Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On Fatal Accident Compensation Claims

This guide answers frequently asked questions regarding fatal accident compensation claims. If you lost a loved one in an accident at work, in public, because of medical negligence or through death by careless driving, we will look at who is eligible to pursue a fatal accident claim.

Our guide starts with an explanation of the eligibility criteria that must be able to make a fatal accident claim on behalf of a loved one. Below, we explore topics such as ‘what is an inquest’ and who can make a dependency claim after the loss of a loved one. Also, we look at who is eligible to receive a statutory bereavement award following the death of a loved one.

After this, we discuss whether you can get help with funeral expenses and what other financial losses can be claimed in fatal injury claims. Following from this, we look at time limits for starting a fatal accident compensation claim. Our guide concludes by explaining how one of the fatal accident solicitors from our panel could help guide you through the claims process on a No Win No Fee basis.

Our dedicated team of advisors can answer any questions you might have about making a fatal injury claim on behalf of a loved one. In addition to this, they can offer you free advice and potentially connect you with a solicitor on our panel.

To speak with them, you can:

  • Call 0161 696 9685
  • Contact us online to receive a callback.
  • Or you can message us on our 24/7 live chat service.

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Browse Our Guide

  1. What Accidents Can Lead To Fatal Accident Compensation Claims?
  2. What Is An Inquest?
  3. Who Can Make A Fatal Accident Claim?
  4. What Is The Statutory Bereavement Award?
  5. Can I Claim For Funeral Expenses?
  6. What Other Financial Losses Can I Claim For?
  7. How Long Do I Have To Claim Financial Accident Compensation?
  8. Why Use No Win No Fee Fatal Injury Solicitors To Claim?
  9. More Resources About Fatal Accident Compensation Claims

What Accidents Can Lead To Fatal Accident Compensation Claims?

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. However, all fatal accident compensation claims must be able to meet the following requirements in order for them to be considered valid:

  • A duty of care was owed to the deceased at the time of their fatal accident.
  • A relevant third party breached their duty of care.
  • This caused your loved one to suffer their fatal injuries.

There are various instances where someone could be harmed due to a breach in a duty of care. The could include:

Accidents At Work

A duty of care is outlined for all employers in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HASAWA). It requires employers to take reasonable and practicable steps to prevent their employees from coming to harm as they perform their jobs. If an employer were to breach this duty, this could lead to someone suffering fatal injuries in an accident at work.

For example, an employer failed to regularly maintain a piece of machinery on a production line. The machine malfunctioned, as this caused an employee to suffer a fatal injury, such as a fatal electric shock injury.

Accidents In Public Places

Those in control of an area open to the general public owe a duty of care, as outlined under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. It states that they are responsible for ensuring the reasonable safety of those who visit and use the space for its intended purpose. If they failed to adhere to their duty of care, this could cause someone to suffer a fatal accident in a public place.

For example, someone could suffer a fatal brain injury due to failing from a height due to a leisure centre failing to repair a faulty handrail on some stairs.

Road Traffic Accidents

Each road user has a duty of care to other road users. They must navigate the roads and operate their vehicles in a way that prevents causing injury and damage. They must also adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. A road traffic accident where someone suffers fatal injuries could occur if someone where to breach this duty of care while using the roads.

For example, if someone was driving under the influence and crashes head on into another car. This could cause the other driver to suffer a fatal head injury.

Medical Misdiagnosis

All medical professionals must provide their patients with the minimum standard of care when treating them. This is their duty of care. Should the care they provide fall below this expected standard, this could result in a fatal medical negligence claim.

For example, your GP fails to send a patient for further testing and misdiagnoses their lung cancer as a chest infection. Due to this medical misdiagnosis, their cancer worsens and spreads to other parts of their body, leading to a wrongful death.

If you have any questions regarding the fatal accident compensation claims process, you can contact our advisors. They can also inform you whether you could be eligible to make a claim on behalf of a loved one who has passed.

Someone lying on the road in a pool of blood after being hit by a car.

What Is An Inquest?

An Inquest is a formal investigation carried out by a Coroner in order to determine how and why someone died. It typically applies if the cause of death appears to be unknown, violent or unnatural. It is designed to determine who the deceased was, when, where and how they died.

This finding is important as the Coroner’s conclusion is entered into the final death certificate, such as whether the death was caused by an accident. As such, it may offer useful supporting evidence of third-party negligence as the cause of the fatal accident. However, it is important to note that Corners are unable to make formal accusations or allegations, and they have no power to blame someone directly for the deceased’s death.

If you have any questions regarding how an inquest could help support those making fatal accident compensation claims, you can contact our advisors. They can also help answer any questions you may have about the fatal accident claims process.

Who Can Make A Fatal Accident Claim?

The Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934 allows the estate of the deceased to initiate a claim for the deceased’s pain and suffering directly prior their death. This type of claim can only be made by the deceased’s estate.

Additionally, for the first 6 months following the death, only the deceased’s estate can bring forward a claim. This can be for the the deceased’s pain and suffering and a claim on behalf of the dependents.

The deceased’s dependents can make a claim for how the death has impacted them if a claim has not been made on their behalf after these 6 months have passes. This is outlined within the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 ( FAA). Under the FAA, the following relative qualify as a dependent:

  • The wife, husband and civil partner of the deceased (current or former).
  • Any person who lived with the deceased as spouses for at least 2 years directly prior to the death.
  • A parent or child of the deceased, as well as anyone treated as such by them, e.g. a step-parent or step-child.
  • The aunt, uncle or sibling of the deceased, or any of their children.

To see if you are eligible to make a fatal injury claim as the estate or dependent of the deceased, please speak to a member of our advisory team. They can also help answer any questions regarding the fatal accident compensation claims process.

What Is The Statutory Bereavement Award?

Under Section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act, certain qualifying family members can claim compensation known as a Bereavement Award following the death of a loved one.

This award is a lump sum of £15,120, and it can be awarded to or split between the following parties:

  • The parents of the deceased (if they were an unmarried person under 18).
  • A wife, husband or civil partner.
  • A person who cohabited with the deceased for 2 years prior to the death (as a husband, wife or civil partner).

To see whether you could be eligible to apply for a Bereavement Award following the death of a loved one, please speak to our team. They are happy to answer any questions or queries you may have about any aspect of fatal accident compensation claims.

A headstone of a small child holding a cross in a graveyard.

Can I Claim For Funeral Expenses?

Compensation could also be awarded for funeral expenses within fatal accident compensation claims. This could include expenses for:

  • The coffin or cremation.
  • Flowers and a funeral service and wake.
  • A headstone.

To obtain a better idea of whether you could include these expenses in your claim, speak to our team. They are available right now to answer any questions you may have about claiming funeral expenses within fatal injury compensation claims.

What Other Financial Losses Can I Claim For?

There are other types of financial loss that could be awarded in fatal accident compensation claims. These include claims for:

  • Loss of consortium – This refers to the loss of companionship provided by the deceased person. Also, the impact of their loss on the family as a whole in a way that cannot be financially quantified elsewhere.
  • Dependency – The income generated by the deceased person that you relied upon. This can include both past and future earnings.
  • Loss of Services – If the deceased person helped around the house with DIY or gardening, as well as sharing the duties of childcare, you could be awarded compensation for these losses. These amounts must be quantified by a solicitor.

To see whether you may be able to claim for any of these losses as part of your fatal injury claim, you can contact our advisors. Additionally, they may also connect you with one of the fatal accident claims solicitors on our panel.

How Long Do I Have To Claim Fatal Accident Compensation?

Typically, the standard time limit when claiming for a fatal injury is 3 years from the date of death. Or within 3 years from the date of knowledge of the death.

This date of knowledge can run from the date of a postmortem or the date of an inquest.

If you have any questions regarding the time limit for fatal accident compensation claims, you can contact a member from our advisory team. They can also offer you free advice on how much compensation you may be able to receive on behalf of your loved one.

Why Use No Win No Fee Fatal Injury Solicitors To Claim?

Provided that you have a valid case, one of the solicitors on our panel could help guide you through the fatal accident compensation claims process. Additionally, the specialist fatal accident solicitors on our panel generally offer their services to their clients through a type of No Win No Fee contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement.

This type of arrangement offers a host of benefits to those seeking compensation, such as:

  • No need to pay upfront fees to your solicitor for their work.
  • No ongoing fees for their services as the claim moves forward.
  • Not having to pay anything for your solicitor’s completed services if the claim is unsuccessful.
  • However, if the claim is a success, a small and legally restricted percentage will be taken from your compensation by your solicitor. This is referred to as a success fee.

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Contact Us Today

If you would like to learn more about how a fatal accident solicitor from our panel could help you, speak to our advisors. It is completely free and they can answer any questions you may have about the fatal accident compensation claims process. You can reach them in the following ways:

More Resources About Fatal Accident Compensation Claims

Additional fatal accident claims guides by us:

In addition to this, you may find these external resources useful:

Contact our team of advisors today if you have any questions regarding fatal accident compensation claims.