Welcome to our guide on fatal accident compensation. In this article, we will address the topic of who is eligible to make a fatal accident claim. In addition, we will also be explaining the processes involved and how much you could be awarded if a loved one has passed away because of the negligence of someone who owed them a duty of care.
Making a claim for compensation due to a loved one suffering a fatal injury can seem daunting. You may not be sure whether you have a valid claim or if you do, what this compensation can cover.
The solicitors on our panel are very experienced in making claims like these. They may be able to assist you if you have a valid claim.
Get in touch with our advisors today for free legal advice. Once we know more about the specific circumstances surrounding your claim, we’ll be able to offer more accurate guidance that relates to your case. You could also be connected with a fatal accident solicitor from our panel. Read on for information, including our contact details.
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Select A Section
- What Are Fatal Accident Compensation Claims?
- How Does The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 Provide A Route To Compensation?
- Why Claim Fatal Accident Compensation?
- What Is The Inquest Process?
- What Fatal Accident Compensation Could I Claim?
- No Win No Fee Claims For Fatal Accidents
Claims of this nature are made by someone close to someone who has died as the result of an injury caused by the negligence of someone else. The cause of a fatal injury could be a road traffic accident, an accident in the workplace, or even an accident in a public place.
If the injuries were severe enough, then they could have led to the death of the victim. If the deceased suffered physically and/or mentally from the injuries that eventually turned out to be fatal, then a loved one can claim compensation for this on their behalf.
Am I Eligible To Submit A Claim?
There are only certain people who can claim on the behalf of the deceased. They are listed in the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 as “dependants”. They include
- A spouse/ex-spouse
- Direct descendants (this can include step-children/adoptive children)
- A partner who was living with the deceased for 2+ years before their death as spouses
- Siblings (including half-relations and step-siblings etc.)
- Ascendents (parents, grandparents etc.)
If you have any questions regarding your eligibility to make a fatal accident compensation claim, get in touch with us today.
The Fatal Accidents Act tells us that if someone has died as the result of injuries caused by negligence, compensation can still be claimed on their behalf by their surviving dependents. In addition to this, dependants can claim for their own loss of financial dependency and for a bereavement award.
In order to claim compensation on behalf of someone who has passed away, they must have died as a result of negligence. This means that someone who owed the deceased a duty of care, and that this duty was breached, causing them to be fatally injured.
There are a number of different scenarios where someone is owed a duty of care that could be breached, resulting in fatal consequences. These include:
- At work. While you’re at work, your employer owes you a duty of care. If they breach this duty and an employee is fatally injured as a result, the dependants of the deceased may be able to claim.
- On the road. All road users owe one another a duty of care. If this duty of care is breached and a road user passes away in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a claim could be made.
- In public. Those who are in control of public spaces are referred to as “occupiers”. They have a responsibility to ensure the safety of those who use the space for the intended purpose. If a breach of this duty of care led to death, then fatal accident compensation could be owed.
- While receiving medical care. All healthcare professionals have a duty of care towards their patients. This means that they need to provide a minimum standard of care. If this standard of care is deviated from and someone passes away as a result, their dependents may be able to claim.
What Is The Limitation Period?
There is a time limit in which you must make a claim for fatal accident compensation. It is stated in the Limitation Act 1980. You will generally have 3 years from the date of the death of a loved one to make a claim on their behalf.
If this time limit passes, then the claim could be statute-barred. This could make it impossible to make a claim.
However, there can be certain exceptions to the time limit. One of these could be if it wasn’t known at the time of death that negligence occurred.
If this was the case, then the time limit would only start when it was revealed that negligence led to the deceased’s passing. This is referred to as the “date of knowledge”.
For more information on the limitation that applies in fatal accident claims, speak with a member of our team today.
Whilst money may not necessarily be the first thing on your mind following a fatal accident, compensation can help soften the financial impact of the death of a loved one.
To illustrate, if someone’s spouse has passed away due to injuries caused by negligence, it could be that the deceased was the main breadwinner in the family. Their death is likely to reduce the household income and could make it difficult for the surviving dependents to cover things like utility and food bills. Compensation could assist them in covering these costs and more.
In addition to this, there are many things that the dependants of the deceased would have been able to enjoy if the fatal accident had not happened. In the case of a spouse, they could be missing out on years of companionship. Children of the deceased will no longer be able to benefit from them doing things like taking them to and from school or providing love and support. These losses of amenities can be taken into account when your compensation is valued.
You have a right to compensation following the death of a loved one following a fatal accident that was caused by a breach of duty of care. See if you could start your claim today by getting in touch with our advisors.
Following death caused by negligence, there will sometimes be an investigation into how the victim died. This is known as an inquest. As part of the process of a claim, the death will be reported to a coroner.
The body of the deceased will be inspected to confirm their cause of death to see if their dependents could be entitled to the compensation for which they are making a claim. The coroner will then submit a report based on the inquest that they have carried out.
It’s important to note that an inquest’s purpose is not to apportion blame to any party. Instead, its aim is to uncover the facts relating to how a person’s death came about.
For more information on the fatal accident claims process, speak with a member of our team today. You could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel if you have a valid claim.
You may be wondering, “how much fatal accident compensation could I claim?”. This section will aim to answer this question.
Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 is a piece of legislation that allows the estate of the deceased to pursue a claim for compensation that the deceased would have been entitled to claim. For the first 6 months after the date of the death, the estate or executor is the only party that can bring forward a claim (although they can do this on behalf of any of the categories of dependants that are mentioned in the Fatal Accident Act).
After this 6 month period, any dependent can make a claim as long as one has not already been started. The compensation that is owed to dependants, such as the bereavement award, is set out in the Fatal Accident Act.
The amount that would have been awarded to the deceased for their pain and suffering had they not passed away is calculated by legal professionals with assistance from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).
This is a publication that is updated semi-regularly. It was last updated in 2019. It is made up of a detailed list of injuries and illnesses that could be caused by negligence in a variety of scenarios. Alongside each entry is a range of figures. These amounts are only guidelines for what these injuries could be worth.
We have included some example entries from the JCG in the table below.
Injury Description Amount
Death and losses Compensation for death along with financial losses like loss of earnings Over £450,000
Death (A) With full awareness - severe injuries that lead to fluctuating consciousness for 4-5 weeks followed by death despite intrusive treatment £11,770 to £22,350
Death (B) Followed by unconsciousness - loss of consciousness 3 hours after the injuries and death within 2 weeks £9,870 to £10,010
Death (C) Loss of consciousness immediately - with death after 6 weeks £3,530 to £4,120
Death (D) Immediate loss of consciousness - death with 1 week £1,290 to £2,620
Mental anguish (E) Where the injured person is fearful of their impending death or life expectancy being reduced. £4,380
There could also be an additional sum you receive known as special damages. These are costs and/or losses that the deceased experienced due to their fatal injuries.
To give an example, they could qualify for a dependency payment, which reflects the impact of the loss of earnings of the deceased. In circumstances of fatal claims, a calculation would be made to work out how much they would have earned from the date of their death until retirement age.
The funeral expenses have been incurred as the result of a fatal accident, then the claim could also include compensation for this.
For more information on how fatal accident compensation is calculated, reach out to us today.
The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 states that certain dependants can also apply for a bereavement award. This is when someone who had a financial reliance on the deceased can be awarded a flat amount of £15,120. This can only be claimed by a spouse or cohabiting partner of the deceased, or their parents if they were an unmarried minor.
In some instances, more than one dependent could apply for this payment. If the application were to be successful, the amount would be divided equally between the two applicants.
For more information on what can be included in fatal accident compensation, speak with a member of our team today.
All of our solicitors can operate on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you won’t be required to pay their costs if your claim is unsuccessful. They also won’t ask you to make a payment upfront or while they’re working on your claim.
You only need to pay your solicitor if they successfully assist you in winning your claim for fatal accident compensation. If your claim is successful and you’re awarded compensation, a percentage of your compensation known as a “success fee” will be deducted from your compensation. This is subject to a legal cap, meaning that you will not be overcharged.
You can get in touch with our team of advisors today about the possibility of funding legal representation with a No Win No Fee agreement. To speak with someone, you can:
Here are some links to additional material that you may find useful:
- This is our guide on accidental death claims.
- Criminal injuries can lead to fatalities too, but the claims process can differ.
- Read our guide on manslaughter and murder claims for more information about these kinds of claims.
- Get support from Cruse – a bereavement support charity.
- NHS help and support with grief and bereavement.
- Advice from the citizen’s advice bureau on arranging a funeral.
Thank you for reading our guide on fatal accident compensation claims.
Guide by AI