Pursuing Claims Under The Fatal Accidents Act 1976

Have you suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence? This can be traumatising and confusing. Furthermore, you may not be sure how to handle the physical, financial, and psychological damage you might suffer from afterwards. If this sounds like your situation, this guide will explore fatal accident claims as you may be entitled to compensation. 

fatal accident act claims

A guide to fatal accident claims

Seeking compensation won’t necessarily take away your pain and suffering or speed up the grieving process, but it can make everyday life a little easier. For example, compensation could help you pay the funeral costs for your lost loved one. 

If you’d like to have a chat with one of our friendly advisers, you can contact them today. They’re available 24/7 and are experts at advising on fatal accident claims. They can assess how much compensation you may be entitled to and explore your next steps.

If your claim is valid, they can connect you to an experienced fatal accident lawyer from our panel to discuss No Win No agreements with you. Our panel of fatal accident solicitors would work with you in a sensitive and sympathetic way, offering legal support throughout the whole claims process and seeking the most amount of compensation you could be owed.

Our advisers are available on:

  • 0800 408 7825 where you can then ring them and chat about your situation.
  • Our instant chat box where you can then have a chat right now with an adviser.
  • Our contact form where you can then request an adviser to call you back at your convenience.

Select A Section

  1. What Is The Fatal Accidents Act 1976?
  2. When Could You Make Fatal Accident Claims?
  3. How Do You Pursue Fatal Accident Claims?
  4. Types Of Damages Which Could Be Claimed
  5. What Could Be Awarded For Fatal Accident Claims?
  6. Contact Us About No Win No Fee Fatal Accident Claims

What Is The Fatal Accidents Act 1976?

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is a piece of legislation surrounding fatal accidents caused by the negligence of a party that owed you a duty of care. For example, the following entities have a duty of care:

  • Employers owe their employees a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They should take reasonable measures to protect employees’ health, safety and wellbeing at work.
  • Road users owe each other a duty of care too. They should use the roads with standard care and skill.
  • Medical professionals should treat patients with standard care in order to prevent unnecessary injury to the patient or unreasonable worsening of an illness or injury.
  • Those in control of places that are accessible to the public (such as businesses or councils) should make sure they’re safe for visitors.

Section 1 of the Fatal Accidents Act regards any wrongful act, default, or neglect that would have made the victim eligible for compensation for their injuries had death not occurred. It outlines that, if this is the case, a claim can be made on the victim’s behalf. 

This essentially allows the relatives of the person who died to claim compensation for the death of their loved one if someone’s negligence caused it. If you’d like to discuss fatal accident claims in more detail, you can contact our excellent team of advisers who can answer any of your questions and offer free legal advice.

When Could You Make Fatal Accident Claims?

If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a fatal accident claim. However, the way the claim is made can be affected by how the death occurred. For example, if your loved one died in a road traffic accident, you could make a personal injury claim. 

On the other hand, if your loved one was murdered, this could lead to a criminal injury claim. This means you could seek compensation directly against the perpetrator or via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). If you claim directly against the assailant, you must be able to identify the assailant and they must have the means to cover your compensation. 

Causes Of Death

Here are some examples of how someone could die in an accident or due to negligence:

  • Medical negligence – Your loved one may have passed away due to medical negligence. An example of this could be if a medical professional provided care that is below standard, causing your loved one to pass. For instance, a medical professional may neglect to check the patient’s records and miss that they have an allergy. If they then prescribe medication containing the allergy and it causes a fatal allergic reaction, this could be seen as medical negligence. 
  • Road traffic accident – If a loved one’s death occurred due to a road traffic accident, you may be able to pursue a road traffic accident claim. 
  • Murder – If your loved one has been murdered, you may be able to make a criminal injury claim. The process is slightly different to that of personal injury claims but a solicitor can help you with this. 

Fatal Road Traffic Accident Statistics

The Department for Transport keeps a record of reported road traffic accidents in Great Britain. According to their statistics, the amount of reported fatal injuries between 2015 and 2020 has remained relatively similar. For example:

  • 2015: 1,616 reported fatal injuries
  • 2016: 1,695
  • 2017: 1,676
  • 2018: 1,671
  • 2019: 1,658
  • 2020: 1,391

It should be taken into account that national lockdowns may have impacted the significantly lower figure for 2020.

How Do You Pursue Fatal Accident Claims?

Fatal accident claims can be made in a variety of ways; for example, through a personal injury claim, medical negligence claim, directly against the assailant, or claim via the CICA. The type of claim depends on the cause of death. The first thing it’s recommended you do is gather as much sufficient evidence as possible.

Examples of evidence for a personal injury claim could include:

  • CCTV footage
  • Witness contact details for statements at a later date
  • Medical reports

If you’re making a criminal injury claim, you would need the police crime reference number (the number produced after reporting the crime to the police). The CICA would be able to access evidence that way, though they may ask for further proof too.

Evidence can help prove how the death occurred and who may have been negligent. You can then begin searching for the right fatal accident solicitor for you. It’s not necessary to use the services of a solicitor to claim. However, we believe that legal advice and support can prove beneficial in many instances. 

Our team of advisers would be happy to have a chat with you about your case with no obligation for you to continue with our services.

Types Of Damages Which Could Be Claimed

There are multiple types of compensation that could be claimed for a fatal accident.

Loss Of Dependency

You may be entitled to compensation for a loss of dependency after your loved one has passed. This could include services dependency, financial dependency, or loss of consortium.

Services Dependency

You could be owed compensation for services dependency if your loved one took care of you or your children.

Financial Dependency

You may have lived with the deceased and relied on their income that has now been taken away. This is usually calculated from the date your loved one passed away to the date of the claim. After this, you could also be compensated for a loss of future financial dependency. This could happen if you would’ve relied on their financial income in the future too.

Loss Of Consortium

This includes a child suffering the death of a parent or a spouse losing their husband or wife. 

Funeral Costs

You may be entitled to compensation if you have to pay for funeral costs. 

Fatal Accidents Act Bereavement Award

The Damages for Bereavement (Variation of Sum) (England and Wales) Order 2020 recently updated the amount that relatives can claim for the death of a loved one caused by negligence. The sum stands at £15,120. This can be added to the compensation for the loved one’s suffering prior to death, special damages and the above expenses where applicable.

What Could Be Awarded For Fatal Accident Claims?

The below compensation table includes figures from the Judicial Compensation Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a publication that solicitors use to value injuries. Our table below aims to illustrate potential compensation award brackets for various injuries. 

Injury:Notes:Compensation:
Death and losses to financesPayouts of this level can include loss of earnings and pension, as well as payouts for pain and suffering£400,000+
Mental AnguishFear of impending death.£4,380
Full AwarenessLung damage and burns that are severe, resulting in varying degrees of consciousness for 4-5 weeks. This leads to treatment that’s intrusive and results in death within 2 weeks to 3 months.£11,770 to £22,350
Followed by UnconsciousnessLung damage and severe burns that result in unconsciousness after 3 hours and death 2 weeks later.£9,870 to £10,010
Immediate Unconsciousness/Death after Six WeeksInjury causes unconsciousness immediately and death happens 6 weeks after.£3,530 to £4,120
Immediate Unconsciousness/Death within One WeekUnconsciousness occurring shortly or immediately after injury and death happening within 1 week. £1,290 to £2,620

The figures above demonstrate general damages. This is compensation for your psychological and physical injuries. Compensation depends on factors such as how severe symptoms are, how quick death/unconsciousness is and how helpful treatment is in prolonging life expectancy.

You could also claim special damagesSpecial damages offer compensation for the financial issues that arose as a result of the accident or incident caused by another party’s negligence. An example of this could be if you paid out of pocket for care costs or experienced a loss of earnings.

In order to prove special damages, you’d need to supply evidence such as payslips, invoices or precripsitons.

Contact Us About No Win No Fee Fatal Accident Claims 

You may have heard about No Win No Fee claims in the past but are unsure of what they entail. No Win No Fee agreements are also known as Conditional Fee Agreements. Essentially, it is a contract that you and your solicitor sign. This is to show that your solicitor agrees to adhere to the conditions set out in order for them to receive payment.

It states that you won’t be expected to pay your solicitor’s fee if your claim doesn’t succeed. On the other hand, your solicitor would take a small percentage of your compensation if your claim does succeed. You would still receive most of your compensation and the percentage deducted by your solicitor is legally capped. 

Our team of advisers would be happy to help you with any queries you have about fatal accident claims. They can calculate the amount of compensation you could be owed and assess whether your fatal accident claim looks eligible. 

If you’re able to claim, you may be connected to one of the experienced fatal accident lawyers from our panel. They can then begin working on your claim and seek the highest amount of compensation you’re owed. 

You can reach out to an adviser by:

  • Calling our number 0800 408 7825 to then have a chat with a friendly adviser.
  • Putting your information into our contact form to then ask for a callback whenever you’re next available. 
  • Talking to an adviser on our pop-up chatbox to then receive a reply straight away. 

Victim Support And Resources 

Public Road Motorcycle Accident Claim – You can discover more guidance about No Win No Fee agreements in our motorcycle accident claims article. 

What Is The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)? – If your fatal accident claim includes a criminal injury, you can read our guide.

How To Claim Compensation For An Accident Or Injury – Our guide explores how you may be able to make a personal injury claim or fatal accident claim if you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – You can find out more about how to make a claim through the CICA here if you or a loved one has suffered a fatal criminal injury.  

What To Do When Someone Dies – This page offers help and guidance about what you can do in the aftermath of a loved one’s death.

Grief After Bereavement Or Loss – This NHS page explains how you can handle bereavement and what feelings you may be experiencing. 

Thank you for looking through our guide about fatal accident claims.

Article by OA

Publisher UI