Medical negligence claims arising from suicide

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When a family loses a loved one to suicide there is usually no wrongdoing involved. Sadly however, there are occasions whereby someone dies as a result of suicide whilst under the care of health professionals and had the treatment been provided appropriately, their death may have been avoided.

Cases such as these can be complex and establishing whether the treatment given was appropriate or not may require further investigation and input from medical experts. Typically, with cases such as these, we would be looking at potential failures of the treatment involved, for example, failure to diagnose, failure to refer the individual to the relevant service or a failure to recognise a significant risk of harm following discharge from a service.

By deciding to proceed with a claim it may be possible to obtain compensation on behalf of your loved one’s estate or a dependant. It may also help the family obtain answers to concerns they have regarding the treatment, an apology, or even recognition of issues within a service and recommendations for it to be changed to prevent it from happening again.

Kate Smith, a solicitor in the medical negligence team at Ashtons Legal comments: “Suicide is a significant national issue that sadly we hear about a lot these days. It must be incredibly difficult for a bereaved family to come to terms with losing someone in this way, let alone then having to consider whether the treatment their loved one received was appropriate and reasonable. We have and do represent families who have lost someone due to suicide and understand the importance of these cases to them and carry them out with the upmost sensitivity. I would advise anyone to seek legal advice if they are unsure whether they may be entitled to bring a claim.”

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