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hhvgoetz, Rechtsanwalt, LL.M.
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 2919
Experience:  LL.M. in International Trade Law (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
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Hi, I intend to sue a German hospital for gross negligence

Customer Question

Hi, I intend to sue a German hospital for gross negligence resulting in untimely death of my mother. I need to contact some lawyer in Hamburg Germany while I am based in Rome, Italy. thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: German Law
Expert:  hhvgoetz replied 4 years ago.

I am situated in Hamburg and do regularly deal severe injury cases.

However, Just Answer is designed to give you some advice on the basis of the facts you give. So, please feel free to ask a legal question if you like.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks for replying to my query, my mother died of septic shock after a knee surgery. Doctors of the hospital where she was operated were unable to diagnose on time that she had contracted severe pneumonia until after the fifth day of the surgery. she was then shifted to another hospital where she arrived in critical conditions and expired 4 days later. Doctors of the hospital where she was operated insisted that she had an infection on the gal bladder while she had lungs full of water and bacteria. they basically killed her due to gross negligence. Now my question is that how can I proceed with legal action against this hospital/group of doctors of both hospital etc. I have no medical records with me and nor they shared any information with me. I therefore need your advice and ready to meet with you in Hamburg to discuss the matter further

Expert:  hhvgoetz replied 4 years ago.

In a civil case in Germany you will have to prove to a great degree the gross negligence in the diagnosis. This is often very expensive and complicated due to necessary professional opinions of other doctors who would need to blame their colleagues.


In addition, damages for the death of people are very low in Germany. This cannot be compared with the amounts common in the United States. Basically you could gain the expenses for the funeral, closing down the apartment/house, etc.


Immaterial compensation for the loss of a relative is still very low.

So you should fix the aim of a lawsuit before starting.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

this is not very encouraging, basically German law encourages these criminal doctors to kill people and get away with the crime? I thought Germany is a civilised society where people do care about the life of others. However, this is a clear case of negligence the doctors from other hospital confirmed to us that she was not fit for the surgery and in addition she was not diagnosed with the right problem on time. I would rather start from the hospital records where she died and then take up with the hospital where she was operated. How expensive is the whole process?

Expert:  hhvgoetz replied 4 years ago.

Without knowing the final value of money you are going to claim, I cannot say anything about the costs as these depend on this value.


The German system only considers immaterial damages in exceptions. So a person can expect compensation for physical pain, but not necessary for grief because of a lost relative.


I am sorry.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

well, this is rather disappointing that they can get away with crime against humanity. I am not fully satisfied with the answer and I refuse to believe that there is no way this bunch of thugs can be brought to justice. thank you for taking the time,. Bye

Expert:  hhvgoetz replied 4 years ago.

What I told you can also be found in the German civil code:


Additional damages can be obtained if your mother had an obligation to maintain you or most likely would have had it in the future (for example in the case that you do not earn enough to maintain yourself). However, it is complicated to calculate with you living abroad as the living costs abroad have to be considerer ed.


I think it is necessary for you to make up your mind what kind of compensation you can ask for and then see the facts in detail.