Fatal Accident Claims Personal Injury
Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth
Fatal Accident Claims Personal Injury
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of a fatal accident, Beacon Law are here to help you make a fatal accident compensation claim. We understand that losing a loved one in an accident is a deeply shocking and traumatising experience.
Whilst, of course, no compensation amounts will be enough to make up for your loss or to ease the pain and suffering caused, fatal accident compensation may help to ease some of the financial pressure that you may be under. This is an extra pressure that you shouldn’t have to deal with at such a difficult time.
We appreciate how difficult it can be to talk about fatal accident claims, but we have a dedicated team of specialist personal injury solicitors who will be available to you when you are ready to discuss your experience and find out how we can help you to get started with the claims process.
Why make fatal injury claims?
If a loved one has died as a result of the negligent actions of another person, the deceased’s estate may be entitled to make a fatal accident compensation claim.
Fatal accident claims not only provide compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the loss of a loved one, but they can also compensate for any financial losses caused by the loss of the financial support the deceased family member may have made to the family.
Even if you did not have financial dependency on the person, the death of a family member can still cause a considerable financial strain as a result of the cost of funeral expenses, legal fees, as well as many other unexpected costs. You may have also had the worry of losing your home if the property was owned by your family member and was not left in their will.
Am I eligible to make a fatal accident compensation claim?
If a loved one or family member passed away as a result of an accident that was not their fault or as a result of medical negligence, you may be eligible to make a fatal injury claim, compensating for the pain and suffering caused by your loss and any financial losses that have been suffered as a result.
In order to bring a successful claim for compensation following a fatal accident, you must be able to prove that the person who caused the accident was negligent. For example, this might involve proving that another car driver was negligent in the case of a fatal road traffic accident or proving that an employer was negligent in the case of fatal accidents at work.
There are two main types of claims that those left behind can bring:
- A claim brought on behalf of the deceased’s estate
- A claim brought by family members who had financial dependency on the deceased (a dependency claim). Close family members may also claim compensation for their bereavement and the pain and suffering that they have had to endure.
With claims brought on behalf of the deceased’s estate, the deceased ‘estate’ is the property and assets that they left behind. If at the time of their death, the deceased had a claim for compensation, then that right to claim becomes part of their estate. Anyone who is entitled to bring a claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate can therefore claim for the compensation that the deceased would have been awarded had they been alive.
Those who had financial dependency on the deceased can claim compensation for the financial support that they would have received from the person who has died. This may have been in the form of their earnings, pension, or other financial income.
A dependant can be:
- Someone who was a spouse or civil partner of the deceased for at least two years before the deceased’s death.
- Parents, grandparents, and guardians of the deceased.
- A spouse or ex-spouse.
- Blood-related children, adopted children, stepchildren.
- Brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces.
- Someone who was living with the deceased
In addition to claiming for the loss of financial support, a claim may also be brought to compensate for the loss of the deceased’s services. Such services could include help around the house, childcare, and gardening.
A statutory bereavement award may also be given to the claimant to compensate for the pain and suffering that has been caused by the loss of a loved one. It must be noted, however, that this claim can only be brought by the spouse or civil partner of the deceased or the parents of a deceased child who was under the age of 18.
What are the time limits for fatal injury claims?
There are strict time limits for fatal injury claims, which is similar to most personal injury claims. You have three years from the date of death of the family member to begin your fatal accident compensation claim. After this three year period has passed, any fatal accident claims will become time barred. As a result of such strict time limits, we advise that you contact us as soon as you feel ready to do so and begin collecting the relevant evidence that you may need to support your fatal accident compensation claim.
What are the different types of fatal accident claims?
Some examples of when a fatal accident compensation claim could be made include:
- Fatal Road Traffic Accidents – where a loved one was killed in a road traffic accident, which was caused by the negligence of another driver.
- Medical Negligence – where a loved one has died as a result of receiving negligent medical treatment or medical misdiagnosis.
- Accidents at Work – where a loved one has died as a result of their employer’s negligence and failure to ensure the safety of employees whilst in the workplace.
- Criminal Injury Claims – where a loved one was killed by a criminal during a violent crime, a claim for compensation could be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
What happens in an inquest?
When someone dies, and it is not from natural causes, the death is reported to the coroner and an inquest is arranged. The coroner’s inquest does not seek to apportion blame nor award any compensation for fatal accident claims, but it is instead a fact finding hearing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death. Whilst no compensation will be awarded at this stage for the fatal accident, the findings of the inquest will act as invaluable evidence to support a compensation claim made by a family member of the loved one.
Finding out the reason for the loved one’s death will help with the fatal accident claim, especially if it is concluded that the death was caused by the negligent acts of a third party. Whilst family members are entitled to attend the inquest and ask questions of any witnesses; most find it helpful to have legal representation at the inquest, as the process can be very upsetting. Our personal injury solicitors would be honoured to represent you and support you through the claims process.
How Beacon Law can assist you
The death of a loved one as a result of an accident can come as a huge shock, and you may have many questions about why the accident happened and who was to blame. Our law firm can help to alleviate these concerns by investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal accident to find out whether you are entitled to make a fatal accident compensation claim. Losing someone you love in a fatal accident can be devastating both emotionally and financially.
Our personal injury solicitors will be there to support you through every stage of the claims process. Pursuing a fatal accident compensation claim can be a complex and time consuming process during what is already an extremely difficult time. We understand this and will use our experience and dedication to make the claims process as straightforward as possible for you and your family.
If you are looking for more information on fatal accident claims, personal injury claims or a case, please get in touch using our details down below.