Recovering cost of hospice care in asbestos compensation case

DAMAGES — Personal injuries — Hospice care — Deceased contracting lung cancer from exposure to asbestos in course of employment with defendant — Deceased’s estate seeking damages against employer and including claims on behalf of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren — Claim including costs of care incurred by hospice in providing gratuitous palliative treatment to deceased — Whether recoverable

In personal injury cases it is possible to recover for the care provided to an injured person. This care is usually provided by family members, and is care above and beyond what would normally be provided. The law gives it the name “gratuitous care.”

The calculation of gratuitous care is based on the hours of care provided multiplied by a non-commercial care rate. The rate is intended to represent the actual cost of paying someone to provide the care less the profit margin. In very rough terms, if the commercial rate in your area is £9 per hour, you could claim £6 per hour for the gratuitous care.

Any compensation recovered under the heading of gratuitous care is held in trust for the person who provided the care.

A clever extension of this principle was argued in a recent case where the care had been provided by a charitable hospice. The Judge saw the care from the hospice as similar to the voluntary care provided by a family member, and took the view any compensation recovered would be held in trust for the hospice. Continue reading “Recovering cost of hospice care in asbestos compensation case”

Inquest representation and public funding

Representation at an Inquest and the cost

A very useful article appeared in the Law Society Gazette on Monday 17 May 2010 by Azmina Gulamhusein

The charitable organisation INQUEST has criticised the current inquest system because ‘there is no equity of arms in terms of legal funding’. While public or commercial bodies involved in an inquest invariably have legal representation, bereaved families can only obtain funding from the Legal Services Commission (that means legal aid) to cover advocacy at the hearing in exceptional cases. This leads to an unfair disparity between the parties, which was highlighted in the recent case of R (on the application of Humberstone) v Legal Services Commission. Continue reading “Inquest representation and public funding”

Fatal accident

Fatal accidents

“I have had the worse three years of my life due to the death of my partner at work. Mr. Thompson was very understanding and helped me in more ways than he could ever imagine. I’m so grateful to him I would recommend him and his firm to anyone. Not only did he keep me well informed but also explained every thing in detail when I did not understand he got me through a difficult time when in Coroner’s Court. All I can do is wish him all the luck in the world and hope he practices in law for a long time.”

A very kind recommendation from a client in Manchester. You can see what clients say.

A fatal accident caused by the fault of another can be compensated. The people entitled and how much compensation is due must be considered carefully. Most of the rules are set by Statute, and it is a shame the law has not kept up to date with social change. I hope there will be changes in the future which help all those left in difficult circumstances by a fatal accident.

The law set out below is current at July 2009. The law was different before, and may be different after, so use this page for information and contact us to weigh up your own circumstances. Continue reading “Fatal accident”

Fatal lift accident kills two

Fatal accident kills two

Two young men died in a lift shaft at a council owned block of flats.

After a fatal accident the facts unravelled as the Police, Health and Safety Executive, and Coroner made their investigations.

The two men were scuffling after a party, fell against a lift door which opened like a cat-flap, and they fell down 14 floors. Continue reading “Fatal lift accident kills two”

Fatal accident – family effect

The effects of a fatal accident

A tragic fatal accident happened when parents and their son were out cycling. The men were on the grass verge fixing the son’s bicycle and Mum was sitting on her bike at the side of the road. It was a normal width road, and she was inside the white line at the edge of the road. A van coming from behind simply veered to the left side of the road, knocking Mum and her bike up in the air, and sadly she was killed.

Both father and son suffered post traumatic stress disorder. This is a condition above and beyond the upset which is expected after a death. It affects those at the scene who witness the accident and its consequences. Continue reading “Fatal accident – family effect”