mother death childbirth hospital

Hospital Negligence Causing Mother’s Death During Childbirth

Find out in a Q&A – how a son can claim for the death of his mother during childbirth caused by hospital negligence.

Mother’s Death During Childbirth Claim Question

My daughter died whilst giving birth to her first child, my grandson who is now 4 years old. Her husband (my son-in-law), put in a complaint via the NHS (but no claim was made) – but he passed away with a heart attack 6 months after my daughter’s death.

I have only recently found out that there were some hospital errors, which caused my daughter’s death.

I am bringing my grandson up, but it has been difficult as my daughter had been in a very well-paid job and she helped the whole family with financial support.

I am wondering if there is still time for a claim for my grandson for the loss of his mother from hospital negligence.

Hospital Negligence Claim Response

Time period to claim compensation for mother’s death

A claim for compensation for negligence has a statutory limitation period. This period sets out the maximum time period you have to commence a claim at court before it is too late to claim and you are statute barred.

At the time your daughter died, your grandson was a baby and as such classed by law as a minor (under the age of 18 years in England and Wales).

Usually there would be three years from the date of your daughter’s death to make a claim. This would be true if a claim was to be made by her husband or by yourselves as a financially dependent grandparent.

However, as your grandson is a minor – he will have (in theory) up until three years from the date of his majority (18th birthday) to make a claim.

In other words – he would have until his 21st birthday to commence a claim at court before it is too late to claim.

Usually – an NHS patient complaint should be made within a year of the alleged negligence. We note that your daughter’s late husband commenced this procedure.

Be aware – it is far better to start a claim sooner rather than later. The longer the time-period that passes from a negligent event, the less likely it is that a claim can be proven.

Watch out – the age of majority may differ in the different countries that make up the UK. Scotland often considers 16-year-olds to be old enough to manage their own affairs.

mother death childbirth
Mother’s Death During Childbirth

How to claim for mother’s death as a child

At 4 years of age – your grandson is classed as a minor in England and Wales and as such cannot make a claim in his own right without an appropriate adult acting as a litigation friend and providing instructions on his behalf.

As he resides with you – you would seem to be the most appropriate litigation friend ti help him claim.

Remember – from the age of 18 years he can provide instructions in his own right, but it is best not to wait too long to claim.

See our child accident claim article for more details on how to claim for children.

Act quickly – contact a solicitor

It is important that you contact a specialist solicitor as soon as possible to discuss the circumstances surrounding your daughter’s death to determine the chances of making a fatal hospital negligence claim.

We offer free legal help and assistance if you suspect hospital negligence has occurred – you can ask a question and speak direct with our solicitors.