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Fatal Accident Claims
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident due to third-party negligence, compensation is important for two reasons. Firstly, making a successful fatal accident claim will ensure you that justice has been served on those responsible. The second is that the compensation will afford you extra security, ensuring that you aren’t left worse off financially in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy.
There can be many causes of a fatal accident. It could be a fall, a piece of machinery malfunctioning, a vehicle accident or exposure in the workplace to dangerous elements and environments that may cause death. If however, the accident was the result of someone else or due to negligence, then you should be able to make a fatal accident claim for compensation.
If you have any further questions or feel there is anything that we can do for you during this time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact our friendly, compassionate and friendly team on freephone 0800 195 95 90.
Our initial consultation is free of charge, and the majority of our clients are represented on a no win no fee fatal accident claim meaning there is no financial risk to you.¹³
Our legal team specialises in dealing with accident and personal injury claims only. We have been providing legal services in the UK since 1988 and are accredited through the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, as well as The Law Society and, are regulated and authorised by the SRA.
How Is My Final Settlement Determined?
The fatal accidents act bereavement award for compensation that your claim will be made up of is based on several different factors:
- Actual loss: Losses caused by the care of the injured person before they passed, as well as any costs and expenses like funerals. If death was not instant and was delayed, you may also be compensated for the loss of salary, any costs of care, medical costs and any changes you had to make to your home to accommodate the injuries or comforting your loved one before they passed.
- Bereavement: As part of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, claimants on behalf of a spouse or child, who has passed away, are entitled to compensation of £12,980 as a result of a fatal accident. A recent case decided in the Court of Appeal, found that a cohabiting unmarried partner should be entitled to make the same claim. The case sets a precedent which can now be relied upon by others in that situation, even though there is yet to be a change in the law. If you are in any doubt about your eligibility please contact us so we can discuss your circumstances and advise you.
- Loss of Income Damages: Any other compensation will be awarded to certain people who depended or relied on the salary of the deceased person. When calculating this compensation many things will be taken into consideration, such as the deceased’s earnings, any losses in future pension, bonuses and health care benefits.
It can provide comfort for anyone dealing with a fatality caused by negligence to know that an experienced and reliable solicitor is there to look after you. We are able to ensure that the people they cared about will be looked after and compensated. An interim payment can be made (and often is) before a final settlement is decided. Read more about serious injury compensation.
Is There A Time Limit On Making A Fatal Accident Claim?
Losing a loved one is very hard, and it isn’t easy to jump straight into action and look for compensation. Fortunately, there is a grace period of 3 years after the fatality where you can make a fatal accident claim for compensation can still be claimed. For any claim to take place, there must be evidence. A fatality is obvious, but it must be determined that the third party was responsible. More info here.
Who Can Make A Fatal Accident Claim?
The Fatal Accident Act 1976 states that a dependent of the victim can claim compensation if the fatality was caused by somebody’s negligence or error. In the Act, a dependent is defined as:
- Any spouse or ex-spouse
- Anyone who had been living with the deceased as a civil partner, wife or husband for two years before the fatality
- Any children, other descendants such as adopted children, or children through civil partnership or marriage
- The deceased’s parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and anyone who was looked after by the victim as a parent
- Any siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews or nieces
Furthermore, there is no fixed amount of compensation you can claim as each case is different. In most fatal accident claims, you can receive compensation for:
- Any loss of amenity and any pain and suffering caused to the person who has passed away. This would include if the death was caused by disease.
- Actual losses. This allows you to claim compensation for any of the expenses caused by care for the victim, admin expenses and costs of the estate. This also covers medical expenses, any nursing care, the medicines needed, any changes you have to make to your home and travelling costs for treatment. Expenses for the funeral are also covered.
- Any loss of earnings. If death was not instant, then the incident could have cost the carers of the victim their earnings during the time they were unable to work.
- Loss of services. Compensation can be claimed for any services the deceased provided such as childcare, work around the house, gardening and DIY. If the victim was looking after and caring for another person or family member, then the costs or taking on a carer can also be claimed for.
- Loss of dependency. In most cases, this is the largest part of any claim after a fatal accident. This applies if the deceased leaves behind dependants who relied on any incomes they earned, such as young children, elderly family members or a spouse. Your claim is based on the victim’s income. In your claim, work benefits may also be taken into consideration, such as pensions, allowances, health care and bonuses.
Statutory Award For Bereavement & Limitations
In addition to the compensation for any of the above criteria, you may also be entitled to £12,980 as a Statutory Award for Bereavement. This is not considered or included as part of your compensation claim; it is separate. This can only be claimed and will only be paid to a spouse of the deceased (or if the deceased is a minor, to the parents or the victim).
You have 3 years to claim compensation after a fatal accident. This time starts from the date the victim died or from the date when their illness or disease was linked to a third parties’ negligence.