What happens if I die before my claim concludes?

It may be you are worried that your claim will not reach a conclusion before your death perhaps because you have an illness that has shortened your life expectancy. If you should die whilst still pursuing your claim, the right to continue with the claim passes to ‘your estate’, which means your personal representative will be able to bring the claim in your place. If you leave a Will this will usually be your executor, and if you don’t leave a Will it will usually be the family member who administers your estate.

There is a three year time limit within which to bring a clinical negligence claim (i.e. to issue a claim form at court). If you die within the three year time limit and no claim form has been formally presented to court, the clock begins to run again and your personal representative then has a further three years in which to bring the claim. We would always recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible as it can take a long time to investigate a potential claim.

If your claim had included sums of money to compensate you for future financial losses such as your future loss of earnings or the costs of personal care, these sums won’t be recoverable if you die before the claim concludes. However, if you have a partner, children or other close relative who is financially dependent on you or physically dependent on the care you provide to them, they may be able to recover compensation for their ‘loss of dependency’ if you die as a result of the negligence.

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