Have you been recently bereaved? Did your loved one die in a tragic and avoidable accident? In this article, we’ll discuss how to value fatal accident compensation and how to make a personal injury claim. Using a case study of a road traffic accident victim to illustrate, we’ll look at how our panel of lawyers could value fatal accident settlements for you today and help you secure the payout that you deserve.
We understand that this may be a very difficult time for you. If at any point during this article you have a question, or would simply like to get your claim started, you can get in touch easily:
- Call us direct on 0161 696 9685
- Fill out a contact form to get a callback
- Chat to an advisor on our ‘live support’ option, bottom right
It’s a free, no-obligation chat with our personal injury claims team to discuss the circumstances of your case. If you have grounds to make a claim, we can connect you with a panel of skilled No Win No Fee lawyers with over three decades of experience in cases like this.
Select a Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation Payouts For A Fatal Accident
- What Is A Fatal Accident?
- How Can You Suffer A Fatal Accident At Work?
- Fatal Accident In A Public Place
- How Can You Suffer A Fatal Accident In A Road Traffic Accident?
- Run Down Of Personal Injury Compensation Calculations
- What Are Special Damages?
- Case Study: £200,000 For A Fatal Accident
- Our Specialist Free Legal Advice Can Help Value Your Claim
- No Win No Fee Policies For Claimants Of Fatal Accident
- Your Professional Free Legal Advice
- More Resources And Guides On Fatal Accidents
- Fatal Accident FAQs
Firstly, we recognize that this is a painful time and the last thing you may want to do is get into the complexities of starting a compensation claim. However, we can help. The service that we offer aims to do the following:
- Offer free legal advice as you start a fatal accident compensation claim
- Explain the legal jargon
- Advise what proof of costs you need to retain to evidence your claim
- Build your case using two types of damages; general damages and special damages
- Do everything we can to guide your case to a successful conclusion
We have expertise handling a range of different cases, which include:
- Accidents at work (employer‘s liability)
- Road traffic accidents (RTAs)
- Accidents in a public place (public liability)
In this guide, we’ll discuss the laws that are in place for your protection and explain what bodies typically owe you a duty of care. Furthermore, we’ll discuss what a breach in their duty could look like and how you could hold them liable if your loved one lost their life as a result.
It’s important to point out that you are perfectly free to start a claim for compensation on your own, and there is no legal requirement to have a lawyer. However, having a professional handle your case could ease the pressure of navigating the claims process and help you secure the maximum compensation from your case. So, why not see how we could help?
One phone call is all it takes to access free legal advice and start a claim today. If the fatality was caused by negligence, compensation could be owed.
Before we begin, what exactly constitutes a fatal accident?
A fatal accident is an unfortunate incident that results in someone’s death. Whether the fatality was instant or gradual, if your loved one lost their life as a result of third-party negligence, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Being killed instantly in a car crash, for example, and dying six months after exposure to a toxic substance are still both fatal accidents. However, the precise circumstances of the death of your loved one will be unique.
An important part of speaking to our team is to explain, in as much detail as you can, what happened that resulted in the fatality. We understand that no amount of money can ever replace the person or reverse the consequences of what caused their fatal accident. However, compensation can be awarded for their loss, helping ease any financial strain this may have left.
In 2019, 111 workers lost their lives at work. It’s quite reasonable to imagine that none of those 111 people expected to die that day and behind each statistic is a life and a family shattered by the experience.
If this was you, please get in touch to see how we could help. In the meantime, please read on to see how the law seeks to stop events like fatal accidents happening at work in the first place.
What Is An Employer’s Duty Of Care?
This Act sets out some regulations for anyone responsible for employees in the UK. Some key parts are:
- Section 2 asks employers to create a safe environment at work as much as is reasonably practicable.
- Furthermore, Section 3 states the same common duty be applied to all visitors, contractors, and members of the public as much as is realistically possible.
- Section 7 asks that employees do as much as they can to look after themselves and their colleagues and never obstruct HASAWA procedures. We are responsible as employees, too.
- And Section 33 says that if it can be proven that management permitted something to happen (or not happen) and it directly caused you injury, they could be liable to prosecution. Importantly, a claim cannot be made simply for accidents, there must be resulting damage
Employers’ duties include:
- Regular written risk assessments to spot accidents before they happen
- Display correct information about handling and storing materials
- Give quality training and supervision on conducting business safely
Every UK business must carry insurance to cover eventualities like accidents at work. You can read the details of that here.
The Fatal Accidents Act 1976
The second piece of legislation that relates specifically to our case study is The Fatal Accidents Act 1976. It aims to compensate the fatally injured person in the same manner that they might have been compensated had they lived.
The Act allows three types of claims:
- Dependency claims – can be made by husbands, wives, and common-law partners of longer than 2 years living together. Also, children and blood family relatives can start a claim.
- Bereavement claims – can be made by wives, husbands, or parents if the deceased was a minor.
- Funeral expenses – can be made to claim compensation to help to pay for the funeral of the deceased.
You can speak to our personal injury claims team if you have any questions or would like more information.
How Can My Employer Breach Their Duty Of Care?
As mentioned above, all employers owe their employees a legal duty of care to help protect them from harm. Below, we’ll look at some typical scenarios in which an accident at work can happen as a result of employer negligence
It’s important to note that these examples are more general than the specific event of death at work. However, there’s no way of being sure how an accident can affect a person and a fatality can never be never ruled out from incidents like these:
- Trips and slips that might cause bad falls
- Falling down unmarked stairs or poorly lit areas
- Heavy items/materials falling on you
- Exposure to toxic substances without proper PPE
- Workplace violence
- Faulty or badly maintained machinery and tools
- Extremes of temperature or damp
- Bad hygiene or food safety standards
Again, depending on the circumstances, a fatality could plausibly result from any of the above. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance that your employer does as much as they reasonably can to uphold their duty of care to prevent these accidents from happening. If your employer breached this duty, causing serious injury or death, please speak to our team for free legal advice.
When we are out and about in a public place, we often take for granted that we will be safe. Most people understand that it is their responsibility to be aware of risks and to use services and facilities in the way that they’re intended to be used. This is to prevent harming ourselves or breaking the law.
Sadly, however, accidents can still happen. Let’s take a look at the relevant legislation that applies to those in control of public places and those that use them.
The Duty Of Care Of Those In Control Of Public Spaces
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 sets out regulations and guidelines for those in control of public places to follow. This legislation applies to anyone in control, whether that be full or partial control, ranging from owners of the premises to staff:
- Uphold a consistent duty of care to all visitors, whether they’re contractors, members of the public or anyone else
- Give special allowances around safe practices to children if necessary
- Vouch for the safety of their facilities as long as they are being used lawfully and correctly
- Clear signs or give disclaimers such as ‘private property’ or ‘keep out’ signs should they not wish to assume these duties
Similar to the Health and Safety guidelines in place to prevent accidents in the workplace, The Occupiers Liability Act tries to enforce safety standards in public places. A brief list of the areas that this law covers includes :
- Council-run areas
- Shops and retail outlets
- Pubs, clubs, and casinos
- Leisure facilities
- Parks, beaches and woodlands
- Public transport
- Pavements, streets, and roads
- Car parks, libraries, schools
- Construction sites
Anywhere that is legally accessible by the general public carries an implicit suggestion that it is safe. When we walk into a supermarket, we do not usually wonder if we might be crushed or electrocuted and this is, in part, thanks to the laws in place to prevent this.
Nevertheless, tragic, fatal accidents can happen in public, but how?
How Can This Duty Be Breached?
If an occupier of a public place ignores or cuts corners of their duty of care, any of the accidents below might lead to a fatal accident:
- Any knowingly dangerous practice
- Precariously stored products or shop fittings
- Unmarked glass or sudden heights
- Fire and poor fire procedures
- Exposure to dangerous materials
- Unmarked hazards of any kind
A fatal accident can often be a combination of unfortunate circumstances. However, if something contributed or directly caused the death of a loved one, please speak to our personal injury claims team for free legal advice now.
Our case study focuses on a tragic road traffic accident that led to a fatality.Statistics from the Department of Transport demonstrate that such cases are not unusual:
- 1,752 people lost their lives in road traffic accidents (RTAs) in 2019
- 25,945 people were involved in an accident that caused serious injury
- 153,158 accidents of all severities were reported during the same period
Duty Of Care Of Road Users
Just like the other two main areas of liability that we’ve discussed, there is a duty of care that applies to all road users as well. The Highway Code asks drivers to comply with numerous different things to demonstrate this duty to each other, such as:
- Have a correct driving license
- Be of minimum age to drive
- Meet minimum eyesight rules
- Be registered with the DVLA
- Have up to date vehicle tax
- Drive a roadworthy vehicle
These are, in many ways, the bare minimum that is asked. The real duty of care between road users is the way they treat each other respectfully and safely.
How Can A Road User Breach Their Duty Of Care?
A driver can be in possession of all the requirements above, but if they do not demonstrate due diligence and care or consider the safety of other road users, a fatal accident can easily happen. Some examples of a breach of care are:
- Driving whilst intoxicated
- Not concentrating, including looking at mobile phones instead of the road
- Over-taking on the inside lane and other bad habits behind the wheel
- Road rage incidents
As a motorist, you may be able to add your own examples to this list. Collisions can be fatal and if you experience the loss of a loved one because of the reckless driving of another, compensation could be claimed.
Even if the other driver was uninsured, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) exists to help try to compensate the victims of uninsured drivers by compensating them. Speak to our team to discuss if this happened to you.
So, how might you value your claim for compensation?
The first step would be to confirm the medical details of the death. If there was an inquest or an autopsy, you can request the details of these findings, along with police reports to prove that your loved one was indeed killed as a result of the accident.
If you choose to have a personal injury lawyer from our panel handle your case, they can arrange all of this for you.
Next, you’ll need to assess what types of damage you can claim compensation for. Awards for general damages are suggested by the Judicial College in their Guidelines. Based on past cases, they provide your lawyer with a basis of what figure to argue for on your behalf. They try to acknowledge:
- The extent of ain and suffering
- Any mental anguish or mental health impact
- Diminished relationships
- Loss of amenity
In cases of death, these aspects are only awarded for any period that the person suffered before they died. Therefore, in our case study, death was not immediate after the accident and so the award was calculated for this period of suffering.
The second head of a personal injury payout is special damages, which seek to collect together all the tangible losses caused by the injury and fatality.
This amount is, by definition, awarded to the dependants in cases that involve death but the premise is the same; to reflect all the out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from your attempts to cope with this sudden bereavement. When special damages are calculated for someone who is injured, they can include:
- Loss of earnings
- The financial impact of bereavement on the family, funerals etc
- Impact on future earning ability
- Care costs from paid professionals or family (requires hourly rate invoices to prove these costs)
- Rehabilitation costs
- Counselling and physiotherapy
- Loss to pensions or attendance bonuses
- Lost deposits for holidays or hobbies
- Travel costs
- Medical bills and medical treatment costs
- Adaptations to home
- Child care
- Pet care
As you can see, special damages can be extensive and broad-ranging. In cases of a fatal accident, these costs are transferred on to the dependants and they seek to prevent financial loss for those who are left behind. Any cost that you can prove was incurred as a result of losing a loved one to negligence might be included in your settlement amount.
Our case study explains this further, so please read on to learn more.
Mrs Green was so traumatised by the aftermath of her husband’s accident that, in truth, she wished he had died in the collision rather than three weeks later with head to toe burns in the hospital to save him from suffering.
The collision happened on the M25 motorway and the anguish that they suffered watching him fight for life in hospital was almost more than the family could bear. When Mr Green finally passed away, it was a relief to know he was out of pain.
After the trauma began to ease a little, the family began to sift through the facts of what happened that day. Using police and medical reports from the scene, as well as the coroner’s report, certain facts began to emerge, which were then was confirmed by CCTV footage. Mr Green had done nothing wrong that day but was the victim of reckless driving on the part of another.
The family sought the advice of a No Win No Fee lawyer. The sudden expense of her husband’s death motivated their decision. After speaking with a personal injury lawyer, they were able to explain the law around liability and damages. The lawyer believed the family had a strong case for a public liability claim against the defendant.
A valuation of £200,000 was reached. When the case went to court, it was settled quickly and in Mrs Green’s favour. The reckless driver admitted liability and went on to face criminal charges. The money could never replace the lost time with her husband. But her compensation settlement was able to stop the repercussions of that day destroying everyone’s lives.
The case above is purely a typical example. It aims to demonstrate how the service we offer can value your case properly, rather than relying on general figures or tools going by the name of online compensation calculators. If you want free legal advice about a fatal accident of a loved one, speak to our personal injury claims team today.
Updated July 2021.
Injury Description Compensation
Mental Anguish Fear of impending death £4,380
Death - Full Awareness Consciousness coming and going for 4-5 weeks then death within 3 months £5,000
Unconsciousness followed by death Unconsciousness after 3 hours and death 2 weeks later £9,870 to £10,010
Immediate Unconsciousness - Death after Six Weeks Immediate unconsciousness and death 6 weeks later £3,530 to £4,120
Immediate Unconsciousness - Death within One Week Immediate unconsciousness and death 1 week later £1,290 to £2,620
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe £200,000
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe £21,730 to £56,180
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate £7,680 to £21,730
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Less Severe £3,710 to £7,680
One of the most unpleasant and sudden problems that can arise from death is the financial changes it can bring. The trauma and heartache of losing a loved one can never be replaced by any compensation. However, with help from our claims services, it can offer your finances a lifeline. We could help.
When you speak to our personal injury claims team, we can offer free legal advice and support. The more information you are able to give us, the more we can build an effective case on your behalf. Calculating the maximum compensation amount for you, our team could give you a light at the end of the tunnel for the money worries your bereavement has left you with.
There’s no legal requirement to have a solicitor in order to launch a compensation claim. having a professional handle your case could ease the pressure of navigating the claims process and help you secure the maximum compensation from your case.
No Win No Fee agreements have worked for many people that don’t have the funds to hire a solicitor.
Originally designed to help people who have never used solicitors before access legal representation, there are many other advantages to using a personal injury lawyer in this way. For example:
- You do not have to pay anything to your lawyers upfront
- There’s nothing to pay as the case moves forward
- If your case is not successful, there’s nothing to pay at all
- Cases that win require a small percentage-related commission to be paid as a reward for your lawyer’s efforts on your behalf
- This amount is only due after the case has been settled
- Legally, this fee is capped at a small percentage to maintain fairness
No Win No Fee can be the natural choice for many people. If you lost a loved one in a fatal accident that you can prove was a result of third-party negligence, we can help you launch claims that include but are not limited to:
- Accident at work claims
- Car accident claims
- Accident in a public place claims
There is a general 3-year time limit to start a personal injury claim, so it’s important that you take the first step towards making legal proceedings before missing outLet us listen to your case and see how we could calculate compensation payouts and help you claim today.
Getting in touch with us is easy. You can:
- Call calling us direct on 0161 696 9685
- Fill out a contact form to get a call back email or write to us at advice.co.uk
- Chat to an advisor on our speak to Natalie on our ‘live support’ option, bottom right
Thank you for reading our article on calculating fatal accident compensation claims. Fatal car crashes are devastating for all involved and we hope that once you get in touch, we are able to help you make a successful claim for your ordeal
- To learn more about proving injuries from a car accident, please head here
- For more information on slips, trips and falls, we have a dedicated guide you can read here
- We also have more information on accidents at work
- To learn more about controlling risks at work, please see this HSE guide.
- Head here for government guidance on The Highway Code
How much should I settle for in a fatal accident compensation payout?
Each case differs and compensation amounts are never set in stone. This is why it’s important to have the expertise of a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side to calculate and pursue the highest possible amount on your behalf.
What is a fatal accident?
A fatal accident is an unfortunate incident that results in someone’s death.
When can fatal accident claims be made?
Whether the fatality happened at the scene of the accident or progressed gradually afterwards, if your loved one lost their life as a result of third-party negligence, you could be entitled to claim compensation.
Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim fatal accident compensation.
Guide by JJW
Edited by OM