What Damages Could Be Claimed Following A Fatal Accident?
Are you wondering how much you could claim in damages for a fatal accident? Do you wish to pursue a fatal accident claim following the death of a loved one? If so, this guide could help.
We aim to provide you with information that you will find helpful when making a fatal accident claim. Additionally, we will look at who can make a claim and the potential compensation you could receive.
However, we understand that you may wish to speak to someone regarding your specific claim. If so, you can contact our friendly team of advisors today. They are available 24/7 to answer any question concerning your claim and offer you some free legal advice.
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Select A Section
- What Damages Could Be Claimed For Following A Fatal Accident?
- When Could You Claim Damages For A Fatal Accident?
- What Damages Could You Claim For Deaths Due To A Violent Crime?
- Calculating Damages For A Fatal Accident Claim
- What Are Statutory Bereavement Awards?
- No Win No Fee Claims For Damages After A Fatal Accident
You could make a claim for various kinds of damages for a fatal accident. However, only certain parties can make a claim for certain costs (we will explore this in more detail later in this guide).
Some of the things that could be claimed for include:
- The pain and suffering of the deceased before they passed.
- Funeral costs.
- Loss of services – e.g. the value of childcare and DIY around the house.
- Dependency – past and future losses of the deceased’s income could be included in a claim.
- Bereavement award – we will discuss what this is in more detail towards the end of this guide.
Call our advisors today to find out what you could receive in a successful fatal accident claim.
Fatal Accident Statistics
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that in 2021/22, there were 123 fatal accidents in the workplace (as reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). The majority of these fatal accidents happened in construction (30 occurrences), with the least in waste and recycling (1 occurrence).
Additionally, the Department for Transport reported that there was an estimated 1,558 reported road deaths in Great Britain in 2021. Additionally, they stated that in 2021, most fatalities were car accident occupants at 44%. Pedestrians made up 23%, motorcyclists made up 20%, and pedal cyclists made up 7%.
There are two main groups who can claim damages for a fatal accident. These are:
- The deceased’s estate.
- Dependents of the deceased.
But who classifies as the deceased’s estate or dependents, and what can they claim for?
Claiming On Behalf Of The Deceased’s Estate
Per the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 (LRMPA), the deceased’s estate can make a claim for the pain and suffering the deceased endured before they died. The deceased’s estate could be a solicitor or an executor of their will.
Additionally, for the first 6 months after the person has died, only the deceased estate can make a claim for their pain and suffering; and they can also claim on behalf of the dependents.
Claims By Dependents
The deceased’s dependents can make a claim for the impact the death has had on them and their lives, as stated in the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA). Only certain qualifying relatives can be classified as dependent. These include:
- A spouse (current or former).
- A parent or anyone who was treated as a parent.
- A child or anyone treated as their child, including step-children.
- A sibling.
However, as we stated above, a dependent can only make a claim themselves if the deceased’s estate hasn’t started a claim within 6 months after the deceased’s passing. After this time period, the dependents can pursue their own claim for the impact the death had on them. They cannot claim for the deceased’s pain and suffering; only the estate of the deceased can do this.
When pursuing a claim for a fatal accident following a violent crime, you could make your claim directly against the perpetrator (however, you will need to know who they are and that they have the assets available to pay you compensation.) Alternatively, you could make your claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
When claiming through the CICA, the Tariff of Injuries set out in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 state that you can receive the following for a fatal criminal injury:
- £11,000 for one qualifying relative.
- £5,500 for multiple qualifying relatives.
There are other payments that could be awarded through the CICA for a fatal injury. For more information on what you could receive in damages for a fatal accident following a violent crime, speak with an advisor today.
As we have previously stated, only the deceased’s estate can make a claim for the pain and suffering of the deceased. To help you understand how much compensation could be awarded for the pain and suffering of the deceased before they passed, we have created the following table.
We have used the compensation brackets set out in the most recent edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) published in April 2022. We have used the figures in the JCG because many solicitors will use this document to assist them in valuing claims. Please only use this table as a guide for fatal accident compensation claims as the amount that is actually awarded could differ.
|Death with add-on claims.||Awards may include compensation for the deceased person’s pain and suffering, as well as any losses affecting the dependents, such as lost income.||Up to £550,000 and over.|
|Injury Resulting from Brain Damage||(a) Very Severe - They may be able to follow basic commands; however, there will be little response to their environment. Factors such as life expectancy and physical limitations will affect how much is awarded.||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Injuries Involving Paralysis||(a) Quadriplegia - Higher end of the bracket is applicable if the person experienced physical pain and there was a serious impact on their senses and communication ability.||£324,600 to £403,990|
|Injuries Involving Paralysis||(b) Paraplegia - Various factors will determine how much is awarded, including the extent of pain, depression and life expectancy.||£219,070 to £284,260|
|Psychiatric Damage Generally||(a) Severe - Initial prognosis will be extremely poor, and the person’s daily life and personal relationships will be negatively affected.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(a) Severe - All aspects of the person’s daily life, including work, will be negatively affected permanently.||£59,860 to £100,670|
|Injuries Resulting in Death||(a) Full Awareness - The person will have been fully aware as they suffered severe lung damage and burns. For 4-5 weeks, they will be in and out of consciousness before passing within 3 months.||£12,540 to £23,810|
Call our advisors today for more information about making a fatal accident claim.
Certain qualifying relatives can also be given a bereavement award. This is a lump sum of £15,120, as set out in Section 1A of the FAA. It can be awarded to:
- A wife/husband/civil partner.
- Someone who lived with the deceased for 2 years before they passed as a husband/wife.
- The parents of an unmarried minor.
If more than one person claims the bereavement award, this amount is split between them.
Call us today to find out how much you could claim in damages for a fatal accident.
If you are looking to claim damages for a fatal accident, a solicitor from our panel may be able to legally represent you with a No Win No Fee agreement in place. There are many different types of No Win No Fee agreements, one being a Conditional Fee Agreement, and they have many benefits.
These benefits include not usually having to pay anything upfront to your solicitor to start your claim. Additionally, you will generally not pay them for their services if the claim fails. But if the claim wins, you will pay them a success fee out of your compensation (the percentage that can be taken is legally capped).
If you still have any questions about pursuing a fatal accident claim. They are available 24/7 to help you and offer free legal advice.
To contact an advisor today:
Fatal Accident Claims
For more articles by us:
Additional information is available at:
- UK GOV. – Applying for probate.
- NHS – Brain death.
- Help Guide – Bereavement: Grieving the loss of a loved one.
Call us today to find out how much you could receive in damages for a fatal accident.
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