What Can I Do If A Loved One Dies Because Of A Fatal Accident Caused By Negligence?
Has a loved one died in a fatal accident caused by negligence? Are you wondering how to claim for a fatal accident? This guide will look at what you could do if you want to make a fatal accident claim.
Furthermore, we will explore how to make a valid fatal accident claim and the time limitations for starting a claim. Additionally, we will discuss who can make a claim and the potential compensation that could be awarded.
We understand that you may wish to speak to someone about your specific claim. If so, you can contact a member of our team. Our friendly advisors are available to help answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Furthermore, they can offer you some free legal advice regarding your claim.
To speak with our advisors today:
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- How Could A Fatal Accident Be Caused By Negligence?
- What Is The Limitation Period For Fatal Accident Claims?
- How Do Fatal Accident Claims Work?
- Check If You Are Eligible To Claim For A Fatal Accident?
- Calculating Compensation For A Fatal Accident Caused By Negligence
- Make A No Win No Fee Claim For A Fatal Accident Caused By Negligence
If a loved one has died in a fatal accident caused by negligence, you may be able to pursue a fatal accident claim. However, for the claim to be successful, you need to prove that the deceased was owed a duty of care and that this duty of care was breached. But what duty of care is a person owed in various circumstances?
Per the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) all employers owe their employees a duty of care. They must ensure they are doing all they reasonably can to keep the workplace safe. They could do this by performing regular maintenance checks on all equipment. If they were to breach this duty, it could cause a fatal accident at work.
On the Road
All road users must ensure that they are using the roads safely by following the specific rules set out for them in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code (some of the rules in this Code are guidance and some are elsewhere found in legislation). If a road user behaved recklessly whilst on the road, this could result in a fatal road traffic accident.
The Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 states that anyone in control of a public place must take steps to ensure that the space is reasonably safe for the public. They can do this by performing regular risk assessments, for example. If the party in control of the space were to breach this duty, it could result in a fatal accident.
If a loved one has died in a fatal accident due to someone breaching their duty of care, you might be able to make a fatal accident claim. Call our advisors today for more information.
How Common Are Fatal Accidents?
In 2021/22, the Health and Safety Executive reported that 123 people died in a fatal accident at work (according to reports made under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). The report states that most of these fatalities happened within the construction industry.
Furthermore, there were an estimated 1,558 reported road fatalities in Great Britain in 2021, according to the Department for Transport.
Certain time limits must be adhered to when pursuing a claim for a fatal accident caused by negligence. These limitations are:
- 3 years from the date of death.
- 3 years from the date of knowledge. This can be formed on the date of a postmortem or on the date of an inquest.
Additionally, you can contact our advisors today for further information on the time limits that apply to making a fatal accident claim. If there are any exceptions that apply to your case, then a member of our team can confirm this.
When making a claim for a fatal accident caused by negligence, for the first 6 months after the deceased’s death, only the deceased’s estate can make a claim. The estate of the deceased can make a claim for the pain and suffering of the deceased, as stated in the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934. Additionally, they can also bring forward a claim on behalf of the deceased’s dependents.
The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA) defines the following people as dependents:
- A current or former husband, wife or civil partner.
- A parent of the deceased (or someone treated like one).
- Someone who lived with the deceased as a spouse for 2 years prior to their death.
- A child of the deceased (or someone treated like one, such as stepchildren).
- The sibling, aunt or uncle of the deceased.
If the deceased’s estate has not started a claim within 6 months after the deceased’s death, per the FAA, the dependents can then bring forward their own claim for how the death has impacted them. However, they cannot make a claim for the pain and suffering of the deceased in their capacity as dependants.
Call our advisors today if you are wondering when you could claim for a fatal accident.
To make a successful claim for a fatal accident caused by negligence, you must prove the following:
- The deceased was owed a duty of care.
- This duty of care was breached.
- As a result, the deceased died in a fatal accident.
Additionally, you must ensure that the claim is made within the time limits that we have stated previously in this guide. For an assessment of the validity of your claim, speak with a member of our team today.
As we have previously stated, the deceased’s estate can make a claim for the pain and suffering of the deceased. We created the following table using the compensation figures listed within the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is to help you understand how much could be claimed for the deceased’s pain and suffering.
The reason we have used the figures listed in the JCG is that many legal experts will use this document to help them value a claim. Please use this table as a guideline only.
|Fatality plus add-on claims.||Can include compensation for the suffering and pain of the deceased and any losses affecting the dependents.||Up to £550,000 and over.|
|Brain Damage||(a) Very Severe - Severe brain damage will cause little significant response to their surroundings. However, they may be able to follow simple commands.||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Paralysis||(a) Quadriplegia/Tetraplegia - Higher end of the bracket is applicable if the person experiences significant physical pain and the senses/communication have been affected.||£324,600 to £403,990|
|Paralysis||(b) Paraplegia - Several factors, including the presence of pain, depression and age, will determine how much compensation is awarded.||£219,070 to £284,260|
|Psychiatric Damage Generally||(a) Severe - The person will struggle immensely to maintain personal relationships and deal with daily life factors.||£54,830 to £115,730|
Some additional damages that could be included in fatal accident compensation include:
- Funeral costs.
- Loss of services – e.g. if the deceased helped you with DIY around the house, this service is now lost.
- Financial dependency – loss of any past and future earnings of the deceased that leave the deceased’s family worse off financially than when they had the deceased’s income.
- Bereavement award – This is a set amount of £15,120, as set out in Section 1A of the FAA. It compensates a spouse or parent of an unmarried minor for the grief caused by the deceased’s death.
An experienced solicitor from our panel may be able to take on your claim with a No Win No Fee Agreement in place. There are many benefits to claiming with a No Win No Fee agreement, such as usually not paying your solicitor anything to start your claim or whilst the claim is ongoing.
There are also many different types of No WIn No Fee agreements, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), so your particular agreement may be referred to by a different name.
With a CFA, if the claim is unsuccessful, you will generally not have to pay the solicitor anything for their services. However, if the claim is a success, a legally capped success fee will be taken from your compensation by your lawyer.
If you still have any questions about making a claim following the death of a loved one due to a fatal accident caused by negligence, you can contact us today. Our team of advisors are available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice and answer any questions you may have about starting a claim.
To speak with our advisors today:
Fatal Accident Claims
More articles by us:
- What are your rights after an allergic reaction at a restaurant?
- 5 changes to the Highway Code you need to know.
- How to report a doctor for medical negligence – UK guide.
Further resources can be found:
Furthermore, you can call us today to see whether a claim can be made following a fatal accident caused by negligence.
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