Fatal accident due to untreated pressure sore


We have recently helped a family member claim compensation on behalf of their elderly mother.

Our client's mother had been a resident in a nursing home. Whilst at the nursing home she developed a pressure sore, which the staff failed to manage properly.

As a consequence of the poor care she received at the nursing home our client's mother developed septicaemia, which contributed to her death.

Pressure sore contributed to the death of an elderly nursing home resident compensation success

The Coroner said: "… was the resident of a nursing home and was extremely vulnerable to the development of pressure sores. A window of opportunity existed for her to receive proper treatment at an earlier stage in the evolution of her pressure sore. If this had been received, she would not have died of septicaemia…"

Simpson Millar LLP obtained and considered a transcript of the evidence given at the Inquest. Thereafter we corresponded with the Nursing home and their insurers.

We considered all aspects of the claim, including assessment of negligence, the consequences of that and the likely value of the claim and advised the family upon the appropriate level of settlement.

The family received £17,500 in compensation for their late mother's negligent medical care. The compensation was payable to the client’s mother but because she had died it fell to her Estate.

Neil Fearn commented: "This case really highlights the dangers of untreated pressure sores. We can only hope that medical staff are more vigilant at dealing with at risk patients in the future”.

"The case also raised other issues, for example: If a Claimant dies without a Will (intestate) (and has a successful compensation claim), the damages are payable in accordance with the Laws on Intestacy. Sometimes this is not what the Claimant may have wanted, however if a Claimant dies with a Will (testate) (and has a successful compensation claim) then the damages are paid out in accordance with the Will. In other words, in accordance with the Claimant’s wishes."

Sian Thompson, Head of the Wills and Probate Team commented “Clients often say there is no point making a Will when they have no money but if their death is the result of someone else’s negligence then they may be entitled to compensation.”

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