Shine Lawyers Logo
1800 618 851

Claiming Compensation for the Death of a Loved One

Losing a loved one can be a very difficult and emotional time, however losing your loved one unexpectedly can bring with it the added pressure of financial strain or have a significant psychological impact. If you believe your loved one’s premature passing was caused by the actions or negligence of a nurse, doctor or hospital, you may have a claim for compensation.

Medical negligence compensation claims

Medical negligence, or medical malpractice, is when a person has been harmed or injured as a result of the actions (or a failure to act) of a medical practitioner or facility.

To bring a compensation claim for the untimely death of your loved one caused by medical negligence, the care or treatment they received needs to be proven to fall below the accepted standard of practice in Australia.

Although bringing a claim for compensation can never make up for what happened, it may help you to reclaim financial stability, access practical support around your home, or secure mental health support. Our experienced and understanding medical negligence lawyers will be able to provide you with tailored advice about your legal rights and help you through each step of the claims process to access the compensation you deserve.

There are two types of claims for the wrongful death of a loved one that Shine’s specialist medical negligence lawyers can help you with: dependency claims and claims for mental harm caused by the unexpected death.

Dependency claims

Dependency claims are made by a spouse or child who was dependent on the loved one; both financially and for the time they gave to the household, which the family members have now lost.

Some examples of what you can claim include:

  • Loss of the income your loved one bought into the household and the household relied on for paying bills, buying groceries, mortgage repayments etc.; and
  • The care and assistance your loved one contributed to the family/household, for example doing housework, helping kids with their homework or doing the school runs, cooking dinner, mowing the lawn etc.

Claim for Mental Harm

A claim for mental harm is made by a family member who has suffered a diagnosable psychiatric injury caused by the untimely and unexpected death of their loved one.

Some examples of what you can claim include:

  • Medical and mental health expenses;
  • Financial loss or loss of earnings;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Continuing your loved one’s claim after they have passed away

Sometimes a loved one passes away after a medical negligence claim has commenced, and we are asked if this means the end of the claim or if a family member can continue it on their behalf. The claim can be progressed, now by your loved one’s Estate.

As with other medical negligence claims, it needs to be proven that the wrongful death was caused by an act or omission by the medical practitioner or facility that falls below accepted Australian standards.

In these situations, the law limits the types of compensation that can be claimed to past loses. For example, economic loss, care and assistance provided to the loved one and out-of-pocket expenses from the date of injury to the date of death.

Shine Lawyers – we’re here to help

Shine Lawyers has a team of carefully selected medical negligence claim lawyers who have the experience and understanding to help you through this difficult time and seek the compensation you deserve. Our team have an in-depth understanding of how the medical industry operates, expert knowledge of medical negligence compensation law and proven success in achieving justice and compensation for those who have been wronged as a result of medical negligence. We will take care of the legal side of things for you, so you can focus on your family.

To find out if you have you have a medical negligence claim for the wrongful death of your loved one, contact Shine Lawyers today for a confidential and obligation-free discussion of your options.

No Win, No Fee Lawyers

At Shine, we believe that everyone has the right to seek justice and stand up for their rights, regardless of their financial situation. We run our medical negligence cases on a No Win, No Fee basis, so you don’t need to worry about out-of-pocket legal costs. If your claim is successful, the fees will be determined by the amount of work needed for your claim.

Learn more about the legal claims process and how you can access compensation with our simple, step-by-step guide to compensation claims below. 

For more information about medical negligence claims, see our Common Questions section below.

Our offer to you

Shine Lawyers | Offer

No Win No Fee arrangement

Shine Lawyers | Offer

We can come to you - if you can't make it into the office we're more than happy to come to you

Shine Lawyers | Offer

Obligation-free initial consultation to assess your case confidentially

Shine Lawyers | Offer

Claim assessment process where we will explain all of the options available to you

Common Questions

When you add up the different things you can claim for, the total amount of compensation can be a significant sum, especially where there is financial hardship following the death of a loved one as it makes a difference to future financial security.

Every family’s circumstances are different, however once your experienced medical negligence lawyer has a comprehensive understanding of your potential claim, they may be able to estimate the amount of compensation you are entitled to seek.

Your claim needs to prove that your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of the medical practitioner or facility, in other words, that it could have been prevented if the medical practitioner acted or performed the procedure within their required duty of care.

Your dedicated lawyer will investigate the circumstances around your loved one’s unexpected death with the help of medical experts (as needed) to put together the evidence needed for your claim.

Time limits vary depending on the state in which the negligence occurred. In some states pre-court timescales also apply. Should you wish to investigate a potential claim you should do so as early as possible, and within three years from the date if the death.

We believe that everyone is entitled the highest standard of legal service, regardless of where they’re located.

Shine Lawyers is committed to ensuring that rural, regional and remote communities have access to the legal support they deserve. We can easily arrange an obligation-free virtual or in-person appointment at a location that’s convenient to you (home, work, hospital etc).

Our team will travel far and wide to provide you with the support you need and have visited the following regional communities across New South Wales and Victoria:

New South Wales

  • Armidale
  • Bathurst
  • Broken Hill
  • Cobar
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Deniliquin
  • Dubbo
  • Grafton
  • Gunnedah
  • Lismore
  • Nymbodia
  • Orange
  • Taree
  • Tumut
  • Wagga Wagga
  • Walgett
  • Wellington


  • Ballarat
  • Benalla
  • Maryborough
  • Shepparton
  • Wangaratta
  • Warrnambool

Our team of medical negligence experts are here to help and ensure your voice is heard. We will listen, support and fight for a successful medical negligence claim on your behalf, that will secure the financial, care and support services that you need.

If you’d prefer to visit us, our teams are available in the following locations around regional areas:

Enquire Now

We're available to talk