to include right of way collisions, loss of control on bends and more frequent overtaking and passing manoeuvres by motorcyclists.

Our team of personal injury solicitors have access to a panel of highly experienced accident reconstruction experts and are experienced in such compensation claims.

Road Traffic Accidents

Statistics on reported road casualties in Great Britain (provided by the National Statistics Office for the year ending June 2018) show there were 1,770 reported road deaths.

The most common causes of road traffic accidents are said to include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Alcohol and drug-induced drivers
  • Dangerous driving
  • Weather conditions.
  • Tiredness

Where a fatality results from a negligent event a compensation claim can be brought on behalf of the deceased’s estate and dependents.

Stillbirth and Neonatal Death

For any parent, understanding why a baby has died is always the most important issue. There are a number of avenues that can be pursued to secure an explanation.

When a baby has died, it is possible to have a post mortem examination which is undertaken by a pathologist. You should be offered the choice of whether you would like this to take place. You can also ask the hospital to carry out an internal review or investigation.

If it is believed that something may have gone wrong, resulting in the death, then the investigation or review can be dealt with by a Child Death Overview Panel. In certain circumstances, it may be possible to seek a public inquiry through the inquest procedure.

In most cases of death, a GP or hospital doctor will issue a Medical Certificate detailing the Cause of Death, which is sent to the Registrar of Births and Deaths who will then simply issue a Death Certificate.

At Lester Aldridge, our personal injury and medical negligence lawyers can assist you in getting answers to your questions utilising internal review and complaints procedures as well as a Coroner’s Inquest. The death will be referred to a coroner for investigation where it is shown that the death:

  • Followed an accident or injury
  • Occurred during surgery
  • Happened after an industrial disease
  • Was unnatural or violent
  • Had no explainable cause
  • Took place in prison or police custody

If you, or someone you know, have experienced any of the above topics, please contact our experienced personal injury and medical negligence solicitors today by emailing or call 01202 786260.

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