Claiming Compensation For Accidental Death

By Marlon Marquardt. Last Updated 31st March 2023. This guide on claiming accidental death compensation could offer helpful advice on claiming when someone has passed away due to negligence. If you have lost a loved one recently following an accident, claiming compensation might not be something you’ve thought about. However, you may need to secure financial support to help you cope with living expenses or funeral expenses.

You may also wish to protect the financial security of any dependants. Getting a claim of this nature right is important; because of this, you may wish to engage the services of a specialist solicitor if you do decide to claim.

Accidental Death Compensation Claims Explained

accidental death compensation

Accidental death compensation guide

To help you start the claims process, our team of specialists can compassionately review your case with you. They’ll review what happened with you and provide free legal advice about your options.

Where possible, they’ll refer your claim to a personal injury solicitor from our panel. Should they agree to work for you, they will provide their service on a No Win No Fee basis.

To discuss your options with a specialist right away, why not get in touch? You can call us or get in touch online. Our advice line number is 0800 408 7825. Alternatively, please continue reading to find out more about how we could help you claim.

Select A Section

  1. What Are Accidental Death Compensation Claims?
  2. How Do Wrongful Or Accidental Deaths Happen?
  3. Who Could Claim Accidental Death Compensation?
  4. Bereavement Awards And The Fatal Accidents Act
  5. What Expenses Or Costs Could Be Claimed?
  6. How Much Compensation For Death
  7. Claim Compensation For The Death Of A Loved One With A No Win No Fee Lawyer
  8. Further Accidental Death Compensation Resources

What Are Accidental Death Compensation Claims?

Throughout this guide, we will try to answer any questions you have about claiming accidental death compensation. Some that we’re commonly asked include:

  • How much compensation do you get for accidental death?
  • Who can claim compensation after a fatal accident?
  • What can you claim under the Fatal Accidents Act?

We will try to provide answers to these questions as we continue through this guide.

Importantly, while the death of your loved one may have been accidental, you may still have the right to claim compensation if:

  • The responsible party (the defendant) owed the deceased a duty of care; and
  • Their negligence caused an accident to happen; and
  • The accident caused fatal injuries.

Fatal accidents could happen because of an accident at work, a car accident, a criminal assault or medical negligence, amongst other things. Whatever the cause of the accident, you could be compensated as a dependent of the deceased.

When claiming, you’ll need to abide by the claims time limits. This will be a 3-year period from the date your loved one died or the date that you became aware that their death was caused by negligence.

Because of the time limits that apply to pursuing a claim, we advise you to start as soon as possible to prevent your claim from becoming statute-barred. Please call when you’re ready to begin, or read on to find out more about fatal accident claims.

How Do Wrongful Or Accidental Deaths Happen?

As described above, accidental deaths can occur in a range of different ways. For example:

Importantly, a duty of care must be established before any claim can be taken on. A duty of care is a responsibility to act in a way that ensures your safety. The duty of care might differ slightly depending on what situation you are in.

For example, the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 places a duty of care on businesses to keep any guests or visitors as safe as possible. On the other hand, the Highway Code outlines the duty of care that all road users owe to one another. If a solicitor from our panel is appointed, they will check which law applies to your case.

The claims process may differ depending on the type of claim you pursue, but our panel of solicitors has the experience to help you. If you aren’t sure what you need to do next, please call our team. They’ll provide free legal advice once they’ve reviewed your claim with you.

Accident Death Compensation – Evidence When Claiming

When making a claim for the death of a loved one, you need to be able to establish that it was caused due to negligence. This means that their death needs to have been the fault of someone who owed them a duty of care. For example, this could be their employer.

CCTV footage, medical reports, and witness contact details are all good examples of evidence. To find out more about claiming accidental death compensation, reach out to our advisors today.

Who Could Claim Accidental Death Compensation?

When claiming accidental death compensation, the deceased’s estate could make a claim on their behalf. This would cover the loss of life and the pain and suffering endured.

Additionally, dependency claims may be possible for anybody who depended on the deceased’s earnings or other income.

Legally, dependants can be:

  • The deceased’s parents.
  • Children of the deceased, including stepchildren or adopted children.
  • The wife, husband or civil partner of the deceased.
  • An ex-partner of the deceased.
  • The cohabiting partner of the deceased. The partner must have lived with the deceased for at least 2 years before their death.
  • Siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces or nephews of the deceased.

If you believe you are entitled to claim as a dependent, why not call our team today for free advice on your options? One of our advisors will be happy to speak with you.

Bereavement Awards And The Fatal Accidents Act

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows the deceased’s husband, wife or partner (or their parents if they were under 18-years old) to claim a bereavement award. This is a type of compensation that can be awarded where death is caused by negligence.

It is designed to compensate families for the non-financial benefits they would have enjoyed with the deceased had they not been fatally injured. It can be paid in addition to the dependency award mentioned in the previous section.

In May 2020, the bereavement award was increased to £15,120 in England and Wales. The process in Scotland requires a judge to set the bereavement award on a case-by-case basis.

What Expenses Or Costs Could Be Claimed?

No two accidental death compensation claims are the same. Therefore, while we’ll list some of the expenses that could be claimed in this section, please speak to us for more personalised advice.

Including some of the elements we’ve already discussed, this compensation can include:

  • Medical expenses. If your loved one incurred any medical expenses such as private healthcare costs prior to their death, these could be claimed back.
  • Funeral costs. The cost of funerals can be substantial. Therefore, these costs could be included in your claim. They could cover either the cost of burial or cremation.
  • Bereavement award. As mentioned above, this is a payment of £15,120 on top of any other compensation you claim. It can be claimed by the deceased’s partner or their parents.
  • Compensation for dependents. Again, this is the award that might be claimed by those who rely on the deceased financially. It could include lost wages as well as the cost of other benefits lost because of the death.

When you are ready to start a claim, please get in touch. Our team provide free legal advice and won’t pressure you into claiming. If your case is suitable, we could appoint a personal injury lawyer from our panel to help you claim.

How Much Compensation For Death

You may be wondering how much accidental death compensation you could receive if you make a successful claim. However, the answer to this question can vary depending on factors such as how much the deceased suffered before they passed away. This amount is known as general damages, and the value is calculated by legal professionals. They will often address materials such as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) – a publication last updated in 2022. Some examples from the JCG have been included in the table in this section.

However, there is also special damages to consider. If eligible, this means that certain costs may affect how much compensation for death could be awarded to you. For example, the deceased may have had dependents who relied on their income for day-to-day life. The amount that the deceased would or could have earned until retirement age may be calculated and included in a claim. In addition, certain costs such as medical bills may have been accrued during treatment. This may be considered for reimbursement as well.

Type Of InjuryBracket Of CompensationAdditional Details
Death including add on claimsUp to £550,000 and overThe award might comprise compensation for the deceased person's pain and suffering as well as any losses that dependents incur, such as lost income.
Tetraplegia/ Quadraplegia£324,600 to £403,990The award given will depend on certain factors, such as life expectancy, awareness of disability and physical pain.
Brain Damage£282,010 to £403,990(a) Brain damage that's very severe in nature meaning the person demonstrates no meaningful response to their environment.
Paraplegia£219,070 to £284,260The award given will depend on factors such as the level of pain, whether there has been a psychological impact, the age of the injured person and their life expectancy.
General Psychiatric Damage£54,830 to £115,730(a) Severe cases of psychiatric damage might affect the person's ability to cope with life and have an impact on their relationships.

If you need more information on the potential value of accidental death compensation, get in touch today.

Claim Compensation For The Death Of A Loved One With A No Win No Fee Lawyer

There are solicitors that could offer their services to you without the requirement for an upfront payment. They would work with you based on the merits of your claim, and could help you begin your accidental death compensation claim without the requirement for:

  • Any ongoing payments for their work before a settlement is reached
  • A payment for their services if they do not help you claim compensation

These are No Win No Fee solicitors. Additionally, you would not make any out-of-pocket payment for their services. The payment usually charged in this type of agreement is a success fee. This is a small percentage of your compensation award in a successful claim. This type of fee is also legally capped under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

You can contact one of our advisers for a free evaluation of your claim to see if you are eligible to seek compensation for the death of your loved one using such a solicitor.

You can reach them by:

Further Accidental Death Compensation Resources

Below, we’ve provided sources we believe could be useful for you.

Cruse Bereavement Support – A charity that aims to support those affected by bereavement.

NHS: Bereavement – Details on the symptoms of grief, loss and bereavement.

What To Do When Someone Dies – Government advice on the steps to take when somebody dies.

Public Accident Claims – Information on claiming for accidents that happen in public places.

Cycling Accident Claims – Details of what to do if you’ve been injured in a cycling accident that was not your fault.

Reporting Workplace Accidents – Advice on why it’s important to report any type of accident at work.

Car Crash Claims On A Public Road – Find out more.

Other guides you may find useful:

Thank you for reading our guide to accidental death compensation claims.

Article by RA

Publisher ET