By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 17th November 2023. If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal accident, claiming compensation could be the last thing on your mind. However, if the cause was a wrongful death, it’s possible to get financial help with the likes of the funeral and any loss of income that you depended upon.
In this guide, we take a comprehensive look at claiming fatal accident compensation. We look at how our No Win No Fee solicitors can help you, and how a death compensation calculation payout is determined.
To enquire for free about making a wrongful death claim, get in touch. Our helpline is open 24 hours a day and you can reach us by:
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Choose A Section
- Fatal Accidents Compensation – When Can I Claim?
- Who Is Eligible To Claim For Wrongful Death?
- How Do I Go About Making A Wrongful Death Claim?
- How Much Compensation For Death?
- Making A No Win No Fee Fatal Accident Claim
Under the Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934, the estate of the deceased can bring forward a claim for the deceased’s pain and suffering on their behalf. Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA) allows certain qualifying relatives to claim for the impact the death has had on them.
When making a claim for wrongful death on behalf of a loved one you must be able to prove that a relevant third party breached a duty of care they owed to your loved one, and that this caused their fatal injuries. A duty of care can be owed by:
- Employers – Employers owe their employees a duty of care to prevent them from suffering harm while working. This is as per the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA).
- Occupiers – Per the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, the controller of a public space has a duty of care to visitors using it for its intended purpose, and must ensure their reasonable safety.
- Road users – Road users also have a duty of care towards other road users. They must use the roads in a manner that does not cause harm or damage to themselves or others. Following the Road Traffic Act 1988 and referring to the Highway Code can help them uphold their duty of care
If a relevant third party breached a duty of care they owed your loved one, and it resulted in their death, you could be eligible to claim compensation. To learn more or check your eligibility to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one, please contact an advisor.
Before we take you through how much compensation for death caused by negligence a claimant could receive, let us explain who could be eligible to make a claim for a fatal accident on behalf of a loved one.
Firstly, the Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934 allows the estate of the deceased to bring forward a claim on their behalf for the pain and suffering the deceased has experienced.
The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows dependents to make a claim for the impact the death has had on them. This can include:
- The current or former wife, husband or civil partner
- Someone who lived with the deceased as a spouse for two years before their death
- Parents or other ascendants of the deceased
- Children or other descendant of the deceased
- Brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the deceased or any of their children.
Certain dependents can be classed as a qualifying relative, including:
- The husband, wife or civil partner of the person who is deceased.
- Someone who cohabited with the deceased as spouses for 2 years before they died
- The parents of the deceased if they were an unmarried minor or the mother if they were an unmarried minor born out of wedlock.
They could receive a bereavement award. This is a lump sum of £15,120.
To learn more about fatal accident claims, get in touch on the number above.
How Long Do I Have To Claim Fatal Accident Compensation?
The time limits for fatal accident compensation claims, are outlined in the Limitation Act 1980. The act specifies that a claim would generally need to be made from the date of the incident or the date that negligence was connected with harm.
However, there may be exceptions. To learn more about the time limits for starting a fatal accident claim on behalf of a loved one, get in touch on the number above.
Fatal accident compensation can be awarded to cover the pain and suffering the deceased endured before they passed.
Below, we have put together a table with the figures from the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication offers guideline compensation brackets for a range of injuries at different severities. Those calculating general damages could refer to this guidance to get an estimate of how much might be appropriate.
Injury Compensation Bracket Notes
Death plus additional claims £550,000 This includes additional claims such as loss of earnings, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering of the deceased.
Quadriplegia £324,600 to £403,990
Effects on the senses, the presence of pain, and whether or not the person was aware of their disability is included in this bracket.
Very Severe Brain Damage (a) £282,010 to £403,990 There is a need for professional care in this bracket, with little to no language function or response to environment surroundings.
Paraplegia £219,070 to £284,260
Depression and the extent of the dependence on others is considered here.
Severe Psychiatric Damage (a) £54,830 to £115,730 The prognosis is very poor and there are severe issues in coping with daily life.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (a) £59,860 to £100,670 There is no ability to function at the pre-trauma level and little chance of recovery.
Death with Full Awareness £12,540 to £23,810 Death occurs within weeks, despite a period of full consciousness which then falls to a fluctuating level.
A wrongful death claim could also result in compensation covering:
- Funeral expenses
- Damages for financial dependency – If the deceased person’s loss of income had an impact on the family’s finances, this can be calculated to compensate for past and future losses.
- Loss of service – If a person’s wrongful death meant the family would now require outside help that came at a cost, such as childcare.
- Loss of companionship or loss of consortium – This could compensate for the impact on the familial relationships that cannot be financially quantified.
It may also be possible for certain qualifying relatives to claim a bereavement award under Section 1A of the FAA. This fixed amount, which is fixed at £15,120, can be split between the deceased person’s wife or husband, civil partner or cohabiting partner, and if the deceased person was a minor who never married, the parents may be able to claim for bereavement.
If you would like to learn more about the compensation payout that may be appropriate for a fatal accident claim, please contact an advisor.
If you are eligible to seek fatal accident compensation on behalf of the deceased, you may like to instruct a solicitor to work on the claim. One of our solicitors could support the fatal injuries claim. Our solicitors typically offer their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement.
If your solicitor provides their services under this type of agreement, they won’t usually charge any fees upfront for their work on the fatal injury case. They also won’t ask you to pay ongoing service fees. Furthermore, you won’t be charged for their services if you are not awarded compensation following an unsuccessful claim.
However, should the wrongful death claim filed on behalf of the deceased prove successful, your solicitor will take a success fee from the compensation. The amount they can take as this fee is a percentage that is limited by the law.
In the next section, we look at who qualifies to make a claim on behalf of the deceased. If you need any help while reading this guide, please get in touch with one of our advisors.
If you are ready to begin a fatal accident compensation claim today, why not get in touch?
Thank you for reading our guide on wrongful death, fatal accident and accidental death compensation claims. If you want to claim fatal accident compensation, please get in touch. If you’d like further insight into making a death compensation calculation for UK claims, we could help with this too.