Time Limits For Fatal Accident Claims

Fatal accident claims time limits guide

Fatal accident claims time limits guide

Losing a close personal relative in an accident can be a devastating experience. If you discover that another party caused the tragedy by acting negligently, it can make the loss even harder to process. If a close relative suffers a fatal accident because another party breached the duty of care they owed them, you may be eligible to claim compensation for the effects the loss has had on you.

Pursuing a fatal accident claim can hold the party responsible for the accident accountable. Moreover, you can claim funds to provide financial support in the future. Please contact UK Law today; we can provide free legal advice. Moreover, if you are eligible to claim, our panel of personal injury solicitors will start working on your case as soon as possible.

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We understand that grief can be a distressing matter. Your communications with us will be in the strictest of confidence, and we will communicate with you sensitively.

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What Are The Time Limits For Fatal Accident Claims

Under the Limitation Act 1980, time limits for fatal accident claims are normally three years. The time limit will normally begin on the date of the accident or the date of the deceased’s death if different. However, the fatal accident claim time limit could begin from the date of knowledge this could be after a postmortem or inquest when it was declared that the death was the result of negligence.

About Fatal Accident Claims

Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, relatives of a fatally injured person can claim for the loss the death will have on them, whether this is financial loss or loss of service. To be eligible to make a claim for a fatal accident, the death must have resulted from negligence.

Dependents can include:

  • Wife or husband or ex-partner
  • A civil partner or former civil partner
  •  A partner who has been living with the deceased for 2 years before the death
  • Any parent who those treated as a parent
  • A child or those treated as a child
  • Siblings
  • Aunt or Uncle

Please call our advice line now to see if you qualify to make a fatal accident claim. A claims advisor can assess your case to see if you can claim compensation.

Exceptions In Time Limits For Fatal Accident Claims

The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1934 is a piece of legislation that allows the deceased estate to claim for the pain and suffering of the deceased and also claim for the losses suffered by the dependents regardless of age or mental capabilities. However, if no claim is made by the estate within 6 months, dependents can then pursue their own claim.

Time limits for fatal accident claims apply differently if the claimant is a young person under 18. Children under the age of 18 may wish to claim compensation if they lose a parent or guardian in a fatal accident. However, children cannot legally claim for themselves. So, a trusted adult can act as a litigation friend and manage the claim on the child’s behalf.

Alternatively, the child can wait until they turn eighteen to make their claim. In this case, the claims time limit will begin on the day of their eighteenth birthday, lasting for three years.

The time limits for fatal accident claims also differ for claimants with a mental disability or experiencing some form of mental impairment.

For more information on whether a time limit exception applies in your case, please call our team today.

How Could A Fatal Accident Occur?

Accidents occur every day, some cause very minor injuries, if any at all, while on the other scale, some can be fatal. However, in order to be able to make a claim for a fatal accident for the loss of finances or services you have experienced as your loved one has passed away, you must be able to establish negligence. This means showing:

  • That at the time of the fatal accident, the deceased was owed a duty of care,
  • This duty of care was breached, which caused the fatal accident, and,
  • The accident caused fatal injuries.

Below we have listed places where accidents could occur and where a duty of care is owed:

Limitation Periods For Criminal Fatal Injury Claims

You could also claim criminal injury compensation if a loved one is fatally injured through a violent crime. Your claim could be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a governmental organisation that compensates victims of crimes. Our panel of solicitors can negotiate with the CICA on your behalf.

Normally time limits for making claims through the CICA is two years. However, exceptions may apply; call our team for more information.

Fatal Accident Claims Compensation Calculator

As we have mentioned, the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1934 allows the deceased estate to claim for the pain and suffering of the deceased.

We have provided a table with compensation brackets taken from the 16th edition guidelines by the Judicial College. The compensation brackets were updated for 2022. It shows what can be awarded in injury claims. Please note the first category is not from the JCG.

Form Of Injury Details Compensation Bracket
Fatality Plus Add On For Fatal Accident Claims Awards could include damages for the deceased’s suffering, pain and losses which have affected dependents. This could include lost income. Up to £550,000 or more
Injuries Resulting in Death – Full Awareness Full awareness for a while. Burns and lung damage suffered. Then in and out of consciousness for 4 to 5 weeks and death within 3 months £12,540 to £23,810
Quadriplegia How much could be awarded to the claimant may be dependent on factors such as their awareness, any physical pain and their life expectancy. £324,600 to £403,990
Brain Damage (A) Very Severe Severe form of brain damage which leaves the person unable to meaningfully respond to their environment. £282,010 to £403,990
Paraplegia Damages are dependent on factors such as how severe any pain is, what this person’s life expectancy is and what impact the injury has had psychologically. £219,070 to £284,260
Psychiatric Damage Generally – Severe Severe degrees of psychiatric injuries which restrict the person’s ability to cope with everyday life. £54,830 to £115,730

What Other Compensation Can Be Awarded In Fatal Accident Claims?

Dependents can receive compensation for:

  • Loss of income
  • Loss of service
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral Expenses

Some dependents can receive a Beverment Award under the Fatal Accidents Act of £15,120.

Please be aware that the compensation paid out for a claim differs from case to case. So please get in touch with UK Law to speak to an advisor about what your claim could be worth.

How To Make A No Win No Fee Fatal Accident Claim

We can offer you free legal advice about claiming after the death of a loved one. Moreover, if we can see that you are eligible to claim compensation, our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors can manage the claim.

You will enter into a funding agreement by signing a Conditional Fee Agreement where you agree to pay a success fee if the solicitor wins your claim. The success fee is not paid if your claim fails. Moreover, your fee is charged at a capped rate. And there are no upfront solicitor fees.

Please contact us today to enquire about claiming for a fatal accident.

  • Call 020 3870 4868 to speak with a claims advisor
  • Make an online enquiry via our website
  • Or speak to one of our advisors using our Live Support widget


These guides may help you learn more about claiming compensation for fatal accidents.

How To Claim For A Fatal Car Accident 

What Damages Could Be Claimed After A Fatal Accident?

Compensation For A Fatal Accident At Work

A Health and Safety Executive guide to fatal accidents at work

Types of deaths and injuries which should be reported under RIDDOR

A Department for Transport guide to fatal accidents and casualties caused by drunk driving

We are thankful that you took the time to read our guide to time limits for fatal accident claims. If you have any more questions to ask us about making a claim, please contact us as soon as possible.