Fatal Accident Compensation Claims
This is a guide on how a fatal accident claims are made. We investigate how to claim compensation if your loved one died as a result of a breach of the duty of care owed to them.
Whether you are in public, on the roads or at work, you are owed a duty of care. If your loved one died as a result of negligence, you might be able to make a fatal injury claim. We explore different situations in which your loved one could have been owed a duty of care, as well as the legislation guiding this. To make a fatal accident claim, you must be able to prove the deceased was owed a duty of care, and a breach in it caused their fatal injury.
If it can be established that the deceased was owed a duty of care and a breach in it led to their death, a fatal injury claim may be able to be made. We look at who can bring a claim forward after a death caused by negligence. In addition, we look at the compensation that could be awarded in a fatal accident claim.
To conclude this guide, we look at the option of using a No Win No Fee arrangement to access the services of a solicitor. If you have any questions regarding making a fatal accident claim, please get in touch with our claims team on the information below:
Select A Section
- How Do Fatal Accident Claims Work?
- Does The Type Of Accident Affect What Compensation Could Be Awarded?
- What Compensation Could Be Awarded For A Fatal Accident?
- Fatal Accident Claims Calculator
- How Long Do You Have To Make Fatal Accident Claims?
- Talk To Us About Claiming After A Fatal Accident
Each fatal accident claim is accessed individually. This means that the figures provided by a fatal accident claims calculator should only be used as a guide. It cannot consider loss of service payments, for example, or loss of income.
One of the factors that could affect how much a fatal accident claim is worth is the amount of pain and suffering that was experienced by the deceased in the lead-up to their death. If they experienced a fairly protracted period of suffering before they lost their life, then this could attract a greater settlement than if someone had suffered for only a short period of time, or if they had lost consciousness after the accident and remained unconscious until they died. This could be proven through a medical report, for example.
Our fatal accident claims team can provide an estimate of the amount that could be claimed. Speak with an advisor for further guidance.
If a breach of duty of care occurred and your loved one died as a result of this, the estate of the deceased could bring forward a fatal accident claim for the pain and suffering of the deceased. Dependents of the deceased may also be able to claim for how the death has impacted them.
The kind of accident they lost their lives in will not affect the award, however, other factors may have an impact on the compensation amount. Below we look at situations in which your loved one could have been owed a duty of care.
Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) states that employers owe their employees a duty of care. This means that employers must take reasonable steps to reduce workplace risks.
If the deceased’s employer did not take reasonable steps to reduce workplace risks, and your loved one died as a result of an accident at work, then a claim could be made on their behalf. Speak with a member of our team today to discuss proving liability for a fatal workplace accident.
On the Roads
The Road Traffic Act 1988 sets out the duty of care drivers owe each other. Additionally, the Highway Code sets out the rules and guidelines for drivers as well as other road users. Some of these rules are elsewhere backed up by law.
You might be able to make a fatal car accident claim if the deceased was owed a duty of care which was then breached and it resulted in fatal injuries.
If an accident in a public place resulted in your loved one’s death, you might be able to bring a claim. This is because under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 occupiers of a public space, such as a shop, owe people entering that space a duty of care. An accident in a shop, for example, could prove fatal if the shelving units are not secure and collapse.
If a breach in an owed duty of care resulted in your loved one’s death, you could discuss fatal accident claims with our fatal injuries claims team.
The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 (LRMPA) set out the requirements for fatal injury compensation.
The Fatal Accidents Act tells us the categories of dependents can bring a fatal accident claim forwards for their own pain and suffering. As defined by the Fatal Accidents Act, a dependant can be:
- The spouse or former spouse of the deceased.
- Someone who resided with the deceased as a spouse for two years prior to their death.
- A parent or person treated as a parent by the deceased, such as a step-parent.
- A child, or someone treated as a child by the deceased, such as a step-child or step-children from a previous marriage.
- Siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins of the deceased.
You might be able to claim:
- The deceased’s loss of earnings if you were dependent on their income. It may also cover the loss of future income.
- Loss of a special person. This considers loss of companionship.
- Funeral costs.
- Loss of services, for example, if the deceased did DIY or looked after children.
Questions about fatal accident claims can be answered by our claims team. If you have a valid claim, you could be connected with a lawyer from our panel.
Fatal injury compensation will consider the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased. This head of fatal accident claims can be worked out with the help of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals use this document to help when assigning value to injuries.
Figures in the table below are examples provided from the latest edition of these guidelines, published in 2022.
|Fatality and add on claims||Up to £550,000||This may include a payment for the deceased's pain and suffering as well as losses that impact dependents.|
|Very severe brain damage (a)||£282,010 to £403,990||Lacking a meaningful response to their environment due to their brain injuries.|
|Quadriplegia, also called Tetraplegia||£324,600 to £403,990||The award varies depending on the injured level of awareness and pain, plus their life expectancy.|
|Paraplegia||£219,070 to £284,260||The award varies depending on pain levels, psychological impact, plus the age and life expectancy of the injured.|
|Severe psychiatric damage (a)||£54,830 to £115,730||Severe psychiatric damage is characterised by an inability for the injured to cope with life and personal relationships.|
You can get in touch with our claims team to further discuss fatal accident claims.
The Limitation Act 1980 sets out a general three-year time limit to start a fatal accident claim. Exceptions may apply.
This three-year time limit can start:
- From the date of death.
- From the date of knowledge. This is when you learned that your loved one died as a result of negligence. The date of an inquest or a post-mortem could establish this.
Our claims team can help begin a fatal injury claim today. Get in touch and, if your claim has a good chance of success, you could be connected with a lawyer from our panel to work on your case.
If you decide to claim for your loved one’s fatal injury, you might like to do so with legal representation. Using a solicitor that provides their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) could minimise the financial risks connected with funding the work of a lawyer in a fatal accident claim. A CFA is a kind of No Win No Fee agreement.
You won’t be asked for payment upfront. A fee, known as a success fee, is taken from your award should the fatal accident claim prove successful. The amount that can be taken is legally capped. If your claim is not successful, you will not have to pay for your solicitor’s services.
Our fatal injury claims team can help you start your claim today. If your claim seems like it might be valid and you wish to proceed, you may be passed onto our panel of personal injury solicitors.
Talk to us about the process of making fatal accident claims today:
Related Fatal Accident Claims
The following links may help you:
- Applying for Probate Guide from the Government
- Work-related Fatality Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
- Grief, Loss and Bereavement Guide from the NHS
Additional personal injury guides from UK Law: