Losing a loved one is always traumatic, no matter what the circumstances are. However, the emotional pain caused can be worsened if their death was caused as a result of somebody else’s negligence.
Fatal accidents can be completely unexpected and can happen for many different reasons ranging from medical negligence, accidents at work or even assault.
A fatal injury can leave behind severe consequences for any dependents that were previously being supported by them, such as a loss of earnings from their salary or a negative impact on their health if they were being cared for by their loved one.
If you have lost someone close to you as a result of a fatal accident, caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to claim for compensation to aid the financial burden you may have been left with.
The law regarding fatal injury claims
In UK law, according to the Fatal Accident Act 1976, dependents of the deceased are eligible to make a fatal accident compensation claim if the accident was caused as a result of somebody else’s negligence.
A dependent is described as:
· A spouse or ex-spouse
· A family member such as parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters etc.
· Anyone that has been living with the deceased as wife or husband for at least two years before the death
· Blood children and other descendants such as adopted children or children through marriage
If you fall under one of these categories and have recently experienced the loss of a loved one due to negligence, please contact our personal injury solicitors as you may be entitled to make a dependency claim for compensation.
Common accidents that lead to fatal injuries
The most common accidents that lead to fatal injury claims include:
Road traffic accidents – Negligent driving on the road can often lead to serious accidents which have the potential to be fatal due to high speeds and the impact of the incident.
Assault claims – Serious assaults can lead to fatalities and can be completely unprovoked. Unfortunately, these criminal injuries still happen on a regular basis.
Medical negligence – Medical negligence happens when medical professionals neglect their duties to their patients, which can lead to a range of complications that can lead to death.
Accidents at work – Accidents can occur in any workplace, especially manual labour jobs when those in charge fail to reduce the risks for their staff.
If the deceased died in unclear or unusual circumstances, their death may be reported to a coroner who then could decide to hold an inquest.
If you have experienced the loss of a loved one as a result of one of these types of accidents, or any other accident, do not hesitate to get in touch with our solicitors, who will be able to determine if you are eligible to make a claim.
What can be recovered in fatal injury claims?
How much you can claim in compensation for a fatal injury depends on the individual case and the circumstances. However, typically dependents of the deceased can claim compensation for:
· Loss of amenity, pain and suffering of the deceased – If the death was caused by a specific disease or illness, for example, if the deceased was bed-ridden due to medical negligence, compensation for any unnecessary suffering during their lifetime can be claimed.
· Losses for dependency – This is applicable if the dependent relied on the deceased’s income. The amount that will be received from this type of claim depends on how much the deceased was earning.
· Actual losses – This type of compensation claim covers costs incurred whilst caring for the deceased prior to their death. These costs include funeral expenses, hospital expenses, housing adaptations and travelling costs for medical treatment,
· Loss of earnings – If the death was not immediate, any earnings that the deceased lost whilst being unable to work is taken into consideration.
· Loss of services – It is also possible to claim compensation for any services that the deceased may have provided, such as housework, childcare and other jobs. If the deceased was caring for a loved one prior to their death, the cost of hiring a replacement carer may be considered.
The amount you will receive from your compensation claim will vary depending on your circumstances as well as the circumstances that led to your loved one’s passing.
Fatal Injury Claims: The statutory bereavement award
Alongside the list above, there is also the possibility for recovering a nominal amount of £15,120 as part of the statutory bereavement award. This award is separate to the amount you will claim as part of your fatal injury case. However, this amount is only permitted to the spouse of the deceased or the parents of a deceased child.
Time limits for making a fatal injury claim
The law on time limits for fatal injury claims for compensation can be complicated. However, the general rule is that you have three years from the date of death to have either settled your claim or initiated Court proceedings. The three-year deadline starts from the date that the accident happened or from the date on which you realised that the accident was associated with negligence.
If the deceased was in the process of proceeding with a personal injury claim when they died, the three-year deadline will begin again from the date of their death.
How much will it cost to make a claim?
We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are; if we take on your fatal injury case, we will almost always do so on no win no fee agreements (also known as a conditional agreement).
This means that if you do not win your case, you do not pay us any fees at all. If we win the case, we take a small percentage of your compensation, which we will agree with you beforehand, to cover our costs.
We will never ask you to sign anything until you are completely happy with what it is that we are proposing.
How can Wildwood Legal assist?
At Wildwood Legal, our core strength is in personal injury claims. We aim to give you not only quality aid but flexibility and clarity as we know that these qualities are just as important. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
We value the opinion of our clients. We will always listen to you and take on board what you say. With 25 years of experience in personal injury law, we can help you with the claims process. We always strive to put you at ease and explain the process clearly.
We understand that the death of a loved one is never easy, and whilst compensation might not help with the emotional pain, it may help to ease the financial burden that you may be facing as a result of the death.
Our aim is to obtain a great outcome for your case, we value the opinion of our clients, and we will always listen to you and take on board what you say. Most importantly, we are on your side.
We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are; if we take on your case, we will almost always do so on a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a No Win, No Fee basis). To make an enquiry, get in contact with us either email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 01423 209 046
We have registered offices in Harrogate and London.
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