At Ashtons Legal we understand that coping with mental health problems and conditions can be incredibly challenging, for both the person concerned and their loved ones supporting them.
While support is available for those with mental health conditions, unfortunately, mistakes and failings by healthcare institutions are all too common in mental health cases, and these situations can amount to catastrophic and fatal consequences.
If your loved one’s health has been severely affected by the negligence of a health care professional or organisation which has tragically resulted in their death, our specialist inquest solicitors can offer compassionate and empathetic legal guidance to help you raise a claim.
Please note, we are unfortunately unable to provide general mental health legal support with the areas listed below. However, if you contact the Law Society on 0207 242 1222 or by emailing www.lawsociety.org.uk they will be able to provide a list of legal firms who will be able to offer assistance with these areas:
- Being detained or a voluntary patient
- Advice regarding specific Sections of the Mental Health Act
- Aftercare entitlement
- Assistance with Tribunals
- Advice regarding Compulsory treatment and challenging treatment decisions
- Managers Hearings
- Advance decisions on treatment
- Transfer requests
- Care Programme Approach Meetings
- Informal status advice
- Prison transfer
- Incorrect prescribing leading to deterioration in mental health
Our solicitors specialise in fatal and catastrophic mental health law claims as a result of negligence. The types of claims that we can support clients with include:
- Suicides arising from failings in mental health service provision, amounting to preventable suicide claims – recent claim: Settlement for family of a man who took his own life following delays in mental health support
- Death whilst detained and/or an in-patient at a hospital
- Failed suicide attempts resulting in catastrophic life-changing injuries where there are failings in mental health service provision
- Inquest representation
Our fatal and catastrophic mental health law claims service
During your initial consultation, your solicitor will invite you to share what happened to your loved one so that we can begin to establish the basis of any clinical negligence claim.
We appreciate that these conversations can be incredibly difficult to have and that you will be going through an emotional and distressing time. Rest assured, our sympathetic and sensitive lawyers will treat your case with empathy and care, always addressing your concerns and providing you with compassionate advice from the outset.
Letter of Claim
Once your solicitor has established the basis of a claim, they will start to gather evidence to support that claim, including information related to the mental health treatment that your loved one received, and the catastrophic injury they sustained as a result.
Where a loved one has tragically passed away while receiving mental health treatment, your solicitor will attempt to learn as much as possible about the circumstances surrounding their death.
Your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the defendant, detailing the allegations of negligence being made, and providing them with the chance to respond.
We know that this is a truly devastating time for the bereaved person’s loved ones and that you are likely feeling stressed about making a claim. Rest assured; we have a large amount of experience working on behalf of families where a loved one has died as a result f substandard mental health treatment.
Our sympathetic and sensitive lawyers really care about the people we work with and will do everything in our power to ensure that you feel both emotionally and practically supported.
Negotiating a settlement
Your solicitor will negotiate a settlement with the defendant, for example, by using mediation processes. It may be possible to settle the fatal or catastrophic mental health claim without the need for Court proceedings. However, it is likely that an Inquest will be required in order to help establish the facts.
We appreciate that you are going through an incredibly traumatic time, and will ensure that you are guided through the processes as sensitively as possible, addressing any questions and concerns you may have.
We will aim to settle your claim with before or after an Inquest. If the claim cannot be settled out of Court, your solicitor will issue Court proceedings on your behalf. Rest assured we will provide you with advice and keep you informed as the claim progresses.
Whilst we appreciate that the idea may sound extremely daunting, we are experts and will ensure that you are well-prepared, supported, and understand the processes.
Frequently asked questions about fatal and catastrophic mental health law claims
Can I sue for mental health negligence?
Yes, if you believe that you or a loved one have experienced harm due to the negligence of a mental health worker, professional, or health care organisation, you do have the option to pursue legal action.
These cases can be complicated by nature, which is why it’s important to seek the support of a specialist solicitor.
What is an example of mental health medical negligence?
There are various situations that are examples of mental health medical negligence, including:
- The failure to diagnose a condition or provide reasonably competent treatment
- Errors regarding a patient’s medication
- Situations where a patient has been detained by mental health workers and has sustained a psychiatric injury, due to lack of protection and inadequate care
- Failure to properly assess suicide risk and consequently, a patient has sustained life changing injuries from a failed suicide attempt or has tragically passed away
Contact our mental health medical negligence claims solicitors
To discuss a fatal or catastrophic mental health law claim, please contact our experienced solicitors at Ashtons. You will be offered a free initial consultation to sensitively discuss the particulars of your case so that our solicitors can advise you on your claim and explain the next steps.