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Is there a claim if someone dies due to medical negligence?

In the unfortunate situation of the death of a family member arising from medical negligence, there are two potential claims for damages which may survive to the benefit of the family.  The first is a compensation to relatives claim. Such a claim compensates you for the loss of financial benefit.  This type of claim requires proof of a partial or total dependency on the deceased either in the past and/or future.  The claim is usually quantified by assessing a percentage of the deceased’s income (either from employment or other benefits, including Centrelink) which would have been spent on the dependants (including a spouse and/or children).  If there is no claim for a financial loss, but the deceased person provided other benefits such as the care of children, then a claim can be pursued for the loss of those benefits. 

The second type of claim which can arise on the death of a family member is a claim for mental harm.  This requires proof that as a result of the death, you have suffered a diagnosable psychiatric condition. It will be necessary to obtain medical evidence confirming that you have suffered from a psychiatric condition due to the death.

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