Fatal Accident Claims
We specialise in helping families of fatal accidents claim the compensation they deserve
What is a Fatal Accident Claim?
Losing a loved one at any time is traumatic, but when someone you love dies in an accident that wasn’t their fault, it can feel as if your world has ended too. Not only does suddenly losing a loved one cause emotional distress but an unexpected death can also leave partners and dependents in financial turmoil. With our help, you can focus on dealing with your bereavement. You will be safe in the knowledge that an experienced lawyer is managing your loved one’s estate.
We work with skilled personal injury lawyers who understand that your future is in their hands. We will do everything in our power to get you the compensation amount you are entitled to.
Types of Fatal Injury Claims
Fatal injury claims can arise from any incident where it was not the victim’s fault, or where they are only partially to blame. Examples can include:
- Sporting accidents and horse riding accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents, including being a passenger or a pedestrian
- Industrial accidents
- Medical accidents, including for elective surgery
In order to claim for a fatal accident you need to be a dependent of the deceased or acting on behalf of their estate. For example, a spouse or partner can make a claim, as can an executor of the victim’s estate on behalf of the beneficiaries.
In a case study, the husband of a woman who suffered severe depression made a fatal injury claim. His wife was hospitalised during one such episode and, despite being a known risk to herself, was insufficiently monitored and able to leave the facility. This then gave her the opportunity to take her life by jumping in front of a train. Her husband’s lawyers successfully argued that if she had had adequate medical care, her death would not have happened.
Who can Make a Fatal Accident Claim?
Following a fatal accident, dependents of the deceased can make a fatal accident claim. Dependents are:
- Partners (must have cohabited for at least 2 years before the accident)
- Civil Partners
- Parents (including step-parents and adoptive parents)
- Children (including step-children)
Those who represent the deceased’s estate can also make fatal accident claims.
What is the Time Limit to Make a Fatal Injury Claim?
You must make a fatal injury claim within 3 years of the date of death. This is known as statutory limitation. You are unable to make fatal accident claims after this 3-year deadline unless exceptional circumstances apply.
Not only must you make the claim within 3 years, but legal proceedings must begin otherwise you will not be able to proceed with your claim.
The time limit to make a fatal injury claim may differ:
- For medical negligence – the 3-year time limit applies from the date of knowledge of reason for the death. This is because doctors do not always know what the cause of death was immediately.
- For Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims – CICA. You must make these claims as soon as possible. The time limit on these types of claims is usually 2 years.
- If the accident occurred abroad – time limits will vary from country to country so it is important to check and make fatal accident claims as soon as possible.
- If mental capacity is lacking – there is no time limit if a person can not make a claim due to a lack of mental capacity. An expert will need to confirm this.
What can be Included in a Fatal Accident Claim?
After the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one, not only will you be dealing with significant emotional distress but, you may also worry about practical factors such as funeral expenses, finances, and more. Our solicitors will help you to decipher the law surrounding fatal accident claims, and understand what you can and can not claim compensation for.
The amount of compensation you can claim for depends on a number of factors. These include the level of financial dependency that the deceased had, the age of the deceased, life circumstances and more.
Possible inclusions in a fatal accident claim:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of earnings, cost of care and other reasonable expenses for the deceased, where death is not instant
- Bereavement Award (this can be claimed by the parent or spouse of the deceased under the Fatal Accident Act 1976)
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Dependency – this will take into account the loss of income from the deceased, employment benefits such as healthcare, and loss of lifestyle contributions e.g. property maintenance, DIY etc.
How to Make a Fatal Injury Claim
We appreciate that seeking legal advice after the death of a loved one may be the last thing you feel like doing however, the earlier you speak to The Compensation Experts, the sooner we can help you obtain the compensation you may be entitled to.
Firstly, our knowledgeable advisors will find out about the circumstances of the accident. This is so they can determine whether your fatal accident claim has a strong chance of being successful. We work with a select group of experienced personal injury lawyers and will refer you to the one who we feel will be best suited to your requirements. Making a fatal injury claim can take six months or longer, so we want to ensure you are comfortable with your choice of lawyer.
The majority of our clients choose our conditional fee structure, which is usually referred to as No Win No Fee*(*Conditions may apply. Please see details at the bottom of the page). Not only does this remove the necessity for you to stretch yourself financially to pay legal fees upfront, but it also removes the risk associated with having to pay legal fees should your claim not be successful.
The Compensation Experts has a team of advisors who are happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation at a time that suits you. Contact us today.
Am I eligible?
If a loved one has suffered a fatal accident in the last 3 years, due to someone else’s negligence, the short answer is yes.
Exceptions to this are for instance industrial disease or if you were a child at the time of the accident. In this case you may have a longer period to claim.Find out more
How much could I claim?
As every injury is different, the amount of compensation paid out can also differ case to case. Varying factors lead to the final figure. These include: extent of your injuries, loss of earnings, future losses and more.
Our dedicated team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim for.Find out more
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence. They will then notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be up to date every step of the way.Find out more