Preventable Suicide Claim

Preventable Suicide Claim

Every suicide is a heart-breaking event, but it becomes even more devastating for the family and friends who remain behind, especially when it could have been avoided.

If you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one due to inadequate mental health care, we might be able to assist you in pursuing a claim and guiding you through the inquest procedure. Healthcare providers bear the responsibility of safeguarding lives whenever there is a chance to do so.

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If you suspect that your family member’s suicide could have been avoided, you may wish to explore the option of a medical negligence claim with the assistance of a solicitor. Feel free to contact our team today for further information and a complimentary evaluation of your potential claim, without any obligation.

What Constitutes a Failure to Prevent Suicide?

In certain situations, the quality of mental health care provided may not meet established standards. If this has resulted in your loved one tragically taking their own life, it could potentially be categorised as medical negligence. Consequently, you might have grounds for a claim, whether against the NHS or a private healthcare provider.

The suicide of a family member can cause profound emotional anguish and can also create financial strain, especially if the deceased person was the primary financial provider for dependents.

Medical professionals may not always be capable of preventing suicide, even when they’ve delivered appropriate mental health care. It is only when the standard of care falls below the acceptable threshold that the possibility of a claim arises.
To assess potential medical negligence, solicitors may employ a legal benchmark known as the Bolam test. This entails the court seeking input from a panel of the healthcare professional’s peers to determine whether the care provided met acceptable standards. If they confirm that it fell below this standard, the healthcare professional may be considered negligent.

Mistakes Leading To Preventable Suicides

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There are a number of failings that can lead to a preventable suicide, including:

  • Inaccurate diagnosis of mental health conditions.
  • Neglecting to recognise and respond to suicide risk factors, indicators of distress, or pleas for assistance.
  • Neglecting to establish suitable referrals or supervision arrangements for individuals at risk.
  • Allowing an individual access to hazardous materials, objects, or medications.
  • Prematurely discharging patients from the hospital.
  • Failing to ensure appropriate treatment or medication.
  • Inadequate preparation of care plans or safeguarding measures after treatment.
  • Lacking communication with the patient’s family.
  • Shortages of available beds in inpatient settings.

Who Can Make A Claim If There Has Been A Preventable Suicide?

When it comes to pursuing a claim for medical negligence resulting in the death of a loved one, certain individuals, known as ‘dependents,’ have the legal right to do so. These dependents include:

  • The spouse of the deceased.
  • In specific situations, a former spouse of the deceased.
  • A civil partner of the deceased, provided they had been living with the deceased for at least two years immediately prior to the death.
  • A child of the deceased.
  • A parent of the deceased.
  • A sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin of the deceased.
  • Any other person who was regarded by the deceased as a part of their family.

Furthermore, the executors of the deceased’s estate have the authority to file a claim on behalf of the estate itself. This can cover injuries or losses incurred by the deceased prior to their death, as well as any expenses that the estate may have accrued as a result of the death.

What Can You Claim For?

Preventable Suicide Claim

Under the Fatal Accidents Act, dependents of the deceased have the option to file a claim for the following:

  • Loss of financial support and dependency.
  • Loss of dependency on the services provided by the deceased.

Additionally, there is a ‘statutory bereavement award’ established by the government, which can only be sought by specific individuals, including the husband, wife, or civil partner of the deceased, as well as children of the deceased who were under the age of 18 at the time of death.

Moreover, you have the opportunity to seek compensation for the emotional distress and suffering caused by the loss, along with any financial losses, such as lost earnings resulting from your inability to work due to the bereavement.

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How we can help you

Our skilled medical negligence solicitors will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s suicide, seeking to determine how and why it occurred. Our aim is to pursue a claim against those responsible.

We will strive to secure an acknowledgment of the mistreatment your loved one endured and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve to address any financial charge you have encountered.

We will normally be able to help you on a No Win No Fee Agreement basis and will explain what this means when we speak to you.

Meet The Preventable Suicide Team

Our team has decades of combined experience in dealing with Medical Negligence Claims. 

Our Nicholson Jones Sutton Medical Negligence Specialists are sympathetic, understanding, and can help you get the outcome you deserve.

If you would like to discuss an issue, please get in touch to arrange a free no obligation consultation. We’re available by email or phone.

Call or email us today to discuss your claim.

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Leanne Henton

Litigation Manager

Leanne studied the Bar Vocational Course at the BPP Law School in Leeds, and graduated with Very Competent, before cross-qualifying as a Solicitor in 2013.

She joined the firm in 2009 as a Personal Injury Fee Earner, dealing with various matters including Road Traffic Accidents, Employment and Public Liability, and Medical Negligence.

Leanne progressed onto a Litigation Team Manager role in 2015, managing a team of RTA Personal Injury Fee Earners, and further on to Litigation Manager in 2020, working closely with the Directors to ensure the success of the Personal Injury Department.

Leanne has been heavily involved in the development and expansion of the EL/PL Department, as well as the Medical, Dental and Cosmetic Negligence Department.

In her personal life Leanne enjoys holidaying and days out with her young family.

Margaret Harvey

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Margaret has specialised in clinical negligence claims since 2011 and over the years she has dealt with both clinical and dental negligence claims: including claims brought by Dependents in terms of the Fatal Acts 1976.

She recently dealt three Fatal Accidents claims arising from death by suicide as a result of the failure of the Mental Health Institutions providing adequate care and support. One of these cases involved death of a teenage girl as a result of suicide while been detained under the mental health act. That claim was successfully settled after the inquest.

She has dealt with claims involving GP negligence and a variety of clinical negligence claims involving failure to diagnose and treat fracture, surgical errors , cases involving a delay in diagnosing and treating cauda equine syndrome , orthopaedic claims , delays in diagnosing and treating cancers and negligence in treating diabetic ulcers leading to lower limb amputation as well as amputations as result of the delay in diagnosing and treating vascular problems.

She recently dealt with a claim in terms of the Fatal Accidents Act where the Deceased died as a result of a delay in diagnosing and treating rabies which the Deceased contracted after a bite from a rabid cat.

She lived in Zimbabwe until she moved to the UK in 2008 and she practiced law there for 9 years. Margaret has three children and five grandchildren who all live in the UK. She’s very interested in history and she’s a member of the National Trust and English Heritage.

Kate Barge

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Kate has been a specialist solicitor in clinical negligence and dental negligence claims since 2010. During this time, she has mainly worked on the claimant side of negligence although she has obtained experience working at defendant firms which has given her invaluable insight.

Previous to qualifying as a solicitor Kate had a career in nursing qualifying as an RGN and subsequently working as a Theatre Sister at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. During her time working in clinical negligence she has run high value claims including a claim against the rogue breast surgeon Ian Paterson.

She loves travel and wild life and has recently been scuba diving off the coast of  Mexico with turtles,  sting rays  and moray eels.

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