How To Claim A Bereavement Award After A Fatal Accident

By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 27th September 2023. In this guide, we will explore the bereavement award that could be given to those making a fatal accident claim on behalf of someone who died as a result of negligence.

Bereavement award

A guide to claiming a bereavement award

Additionally, this guide will also explore the process of making a fatal accident claim and when you may be eligible to do so on behalf of someone who has passed away because of a breach of duty of care.

We understand the process of making a claim following a fatal accident can seem daunting. As such, you may find it beneficial to hire legal representation to help you through the different stages of your claim.

If this is the case, we could help by connecting you with an experienced fatal accident solicitor from our panel to represent your claim, provided it’s valid.

For more information, please get in touch using the details below:

  • Telephone: 0800 408 7825
  • Online form: Fill out our online contact form to request a callback
  • Live chat: Speak with an advisor using the live chat feature below.

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Bereavement Award – Who is Eligible?

In England and Wales, you can claim for damages due to a fatal accident caused by negligence through the bereavement award in The Fatal Accidents Act 1976. However, you have to fit certain criteria in order to claim for bereavement damages.

To potentially receive this, you need to be the deceased’s:

  • Civil partner, husband or wife
  • Cohabiting partner, which means that you were living as a spouse, civil partner or a housemate for at least two years before their death. You could also claim if you were living with the deceased immediately before their death.

Furthermore, you could also claim for this award if the deceased is your child. In cases where the child is legitimate, the parents could claim. In instances where the child is illegitimate, their mother would need to claim.

Read on to learn more about this award. For more information about whether you’re able to claim this bereavement award, please contact us for free using the details supplied. We can inform you if you’re eligible, answer any queries you have about claiming and give you an estimate of what you could receive.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Fatal Accident Claim?

There are time limits in place that you need to consider when making a claim under the FAA.

As per Section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980, you will have three years to launch the claim from the date of death or the date of knowledge. The latter is the date you knew (or should have known) that negligence contributed to the death.

However, there may be exceptions to the three-year time limit. For more information on the limitation in fatal accident claims call our team.

Evidence That Can Support Fatal Accident Claims

Collecting sufficient evidence could help support a fatal accident claim. It could help prove that the deceased was owed a duty of care, and a breach of this duty caused their fatal injury.

Examples of evidence that could support a claim for fatal accident compensation include:

  • The deceased’s medical records stating the nature of the injuries they suffered.
  • The coroner’s report or inquest details stating their cause of death.
  • The contact details of any witnesses to the accident that caused the fatal injuries. They could provide a statement about the incident at a later date.
  • Video footage of the accident, such as from a dashcam, if the deceased died in a fatal car accident.

Contact our advisors today if you have any questions about fatal accident claims or how to claim bereavement damages. Our friendly advisors are available 24/7 to help you.

How Much Is The Bereavement Award Payment?

As per Section 1A of the FAA, the total value of the bereavement award is currently £15,120.

Please note that if there is more than one relative who receives this payment, they will not all receive the full sum of the award. Instead, it will be divided equally between them.

There are other payments that could be claimed. For more information on how these may be included in your settlement, please see the section below. Otherwise, you can get in touch with our team for more information about making a claim.

What Can I Claim In Addition To A Bereavement Award?

Per the Fatal Accidents Act, other forms of compensation can be claimed in fatal accident claims alongside the bereavement award. Some of the other forms of compensation that can be claimed include:

  • Any funeral costs for the deceased.
  • Loss of services. For example, if the deceased helped with DIY around the home or with childcare, these services have now been lost. It must be quantified by a solicitor, and it can cover both past and future losses.
  • Loss of consortium. This is also known as ‘loss of a special person’. This accounts for the losses that cannot be quantified financially elsewhere. This can cover the impact on the familial relationship and loss of companionship.
  • If the family is left worse off financially due to the deceased’s death, a claim can be made for the loss of past and future earnings.

Contact our advisors today for more information about making a claim for the statutory bereavement award following the death of a loved one in a fatal accident.

What Damages Are Awarded For Fatal Accidents?

There are two pieces of legislation that are relevant in making a fatal accident claim. The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA) allows certain qualifying relatives to be awarded compensation if their loved one has died as a result of negligence.

In addition, the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 (LRMPA) sets out the eligibility criteria for the estate of the deceased to make a claim on behalf of the person who passed away.

When making a claim for a fatal accident under the FAA, there are several damages that could be awarded. For example:

  • Damages to compensate for the pain and suffering of the deceased person
  • Funeral expenses, provided these haven’t been claimed back under the LRMPA
  • Bereavement award
  • Dependency awards, such as for loss of earnings or service

This guide will look in more detail at how much could be claimed and how some of these damages are calculated. However, if you have any questions, call us on the number above.

How Is Fatal Accident Compensation Calculated?

In addition to the bereavement award in the Fatal Accidents Act, the estate of the deceased can bring forward a claim for the pain and suffering experienced by your loved one as a result of their fatal injuries. 

When assigning value to the deceased’s physical pain and mental suffering, legal professionals can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document provides a guideline list of compensation figures for different injuries, including those that could be fatal. 

In our table below, we look at a the guideline values taken from the 16th edition of the JCG. However, as each claim is different.

Injury Details Compensation Bracket
Fatality with add on claims This award includes compensation for the deceased’s pain and suffering as well as any losses that dependents have suffered, such as lost earnings. Up to £550,000 and over
Brain Damage (a) Very Severe: Factors such as the extent of physical limitations, sensory impairment and communication abilities will be taken into consideration. £282,010 to £403,990
Tetraplegia. Several factors will influence the award given, such as extent of pain, any impact on the senses and communication, as well as the person’s age. £324,600 to £403,990
Paraplegia Several factors will influence the award given, such as age and life expectancy. £219,070 to £284,260
Psychiatric Damage Generally (a) Severe: The person’s prognosis is very poor and will have significant problems with various aspects of life. £54,830 to £115,730
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (a) Severe: All aspects of a person’s life will be affected badly, and they will suffer from permanent effects. £59,860 to £100,670
Injuries Resulting in Death (a) Full Awareness: The person will be fully aware of their situation for a short time, before slipping in and out of consciousness for a few weeks before dying within 3 months. £12,540 to £23,810

If you would like to know more about the fatal accident bereavement award, or who can claim for the deceased’s pain and suffering, speak to an advisor from our team.

Bereavement Award – Make A No Win No Fee Claim

When seeking bereavement damages, our panel of fatal accident solicitors could help you on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you’ll only pay a success fee if your claim is successful. Additionally, the percentage solicitors take from your compensation is legally capped under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, therefore you won’t be overcharged.

They may also not require an upfront payment to start working on your claim, or any ongoing fees during the claims process.

The solicitors from our panel have experience in helping claimants seek a bereavement award under the Fatal Accident Act 1976.

You can find out your eligibility to claim by speaking to our advisors. They are available at any time via the following methods:

  • Use our chat with us feature on your screen
  • Completing the call-back form at the top of this page
  • Or call our 24/7 advice line on 0800 408 7825

Additional Resources On Fatal Accidents

In this section, we have included some additional resources that you may find beneficial:

We hope this guide on claiming a bereavement award after a fatal accident has helped. However, if you need any more information, call our team.

Article by AH

Publisher ET/ EI