How To Claim For A Fatal Accident
This is a guide on how to claim for a fatal accident. We examine who could be eligible to claim compensation if their loved one passed away as the result of third-party negligence. Additionally, we take a look at what types of accidents may result in fatal injuries.
There are various situations where you are owed a duty of care. These include on the roads, while in public and at work. If a breach of the duty of care took place and your loved one died as a result, you might be able to make a fatal accident claim.
The duty of care is backed by legislation. We investigate the legislation that governs different areas in which your loved one could have been owed a duty of care.
If you qualify to make a claim, you could do so with the support of a No Win No Fee solicitor. We conclude this guide by looking at No Win No Fee arrangements and what they mean for fatal accident claims.
To get in touch about starting a claim for a fatal accident:
Select A Section
- Why Claim For A Fatal Accident?
- Am I Eligible To Claim For A Fatal Accident?
- How To Claim The Statutory Bereavement Award
- Types Of Fatal Accident You Could Claim For
- Calculating Compensation Claims For Fatal Accidents
- Why Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
Key pieces of legislation set out who can claim following a fatal accident. The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 along with the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 set out who can claim fatal injury compensation. Under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934, generally, only the estate of the deceased can claim for the pain and suffering that they experienced before they died.
You must be a qualifying relative in order to claim for the impact your loved one’s death had on you. Various factors could impact the award amount.
Additionally, you must be able to prove that your loved one was owed a duty of care. Their fatal injuries must have resulted in their fatal injuries in order to qualify to make a fatal accident claim.
Our accident claims team can answer your questions about making a claim for a fatal accident.
If third-party negligence resulting in death occurred and this can be proven, the estate of the deceased could claim for the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased. Additionally, the deceased’s dependents might be able to claim for the impact the death had on them.
Under the Fatal Accidents Act, certain dependents qualify to make a fatal accident claim. This Act defines dependents as:
- The deceased’s spouse or their former spouse.
- A person residing with the deceased as if married for two or more years prior to their death.
- The deceased’s parent, or a person treated as if they were a parent by the deceased; a step-parent, for example.
- A child of the deceased, or a person treated as if they were the deceased’s child, such as a step-child or a step-child from a previous marriage.
- The deceased’s siblings, nieces or nephews, aunts or uncles or their cousins.
We investigate third-party negligence further in this guide. If you are a qualifying dependent and would like to make a claim, contact our fatal accident team to get started.
Under Section 1A of the Fatal Accident Act, a bereavement award of £15,120 could be awarded. More than one qualifying person may claim the bereavement award. However, when this occurs, the amount will be split between the parties.
Only specific relatives can claim the bereavement award:
- The deceased’s husband, wife or civil partner.
- A person who lived with the deceased as if they were married for at least two years before they passed away.
- The deceased’s parents if the deceased was an unmarried minor. If the deceased’s parents were unmarried, then the mother could claim.
Get in touch with our advisors to start a claim for a fatal accident. If you have a valid case, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee lawyer from our panel.
As previously stated, there are various situations in which you could be owed a duty of care. In order to claim for a fatal accident you must be able to prove that your loved one was owed a duty of care and that a breach in this duty of care caused their fatal injuries. Below we’ve provided examples of where a duty of care is owed.
A Public Space
Under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957, the occupier of a space that is used by members of the public owes a duty of care. To help avoid an accident in a public place, the occupier should take reasonable steps to reduce risks to the public.
This could include undertaking a risk assessment. Any risks identified during the risk assessment could then be mitigated. However, if steps aren’t taken to reduce risks identified during the assessment, then the occupier could be found negligent.
Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) makes employers responsible for a duty of care towards their workers. What this means is that employers must take reasonable steps to reduce workplace risks.
On the Roads
The Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA) sets out the duty of care for drivers. Additionally, the Highway Code sets guidelines and rules for all road users, some of which may be backed up by legislation found elsewhere. If another road user caused a car accident, for example, you might be able to claim for a fatal car accident.
There are other situations caused by a third party’s negligence that could cause fatal injuries. Our advisors can discuss whether you could make a claim for a fatal accident in which your loved one was injured.
Fatal Accident Statistics
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) records 123 fatal workplace injuries during 2021/22. These were reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). 29 fatal injuries affected workers aged 60 or over, and 93 fatal injuries affected those aged 16-59. The age of one fatally injured worker in this time frame was unknown.
As part of a claim following a fatal accident, the award could consider the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to their passing. This first head of a fatal accident claim is called ‘general damages’.
The table below was created using the latest edition of Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals use the list of injuries alongside the compensation brackets it contains when assigning value to claims. As every claim is different, the table can only provide examples to be used as guidance.
|Add on claims||Up to £550,000||This could include payment for pain and suffering experienced by the deceased as well as losses impacting dependents.|
|Quadriplegia/Tetraplegia||£324,600 to £403,990||Factors such as the deceased's level of awareness, life expectancy and the pain they experienced will impact the award.|
|Paraplegia||£219,070 to £284,260||The award will include considerations towards the deceased's life expectancy, pain levels, age and the psychological impact.|
|Very severe brain injury||£282,010 to £403,990||Before they pass, the deceased will not have any meaningful responses to their environment.|
|Very severe psychological injury||£54,830 to £115,730||The injuries suffered by the deceased would have resulted in an inability to cope with life and relationships prior to their passing.|
Dependents of the deceased could also be awarded fatal accident compensation for:
- Financial dependency. This could include loss of earnings as well as loss of future earnings if dependent upon the deceased’s income.
- Loss of services. This ranges from childcare, DIY, transportation and any other services the deceased may have provided.
- Loss of a special person. This covers the loss of companionship and family impact.
- Funeral costs.
Speak to an advisor for an estimate of the amount that could be claimed. If you have a valid case, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
If you decide to claim on behalf of your loved one’s fatal accident, you could hire a No Win No Fee solicitor. They may offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a popular kind of No Win No Fee agreement.
You will not be asked to pay an upfront solicitors fee with this type of agreement. A successful claim will have a success fee taken from the award. The success fee is capped by law. If a claim isn’t successful, however, a success fee will not be taken.
Our fatal accident advisors can help you start a claim today. A valid claim could be passed onto our panel of solicitors.
To get in touch about starting a claim for a fatal accident:
Related Claims For A Fatal Accident
- Government Guide to Applying for Probate
- Road Safety Charity Think!
- NHS Grief, Loss and Bereavement Guide
Additional guides from UK Law:
Checked by NC