Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For A Death Fatal Accident? Family Member or Spouse

By Joanne Jeffries. Updated 19th October 2021. Welcome to our car accident death compensation guide. Here we will discuss how to claim fatal accident compensation for death of a family member or spouse. The loss of a spouse, partner, member of your family, or another loss of a loved one in an unexpected way is always shocking and traumatic to deal with. Especially if it is a car accident caused by a family member. If their death was due to a fatal accident caused by someone else, such as accidents at work or car accidents or can be attributed to being a ‘wrongful death’ the pain and suffering you experience could be all the more difficult to deal with. Whilst compensation for a fatal accident is not designed to ease your grief, it can help to relieve any financial burdens which you may be facing.

car accident death compensation car accident caused by a family member

car accident death compensation

In our car accident caused by a family member claims guide below, we will look at the different people who may be able to bring a compensation claim after someone’s wrongful death or a death in a fatal accident. Read on to find out whether you are eligible to claim compensation after a car accident caused by a family member.

When you are ready to make a claim, call our dedicated team on 0800 073 8801.

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A guide to compensation claims for fatal accidents

There are three different groups of people who can pursue claims for wrongful death or claims for a car accident caused by a family member. These are the deceased dependents, certain members of the deceased’s family and finally the estate of the deceased. Cases which are pursued by a dependent or another family member of the deceased may be clearer and easier to pursue, whilst car accident death compensation claims made by the estate as a legal entity may be more complex.

On top of the emotional distress, in cases where the immediate family and/ or dependents of the deceased need to claim compensation for a car accident caused by a family member, the potential claimant may already be facing financial hardships and large expenses brought about by the death of their loved one. This can be more pronounced if the deceased was the main income provider for the household. Our aim is to help people in car accident death compensation claims without leaving them out of pocket. As well as compensating people for their loss and trauma, we also take expenses such as funeral costs and other ad-hoc expenses which can arise after death into account when pursuing a claim.

Many of the people we help often begin by asking the question of how much death compensation and expenses or costs they could be entitled to claim for. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to estimate this without appraising the circumstances of death and estimating its impacts. Each claim we conduct is unique and both the claimants and circumstances are individual to that claim.

Fatal accident statistics

Fatal accident statistics for the UK covering the population as a whole, and in all cases are not available. However, agencies such as the Health and Safety Authority and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident do record figures for certain types of fatal accident, such as accidents in the workplace. The headline numbers for fatal accidents in the workplace are as follows.

Let’s take a look at recent road traffic accident statistics provided by the Department for Transport. In the Reported Road casualties in Great Britain: 2019 annual report, it outlined that there were 1,752 deaths due to a road traffic accident. In addition to this, there were 25,945 serious injuries and 153,158 injuries of all severities.

What is the definition of a fatal accident?

A fatal accident is one in which a third party caused the death in some way. The main criteria are that the deceased was not at fault. In some cases, the third party will not be fully liable for the accident and resulting death. Examples of this could be accidents in the workplace, deaths caused by a road traffic accident or criminal activities which lead to a person dying. In such cases, you may still be able to claim fatal accident compensation for death in a car accident or other types of compensation.

If you lose a loved one, in an accident that was not your fault, car accident death compensation could include damages for bereavement, loss of the deceased’s financial contribution to the household and funeral costs too. It could also provide a token amount for the suffering and pain of your loved one.

The differences between fatal accidents and wrongful death

Wrongful death is a fatal incident that has occurred due to a third party acting in a negligent way. They are also defined as accidents in which the deceased was in no way at fault. They are subtly different from a fatal car accident caused by a family member. The biggest difference between the two is that in the case of a wrongful death it can clearly be shown who was at fault and thus responsible for the death and why they were so. This is not always the case in deaths through a fatal accident. Clear examples of wrongful deaths could be deaths caused by medical negligence or operating unsafe machinery in the workplace. Any of these could result in the victim’s family receiving death compensation.

The Fatal Accident Act 1976

The Fatal Accident Act 1976 states that the dependents of someone who died in such an accident are eligible to claim compensation for this if it can be shown that the accident was caused by the negligence of a third party. For the purposes of a compensation claim, a dependent is defined as;

  • The dependents spouse, or ex-spouse.
  • Someone who has been cohabiting with the deceased as a spouse for a minimum of two years prior to the fatal accident.
  • Direct descendants such as a biological child or children who have been adopted or those who have become family through marriage or civil partnership.
  • Parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents or those whom the deceased has treated as a parent.
  • Siblings, aunts & uncles, as well as nephews and nieces.

What is the statutory bereavement award?

As well as the other types of fatal accident compensation that you may be eligible to claim for, you may also qualify to claim the statutory bereavement award. At the time of writing, this particular compensation for death amount was £12,980. This payment separate from any other accident or bereavement compensation you could be entitled to and is also not part of anything, you can claim for in compensation as a dependent. In successful cases, the fatal accident bereavement award will be paid by the party found to be negligent, even if the claimant has not suffered any loss of benefits or income. This payment can only be claimed by the deceased’s spouse, or in the event of the death of a child, their parents.

In what circumstances can compensation for a fatal accident be sought?

There are numerous different circumstances that can lead to some suffering a fatal accident or a wrongful death. We have created a list below of just some of these. Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive, but that these are the most common ways in which they can happen.

Circumstances in which you can claim compensation for death in a car accident

You can claim for the wrongful death of a loved one who died in motorcycling and bicycle accidents as well as accidents which result in the death of a pedestrian. You can also claim compensation for the death of a driver or passenger in a vehicle, such as claiming death compensation for death by careless driving.

Fatal accident compensation claims in the workplace

As we saw in the graph earlier, accidents involving vehicles are the leading cause of death in the workplace. They may happen to those driving/ operating the vehicle, passengers or people close to the vehicle. The second most common cause were slip, trip, and fall accidents. Other common fatal workplace accidents are deaths caused by faulty machinery, roofing accidents, industrial diseases such as workplace cancers and those contracted by exposure to harmful substances, such as asbestos.

Deaths due to medical negligence can happen in a wide variety of ways. Some of the most common of these can include surgical errors and the misdiagnosis of a condition (such as cancers), resulting in the application of incorrect treatment. Negligence can also arise in patients who are not being cared for in the correct way or if a mother is not treated correctly during childbirth. Medical negligence resulting in death can also occur in care homes.

Accidents in public places

Car accident caused by a family member claims in public places may include accidents which have happened in an individual shop or shopping centre. Fatal accidents in public places can also include accidents in leisure centres, theme parks, and other recreational areas. They also include accidents taking place in holiday parks and other private leisure or recreational venues, such as a sports stadium.

What can you claim compensation for after losing someone in a fatal accident?

Each accident and death is unique and as such, each claim will be different. The amount of death compensation that you could be entitled to will vary depending on the circumstances of the car accident injuries and the accident your loved one was involved in, as well as other factors such as the effect this has had upon you and other relatives. Every individual case is different as accident victims could suffer in different ways. However, the components which could make up a compensation for death of a family member claim from insurance companies are set as below.

Compensation for pain and suffering. Car accident death compensation may include awards for the loss of amenity of the deceased. This type of compensation could be awarded if they died due to a workplace disease or if they were restricted in what they could do due to medical negligence or another cause. The pain and suffering will be awarded for that experienced by the claimant prior to their death.

Financial losses. This is designed to compensate the claimant for any costs they have previously incurred in carrying for the deceased as well as any costs associated with administering their estate and costs involved in dealing with their death. ‘Actual costs’ may include medical expenses and nursing care as well as the cost of medication and adaptations which had to be made to the deceased’s home. This category of expenses may also include funeral expenses.

Loss of earnings and benefits. This should compensate for any loss of earnings the deceased experienced as a result of the accident (or illness) whilst alive but not able to continue working.

Loss of services. Services is a wide category of compensation. It is there to recognise that whilst the deceased was dying and that now they are dead this will have an impact on the people left behind, such as their family. They may have helped with childcare or other household chores. If the family now has to hire a carer for children or other family members these costs will be taken into account.

Loss of dependency. This is similar to the category above but is still different. In many cases, this will be the largest component of a fatal accident claim. It is paid out to the dependents of the deceased, such as providing funds for a spouse, elderly parents, or any children the deceased was responsible for. The death compensation calculation will also account for things such as the loss of their pension (if applicable) and other employment bonuses such as health care benefits enjoyed by the deceased and their dependents as well as company cars and other services.

The types of damages listed above are the most common types of fatal accident compensation claimed for. However, there can be other expenses which are associated with death which people can be entitled to claim for. These could include settlements to help with the long-term effects on those surviving the deceased. This could include the effects of lost inheritance on children as well as the overall loss of parental care for them. Compensation can also take the emotional trauma and suffering that the family of the deceased have already been through as well as what they may go through in the future, and the effect this may have on their life.

Compensation claim time-limits For A Car Accident Caused By A Family Member

Whilst there are some specific instances in which this is not the case, such as extra time allowed for children to bring a claim, there is a three year period in which fatal accident claims must be filed. This time limit begins either from the date of death or from the date on which the deceased’s cause of death was determined to have been caused by the fatal accident or exposure to a hazardous substance.

For some, the deceased will have already been in the process of making some form of a compensation claim for the initial injury or illness at the time of their death. If this was the case, the three-year time limit will restart at this new date. This means that the family or partner of the deceased has a full three-year period in which to make their compensation claim.

Fatal accident compensation claims calculator – updated October 2021

As the circumstance of each fatal accident claim and the injury or illness which led to it, as well as the effect it has had on those left behind, will be different, it is difficult to estimate how much your compensation for death claim could be worth without fully assessing your claim. In the fatal accident compensation calculator below we look at common amounts of car accident death compensation that you may be able to claim for.

Reason for settlementSettlement band
Mental anguish£4,380
Full awareness death£11,770 to £22,350
Followed by unconsciousness£9,870 to £10,010
Immediately unconscious with death after 6 weeks£3,530 to £4,120
Immediately unconscious with death within a week£1,290 to £2,620
Funeral costsPlease call for further insight
Bereavement awardPlease call for further insight
Loss of income (household)Please call for further insight
Loss of servicesPlease call for further insight

These figures are provided as a guideline and show how much could be awarded under different circumstances.

Why choose Accident Claims UK To Claim For A Car Accident Caused By A Family Member?

Car accident caused by a family member claims can be very complex, involving some of the most complicated areas of personal injury law. As such it is important to ensure that your claim is conducted by the most qualified solicitors you can find. Accident Claims UK is a specialist legal firm. We are dedicated to helping people successfully pursue a compensation claim in cases such as these. We do so by providing you with the best legal advice available as well as highly qualified solicitors and lawyers who can pursue your claim.

We will always act with your best interest in mind and strive to provide you with the clearest and most honest legal advice, taking you through the claims process and ensuring that you fully understand what is happening at each step. We provide all our clients with a dedicated and highly professional service conducted in a sympathetic way. Clients also choose to work with Accident Claims UK as we are committed to getting you the maximum level of death compensation for your type of claim.

We know the decision to undertake any type of legal action is never undertaken lightly. As such, we always endeavour to make the process of claiming compensation for death of a family member quick and smooth, especially in cases involving fatal accidents and wrongful deaths.

No win no fee compensation for a fatal accident

Pursuing any form of legal action in the UK, whether it is compensation for a fatal accident or the death of a loved one, can take both time and money. Claims for a car accident caused by a family member can be more complicated than other types of claim and as such, they could leave claimants having to pay large legal bills. For many people, the added expense of legal fees after already losing a loved one can make taking action to get the car accident death compensation they could be entitled to an impassable obstacle.

In these circumstances, and for other personal injury claims, we offer our clients what is commonly known as a ‘No Win No Fee agreement’. The agreement sets out very clearly that if the solicitors we provide do not win you a compensation settlement, you won’t have to pay a penny in fees or charges. If your claim is successful, the agreement will set out the fees due and how these will be paid, meaning you will never be left out of pocket. Under these agreements legal costs are limited, meaning you will always be left with the maximum amount of fatal accident compensation.

Contact us today About A Car Accident Caused By A Family Member

At Accident Claims UK our friendly advisers are on hand to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will listen to your individual circumstances, claim or injuries before helping you through the next steps. You can contact our team directly about claiming maximum compensation for death by calling 0800 073 8801. You can also use our online contact form to request a call back from one of our advisors. You can also send the details of your case and death compensation claim to

However you choose to contact our team, we are ready to start your fatal accident claim today.

Useful links Relating To A Car Accident Caused By A Family Member

What should you do after a death?
From how to register the death to organising a funeral, find out what you should do after someone dies in this guide from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Cruse Bereavement Care
Get help and support after the death of a loved one with Cruse Bereavement Care.

NHS guide to coping with Bereavement
Learn more about the stages of grief and how to cope with feelings of grief in this guide from the NHS.

Pedestrian Accident Claims

In this guide, we take a look at how a pedestrian injured by a negligent could have grounds to take legal action and seek compensation.

Whiplash Compensation Guide

Whiplash is a common injury sustained by those involved in a road traffic accident. So, if you have sustained a whiplash injury due to the fault of a third party, please click our guide to learn more.

Could I make a claim if I was a passenger in a car accident?

Take a look at our guide where we discuss whether a passenger involved in a car accident could make a compensation claim.

Fatal Car Accident Caused by a family member FAQ

  • Driving under the influence.
  • Speeding.
  • Violation of rules.
  • Failure to understand or abide by the rules of the road.
  • Fatigue

Who is eligible for a bereavement award?

The claimant has to be a spouse, parent or civil partner, with unmarried couples also eligible.

How is compensation for death calculated?

This calculates 50% of the victim’s monthly wage alongside their age, as well as funeral costs.

What are bereavement damages?

These cover the payment for grief and trauma after a death caused by another person’s actions.

Who is liable to pay compensation in case of death in a car accident caused by a family member?

For a road accident death, the owner of the vehicle holds liability towards paying car accident death compensation.

Who cannot claim damages for bereavement in a car accident caused by a family member?

These include unmarried fathers of children under 18, parents of an adult child over 18, and children who’ve lost either parent, no matter their age.

How common are car accident deaths from a car accident caused by a family member?

Unfortunately, statistics for road deaths do not make for easy reading. Even in 2020, when the country was in lockdown, there were 1,472 fatalities on UK roads according to government reports. While this represented a decrease when compared to 2019, this could have been largely down to the pandemic.

You can see these statistics in the table below:

car accident death compensation statistics

Claiming car accident death compensation from the MIB

If your loved one was fatally injured in a car accident caused by someone who fled the scene, whether they were injured in a car, on a motorbike, cycle or as a pedestrian, you may believe you wouldn’t be able to get any compensation. However, this may not be the case. If the driver of the at-fault vehicle was uninsured, fled the scene or was in a foreign vehicle, you could make such claims via the MIB. The MIB, or Motor Insurer’s Bureau could compensate the families of fatally injured victims.

You could ask a solicitor to help you make such claims. The MIB would need to investigate the incident, however before agreeing to pay compensation. You may be asked to provide evidence, and the MIB would collect evidence such as the police report, witness details and medical information associated with the fatal injuries your loved one suffered. While they aim to decide the result of car accident claims within 6 weeks, if the police report is delayed, this could delay your claim. This is because if there is a criminal prosecution involved in the case, the police report cannot be released until it is concluded.

Someone else was killed in a car accident caused by a family member- does this mean they would go to prison?

Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes at the wheel can lead to people losing their lives. Sadly, in an accident where someone loses their life, it is not always possible to get justice for them. Sometimes simple mistakes with no intention to cause harm could cause the fatality of somebody in a car accident. After every fatal car accident, there would be an investigation. If a family member caused a car accident leading to a fatality, they could expect to be questioned by the police, and they may have to go to court. In some cases, if they were seen to have been deliberately at fault for the accident or they were driving dangerously, they could face going to prison. In other cases, they may not get a custodial sentence, but they may have to live with the loss of somebody else for the rest of their life.

What should I look for in a solicitor to claim for a car accident caused by a family member?

While it is important to understand that you don’t legally require a solicitor to make a claim for a car accident caused by a family member, many people prefer to have their case dealt with by legal professional. That way, they could be sure that all the paperwork was being completed to a professional standard. In addition to this, a professional solicitor could have the knowledge and experience to negotiate for the highest compensation settlement possible. When choosing a solicitor, we would advise you to look for one that is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Thank you for taking the time to read our death compensation guide on a car accident caused by a family member claim. We hope you have learned a lot about car accident death compensation and claiming compensation for death of a family member generally.