If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal accident, you may be looking for legal advice on whether or not you can claim compensation. If so, this guide will help.
Below, we discuss what a fatal accident is, how they can happen, what you could receive, and how our team here at Accident Claims can help you.
What Is A Fatal Accident?
A fatal accident is a tragic incident in which someone loses their life. It can happen in any manner of circumstances, such as an accident at work or a car crash.
In some cases, it’s possible to claim compensation on behalf of the deceased person. Compensation can be awarded for your loved one’s pain and suffering before they passed away, as well as the financial impact it may have on you, such as losing an income you depended upon.
How Could A Fatal Accident Happen?
Fatal accidents can happen in a number of different ways. Our specialist fatal accident solicitors have the experience to handle all types of cases, including:
- Deaths caused by dangerous driving and careless driving
- Related to the above, claims involving the deaths of cyclists or motorcyclists
- We can also help with fatal pedestrian and road accidents
- Accidents at work
- Murders, manslaughters and fatal attacks
- Wrongful deaths in care homes
- Deaths caused by medical negligence
This is not an exhaustive list but it covers the main types of cases we handle. Fatal accident claims can have myriad causes and we have vast experience in handling all types. You can find more examples of fatal accidents you can claim compensation for here.
Let us explain more about how the claims process works and how we can help you.
About The Claims Process
If you’d like to make a fatal accident claim for the loss of a loved one, you may want to know what’s involved. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:
- The first step is to speak with a fatal accident solicitor, such as ours. They’ll have the expertise and experience to advise you properly on your case as opposed to the likes of a general lawyer.
- You’ll then enter into a contract with your solicitor to represent you. In many cases this can be done on a No Win No Fee basis. This means you don’t have to pay any fees upfront or while the case progresses. If the claim fails, you don’t pay any of your lawyer’s legal costs. If you succeed, you’ll pay a small percentage of the compensation award to cover your solicitors’ fees.
- Once the claim gets underway, your solicitor will ask you to provide evidence to support the case. They’ll also obtain other pieces of evidence, like accident reports.
- Armed with all available evidence, your solicitor will then present the claim to the defendant. They’ll then conduct their own investigations.
- At this stage, your lawyer will try to secure a fair and reasonable settlement.
In the rarest of cases a claim may go to court, but working with experienced and skill fatal accident solicitors such as ourselves can minimise this chance.
Can I Claim Compensation For A Fatal Accident On Behalf Of A Loved One?
In order to claim compensation for a wrongful death, it’s necessary to meet the requirements under two pieces of legislation.
The Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934 grants permission for the estate of the deceased to bring the claim.
If no claim is made by the estate, relatives of the deceased may make a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.
Generally speaking, it’s possible for the spouse or civil partner of the deceased to make a claim. Cohabiting partners who have lived together for at least 2 years can also make a claim, as can the parents of a child.
You can learn more about the eligibility criteria for making a fatal accident claim here.
About The Bereavement Award
It’s also possible to receive a Statutory Bereavement Award. This is a lump sum awarded to either the wife or husband, partner or parents of the deceased.
The value of the award currently stands at £15,120, though it can be subject to change.
You can learn more about the Bereavement Award in our dedicated guide here.
If you’d like any more help making a fatal accident compensation claim, please get in touch on the number at the top of this page.
You can also speak with us about a compensation claim via our live chat service, or write to us here.