By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 13th October 2023. If a loved one has suffered a fatal injury due to a third party breaching their duty of care, a claim could be made for fatal accident compensation.
Within this guide, we will discuss the duty of care the deceased may have been owed in various situations. Additionally, we will discuss who is eligible to make a fatal accident claim on behalf of the deceased. We will also share examples of evidence that could help support a fatal accident claim.
Furthermore, we will discuss the benefits of making a claim with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel.
Our team of advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to discuss compensation for fatal accidents. If you have any questions, please get in touch for free advice on the following details:
Select A Section
- Can I Make A Fatal Accident Compensation Claim?
- How Could Fatal Accidents Occur?
- Why Claim Fatal Accident Compensation?
- About The Fatal Accident Compensation Claims Process
- Do I Need Evidence For A Fatal Accident Compensation Claim?
- How Much Compensation For A Fatal Accident Could You Receive?
- Make A No Win No Fee Claim For A Fatal Accident
You may be wondering what a fatal accident is. This is when an accident results in death or fatal injuries. Fatal accidents may occur on the road, in a public place, whilst receiving medical care, or in the workplace.
In order for someone to make a valid claim for a fatal accident, they would need to prove it was caused by the negligence of a party that owed the deceased a duty of care.
If there is evidence to prove that a third party was responsible for causing your loved one’s death, then as a relative or dependant of the deceased, it may be possible to claim compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.
For free legal advice on making fatal accident claims, you can speak to our advisors at any time. Furthermore, they could connect you to an experienced fatal accident solicitor from our panel, who may be able to help you prepare your claim.
Who Is Eligible To Submit A Fatal Accident Compensation Claim?
There are only certain people who can claim on 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 spouse
- 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.
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.
A claim for compensation for the death of a loved one can only be made if the deceased died due to negligence. This means that a third-party owed the deceased a duty of care, and this duty was breached, causing wrongful death.
Some examples of fatal accidents where a compensation claim could be made include:
- At work – All employers owe their employees a duty of care whilst in the workplace, as stated in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. If an employer were to breach this duty of care, this could lead to a fatal injury.
- In public – The Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 states that anyone in control of a public space, must do all that they reasonably can to keep that space safe for members of the public to use. This is their duty of care. If this duty were to be breached resulting in someone’s death, compensation could be claimed.
- On the road – All road users owe each other a duty of care. Each road user must follow the specific rules and obligations set out in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. If a road user were to act negligently, this could result in a fatal road traffic accident.
Contact our advisors today for further information concerning fatal injury claims.
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 dependents 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 claim fatal accident compensation following the death of a loved one 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.
If you are seeking compensation for the death of a loved one, you will need to prove that a liable party owed them a duty of care and a breach in this caused their fatal injury. You will need to obtain evidence to prove this.
If your loved one’s death was reported to the coroner and they decided to conduct a post-mortem, the results of this could confirm a liable party was responsible for the fatal accident. The coroner may also decide to hold an inquest. The results of a post-mortem or inquest could be helpful if you are seeking fatal accident compensation on behalf of your loved one. We’ll look at further examples of evidence in the next section.
You may like to instruct a solicitor to help with your claim. This can be done at any stage of the claims process. A specialist fatal accident solicitor can send the letter of claim and help you gather the supporting evidence. They can also help calculate how much compensation could be claimed as well as advise on when to accept a settlement.
One of the fatal injuries solicitors from our panel could help you claim compensation on behalf of your loved one. The solicitors from our panel generally offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. Speak with one of our advisors to find out more.
When claiming fatal accident compensation, you need to prove that the death of a loved one was caused by the negligence of someone who owed them a duty of care.
Whilst this list is not exhaustive, here are some examples of how you could establish negligence following fatal accidents, and how compensation can be claimed:
- Evidence of a visual nature – Depending on where the fatal accident took place, it could have been captured on CCTV. Request the footage as soon as possible. Photographs of the hazards that caused the accident can also be helpful.
- Medical reports – This could help when determining a cause of death.
- Contact details of witnesses – If others saw the accident, then make sure you have a way of reaching them in future. By doing so, you can ask them to submit their version of events.
Get in touch for more examples of evidence. We can also let you know more about how much compensation for the death of a loved one you could be owed.
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 2022. 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.
|Death with add of claims
|Compensation for the deceased’s pain and suffering as well as any additional losses impacting the dependents.
|Up to £550,00 and over.
|Very Severe – The person will require full-time care and various factors will impact what’s awarded, such as extent of physical limitations, sensory impairment and any behavioural problems.
|£282,010 to £403,990
|The higher end of this bracket is applicable to cases where physical pain is present at the ability to communicate has been significantly impacted.
|£324,600 to £403,990
|Various factors will impact how much is awarded, such as the extent of pain, depression, and the person’s age.
|£219,070 to £284,260
|Severe – A very poor prognosis. The person will also seriously struggle to cope with daily life.
|£54,830 to £115,730
|Severe – Permanent effects will stop the person from being able to work or function as they did before the trauma.
|£59,860 to £100,670
|Injuries Resulting in Death
|(A) Full awareness – severe injuries that lead to fluctuating consciousness for 4-5 weeks followed by death despite intrusive treatment.
|£12,540 to £23,810
What Else Can Fatal Accident Compensation Cover?
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:
Learn More About Fatal Accidents And Compensation Claims
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.
- If you’d like more advice and guidance on how to claim compensation, this guide offers a lot of useful advice, including examples of accidents and compensation payouts
- Get support from Cruse – a bereavement support charity.
- If you’re looking for advice on making a workplace injury claim, head here. You can find examples of different accidents in work, potential compensation awards, and advice on No Win No Fee agreements.
- 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 accidents compensation claims.
Guide by AI