Accidental Death Compensation: Making a Claim
Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth
The death of a loved one, such as a family member, as a result of a fatal accident, can leave a massive impact on the person’s family and friends’ lives. Not only will they have to endure the emotional grievance after the accident, but they will also be burdened with various financial pay-outs, such as funeral costs, legal fees as well as investigations to look into the death.
The loss of a loved one can have a huge impact on your life, especially if you were dependent on that person’s income to live on, or if they cared for you or someone that you know.
Due to the fact that fatal accidents are incredibly traumatic and abrupt, it can be a very challenging ordeal for people to go through. At Beacon Law, we are determined to help you clarify who was at fault for the death of your loved one as well as helping you obtain the compensation you deserve to get through this difficult time.
If you would like to speak to someone about making a claim for accidental death compensation following the loss of a loved one, contact us today to speak to a specialist solicitor.
Accidental Death Compensation: What is a fatal accident?
Fatal accidents are severe accidents that, unfortunately, result in death of their victims. These accidents can occur in many different situations and can happen anywhere. The majority of fatal accidents are due to unforeseen or unexpected events which can be the result of another person’s negligence.
If the deceased person’s death was caused by someone else, then the deceased’s estate and dependents could be eligible to make a fatal accident claim for compensation.
Common Accidents That May Lead to Accidental Death
Fatal accidents are unfortunately more common than people realise. Many types of accidents can lead to severe injuries and, in some cases, even death. At Beacon Law, we have dealt with numerous accidental death compensation claims. The most common accidents that we deal with include:
· Road traffic accidents – Accidents that occur on the road, including car accidents, cyclist accidents and pedestrian accidents, can all lead to fatal injuries. Due to the amount of force involved in these accidents, it can be common for life-threatening injuries to be suffered.
· Medical accidents – These accidents can happen as a result of medical negligence, such as unnecessary surgical procedures or improper aftercare. Medical accidents can have a major impact on people’s health and can cause severe complications or illnesses that can lead to fatality.
· Accidents at work – Your employer has a duty of care to ensure that your workplace is as safe as it possibly can be. Your employer must put the correct safety procedures in place and ensure that all staff are properly trained. Therefore, if the employer fails to do this, they could be eligible for any fatal accidents that happen in that workplace. These accidents typically happen in manual workplaces such as construction however, they can happen anywhere.
· Slips, trips and falls in public places – People trip and fall in public places every day, and while most times they do not cause any major damage, sometimes they can be more severe and even fatal. These accidents can be caused as a result of neglect or a lack of safety procedures from the local council or those who own the space.
· Sports accidents – Fatal accidents can also occur in unlikely places, even in places such as sporting events. An example of this would be in physical activities which involve tackles which have the possibility to cause life-threatening injuries if they are performed incorrectly.
These are just a few of the types of fatal accidents that can happen. If someone you know has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Contact our personal injury solicitors for more guidance on your eligibility.
Accidental Death Compensation: What Happens After a Fatal Accident
After a death, an enquiry may be heard before a coroner to investigate the details of the death following the accident. When this is done, the coroner will provide a conclusion about the cause of death. Finding out the reason for the death will aid you to pursue a claim for compensation, especially if it has been concluded that a third party may be responsible for the death.
The Fatal Accident Act 1976 : Who Can Make a Claim?
The Fatal Accident Act 1976 states that the dependents of the deceased are entitled to file an injury compensation claim if the accident of the deceased was caused as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Under the Act, a dependent means:
“(a)the wife or husband or former wife or husband of the deceased;
(aa)the civil partner or former civil partner of the deceased;
(b)any person who—
(i)was living with the deceased in the same household immediately before the date of the death; and
(ii)had been living with the deceased in the same household for at least two years before that date; and
(iii)was living during the whole of that period as the husband or wife or civil partner of the deceased;
(c) any parent or other ascendant of the deceased;
(d)any person who was treated by the deceased as his parent;
(e)any child or other descendant of the deceased;
(f)any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any marriage to which the deceased was at any time a party, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that marriage;
(fa)any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any civil partnership in which the deceased was at any time a civil partner, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that civil partnership;]
(g)any person who is, or is the issue of, a brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the deceased.”
Accidental Death Compensation: What Can Be Claimed
Fatal accident claims are similar to most other personal injury claims, as the amount of compensation you will receive will be based on the pain and suffering endured. There are different types of compensation that can be sought under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, including:
· Pain, suffering and loss of amenity of the deceased – If the fatal accident was preceded by a disease, for example, one caused by medical negligence, this claim will be for compensation for the pain caused to the deceased over their lifetime as a result of the disease.
· Loss for dependency – A person dying can leave behind those who were dependent on their income to live on. The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the deceased’s income as well as their pension and any other bonuses they may have received.
· Actual losses – This compensation covers the financial losses that you may have incurred whilst taking care of the person before they passed away. It covers a variety of costs such as hospital treatment, medical costs, nursing care and more.
· Loss of services – This is another form of compensation you may be able to claim for the loss of the services that the deceased provided. This can include things such as childcare, gardening and DIY jobs. If the deceased was caring for someone else, the cost of hiring a carer may be considered.
· Loss of earnings – If the death was not immediate, loss of earnings during the time that the deceased was alive but was unable to work could also be considered.
Interim payments may also be obtained if you require them, these payments of compensation are awarded early to help alleviate some of the financial pressure that comes with making a claim, such as funeral expenses.
In addition to the above, you may also be eligible for a statutory bereavement award which is around £15,000. This award is separate from the amount you could claim as dependent compensation.
If your claim is successful, the statutory bereavement award is due payable by the negligent party even if there is no loss of income or benefits for the dependents. This award is only available to the parents of a deceased child or to a spouse of the deceased.
Accidental Death Compensation: Time Limits for Making a Claim
The general rule is that you have three years following the passing of a loved one to pursue an accidental death compensation claim or settled the claim. The three-year deadline commences from the date that the fatal accident occurred or from the date on which you realized that the accident was associated with the fatal injuries.
If the accident occurred abroad, the time limit may differ from the three-year limit as it will be based on that countries law.
No win, no fee claims
At Beacon Law, we offer our services on a no win no fee basis. No win no fee means that you will not be required to pay our fees if your claim is unsuccessful. Our fees will be deducted from your compensation at the conclusion of your case if you successfully make a fatal accident compensation claim.
The only requirement for this agreement is that you cooperate with us throughout the process and that you are honest with us at every stage.
If you would like to pursue a claim, please get in contact with our team at Beacon Law and we will provide more guidance on the claims process and help you get started.
Why choose Beacon Law?
Beacon Law is a leading personal injury law firm that offers a range of personal injury claim services to our clients, including claims for accidental death compensation. Our fatal accident solicitors provide a high level of service to all our clients and work hard to ensure they receive the appropriate treatment, especially after coping with the loss of a loved one and achieving the highest level of compensation for their suffering.
We know that losing a loved one can be a very hard time in your life; therefore, we are dedicated to getting you the compensation that you deserve to help you through some of these hardships.
We work closely with all clients, following their instructions whilst providing specialist legal advice on each case. We aim to support all our clients throughout their claims processes and to give the best-case management possible throughout all legal proceedings.
If you require advice on a potential case or assistance, please contact us on 0330 1332 857. Alternatively, please complete our online form, and a Personal Injury expert will contact you to help you start your claims process.
Beacon Law are a Solicitors registered in England and Wales, with our registered office based in Manchester. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.