Q&As

What level of general damages can be awarded following a suicide where the claimant took her own life while on a mental health ward and the health establishment were supposed to provide round-the-clock monitoring?

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Published on LexisPSL on 31/10/2016

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What level of general damages can be awarded following a suicide where the claimant took her own life while on a mental health ward and the health establishment were supposed to provide round-the-clock monitoring?
  • Claims under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 and the Fatal Accidents Act 1976
  • Damages under LR(MP)A 1934
  • Personal injury claims under the Human Rights Act 1998
  • Article 2 of the ECHR
  • Damages under HRA 1998

Claims under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 and the Fatal Accidents Act 1976

When the victim of a personal injury action has died prior to trial, claims can be brought under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 (LR(MP)A 1934) for the benefit of the deceased’s estate, and under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA 1976) on behalf of the dependents of the deceased. These claims can be pursued separately, but are often brought in tandem.

A claim brought for the benefit of the deceased’s estate is founded on the continuation of the cause of action to which the deceased was entitled the instant before they died. Such a claim can be brought for general damages for the deceased’s pain, suffering and loss of amenity before death. The award of these damages is intended to compensate the claimant for the pain and suffering attributable both at time of the accident and in the future. The test is subjective and the court will assess the claimant's past and future position as at the date of trial. For further information, see Practice Note: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

A fresh cause of action is created when a claim is brought on behalf of dependents, however this claim will only succeed if it can be shown that the deceased would have recovered damages if they were still

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