Who Can Bring A Fatal Accident Claim?

This article will discuss who can bring a fatal accident claim forward following a death caused by negligence. This article will explain two of the relevant legislation relevant to this kind of claim, as well as how evidence can help support your case.

Who can bring a fatal accident claim?

A guide on who can bring a fatal accident claim

We will also discuss the time limits that are in place for claiming compensation following a fatal accident, as well as how solicitors and legal professionals calculate compensation amounts. Following this, we will explain how the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor could be beneficial to you and your case.

For answers to any questions regarding the claims process, our team of advisors are here to help. Through a no-obligation consultation, they can offer you free advice and an evaluation of what your claim could be worth and if it could be valid. To contact our team:

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  1. Who Can Bring A Fatal Accident Claim?
  2. Time Limits In Fatal Accident Claims
  3. What Evidence Could Help Your Fatal Accident Claim?
  4. What Could You Claim For A Fatal Accident In The UK?
  5. Why Pursue  A Fatal Accident Claim With A Solicitor?
  6. Find Out More In Relation To Fatal Accident Claims

Who Can Bring A Fatal Accident Claim?

If a family member has passed away as a result of negligence, you may be wondering who can bring a fatal accident claim forward. The first step in bringing a claim forward is establishing that negligence contributed to your loved one’s passing.

Negligence occurs when:

  • Someone is owed a duty of care
  • This duty is breached
  • As a result of this breach, harm occurs

Under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934, the deceased’s estate can make a claim for the injuries and suffering endured before their passing. They can also make a claim for the benefit of any dependents.

Who Could Claim Under The Fatal Accidents Act 1976

Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA), dependents can make a claim for how the death has affected them if the estate has not already done so within six months. During these first six months, only the estate can bring forward a claim.

You must qualify as a dependent in order to pursue a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. Under this legislation, the definition of dependents includes the following in relation to the deceased:

  • A former or current civil partner, wife, or husband
  • Someone who lived with them as a spouse for more than two years
  • A grandparent, parent, or anyone who played the role of a parent
  • A descendent or child, including stepchildren
  • Sisters, brothers, aunts, and uncles, along with the children of any of these parties

You could also be eligible to claim a bereavement award, which is a lump sum of £15,120. This award can be claimed by the following relations to the person who passed away:

  • Their parents if they were a minor who was not married
  • Their mother if they were born out of wedlock and were an unmarried minor
  • Their civil partner, husband, or wife
  • Anyone who lived with them as a spouse for over two years before the death

The value of this award and the eligible parties can be found in the FAA. If more than one party claims this award, it will be split evenly between them. Contact our team of advisors to find out more about who can pursue fatal accident compensation.

Time Limits In Fatal Accident Claims

You may wonder how long you have to claim for a fatal accident. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you will usually have three years to begin a fatal accident claim. This can begin on the date of death or the date of knowledge, which could be when an inquest or postmortem occurs. The latter is when you knew or would have been expected to realise that the death resulted from negligence.

Our advisors are here to help. If you would like to find out whether you are within the relevant time limit for claiming, contact our team of advisors today.

What Evidence Could Help Your Fatal Accident Claim?

Collecting evidence is an important part of making a fatal accident claim, as it can help prove the role of negligence in your loved one’s passing. It can also help strengthen a claim for their suffering and pain. Some examples of evidence that could be beneficial to your claim can include:

  • CCTV footage: CCTV footage of the accident or the circumstances that led up to it can help support your claim.
  • Medical records: Medical records can help illustrate the harm endured before passing, as well as their injuries.
  • Witness contact details: Collecting the contact details of potential witnesses means that their statements can be taken later.

To learn how one of our panel’s solicitors could assist you with the process of collecting evidence, speak with our team.

What Could You Claim For A Fatal Accident In The UK?

If a fatal accident claim on behalf of the deceased succeeds, it will include compensation for the pain and suffering they have experienced. In England and Wales, solicitors can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) when calculating this head of the claim.

The JCG provides guideline settlement awards for various injuries and illnesses, including fatal and psychological injuries. Below, you can find some relevant examples of these brackets, but please note that these figures are only guidelines. The actual amount of compensation you could receive can vary.

General Damages

Harm Compensation Bracket Notes
Death and other damages Up to £550,000 and + Compensation for pain and suffering as well as impact on others, such as lost income.
Quadraplegia (a) £324,600 – £403,990 Factors taken into account will include pain and whether the claimant has retained powers of speech, sight, and hearing but needs help with bodily functions
Paraplegia (b) £219,070 – £284,260 Factors such as psychological impact, independence, presence of pain and life expectancy are all considered in this bracket.
Very Severe Brain Injury (a) £282,010 – £403,990 This bracket includes the need of professional care full-time and little to no response to the surrounding environment.
Severe Psychiatric Damage Generally (a) £54,830 – £115,730 There will be very severe issues in coping with day to day life, and a significantly poor prognosis.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (a) £59,860 – £100,670 There is no remaining ability to work or function at the pre-trauma level due to severe symptoms and an extremely poor prognosis.
Death with Full Awareness (a) £12,540 – £23,810 Full awareness before consciousness fluctuates for four or five weeks, and death occurs within a couple of weeks to three months.

Compensation payouts in fatal accident claims could also include:

  • Funeral costs
  • Financial losses if you’re affected by the loss of the deceased’s income, or if you have had to pay for care or medication in the lead-up to their passing.
  • Loss of consortium, which addresses the loss of companionship.
  • Loss of services. This could be owed in the event that your partner was responsible for childcare, but since their passing, you have had to pay for professional services, then you could be reimbursed for this.

One of our panel’s solicitors could help you seek fatal accident compensation. Contact our advisors today to find out if you could be eligible to claim.

Why Pursue A Fatal Accident Claim With A Solicitor?

The fatal accident solicitors on our panel can offer their services under a kind of No Win No Fee contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This typically allows you to access legal services without paying any upfront fees to your solicitor or any ongoing fees as they work on your claim.

Generally, the only fee you need to pay your solicitor is a success fee in the event that you receive a settlement. In this case, they will take a small percentage of your compensation. But this percentage is capped by legislation, allowing you to keep most of your award. However, if your claim fails, you do not pay this fee.

Talk To Our Team

Our team of advisors can offer legal advice and further guidance surrounding the process of claiming when you get in touch. They can evaluate your claim through a free consultation, and if it is valid, they could connect you with a fatal accident solicitor.

To get started:

Find Out More In Relation To Fatal Accident Claims

If you would like to read more about making a claim following a fatal accident, we recommend:

Or, for further resources:

Contact our team to find out more about who can bring a fatal accident claim.

Article by AA

Publisher ET