Death by Dangerous Driving – Compensation

Death by Dangerous Driving Compensation

It is one thing for bereaved families to deal with the untimely and sudden loss of a loved one on the road, but when the death is due to a deliberate or reckless disregard to life, it is harder to take. For information on causing death be careless driving compensation please click on the link.

We are specialist fatal accident solicitors who are here to help bereaved families.  We are not solicitor who defend the criminals so if you have suffered loss please read on or contact us to make a claim for compensation for death by dangerous driving.

Fatal accident claims

Definition of causing death by dangerous driving

Causing death by dangerous driving is a statutory offence in England and Wales…  It is currently created by section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as substituted by the Road Traffic Act 1991);

On the Crown Prosecution Service website it provides some useful information of what can constitute a claim for compensation for causing death by dangerous driving under  section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988).

‘When the suspect’s driving is a cause or factor in the death of another person and the driving was dangerous.’

By “dangerous” we mean within the meaning of section 2A of the RTA 1988, i.e.

‘the standard of driving falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.’

The criminal sanction is14 years’ imprisonment, by virtue of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and/or an unlimited fine.

Examples of causing death by dangerous driving compensation:

The driver who caused the fatal accident does not have to be the sole cause of the fatality.

The leading case law on the topic are:-

R v Hennigan [1971]

 R v Skelton [1995]

 R v Barnes [2008]

R v L [2011] 

The principles of what the Judge’s will consider on any charge arising out of the statutory office are summarised below:

  • The criminal driver must have played a part not simply in creating the occasion for the fatal accident, i.e. causation in the “but for” sense, but in bringing it about;
  • The degree of contribution to the criminal activity is beyond a negligible;
  • If the criminal driving is too remote from the later event to have caused the death, the Judge may dismiss the claim.

See Crown Prosecution Service website causing death by dangerous driving.

Death by Dangerous Driving Compensation?

For the purposes of this website, there is no need to go into detail about what constitutes “dangerous driving” as it is very much dependent upon individual facts and moreover a common sense.  Some guidance can be obtained from the Crown Protection Service:

Three Common Offences of Causing Death while Driving.

  1. Causing Death by Careless driving or Inconsiderate Driving:(Section 2B of the Road Traffic Act 1988, amended by the Road Safety Act 2006, s. 20).

Examples of Careless Driving :
• Driving too close to another vehicle.
• Driving through a red light by mistake.
• Overtaking on the inside.
• Turning in to path of another vehicle.
• Being avoidably distracted by the radio, cigarette etc.

Source: Crown Prosecution Service Fact Sheet

2. Causing Death by Dangerous Driving: (Section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988).

Examples of Dangerous Driving :
• Racing / Going too fast / driving too aggressively.
• Ignoring traffic lights.
• Overtaking dangerously.
• Driving when knowing there is a serious fault with the vehicle.
• Being dangerously distracted by a map / phone / radio etc.

Source: Crown Prosecution Service Fact Sheet:
3. Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs: (Section 3A Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1988).

Examples of death by carless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption,
  • Excessive prescription drug consumption,
  • Illegal drug consumption,
  • Mixture of drugs and alcohol consumption,

Most Serious offence is Death by Dangerous Driving Offence.

This will involve driving that is deliberate, the CPS use the words “a flagrant disregard” for the rules of the road, examples include:

  • A prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving
  • Consuming substantial amounts of alcohol or drugs leading to gross impairment.

Death by Dangerous Driving creating substantial risk of danger to life.

This is the second serious charge which the following will be taken into account by the Police:

  • Excessive speed, racing or competitive driving against another driver,
  • Avoidable distraction such as using your phone, reading, composing a text message over a period of time.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failing to take prescribed medication or as a result of a known medical condition.

Death by Dangerous Driving creating significant risk of danger to life.

The third charge and less serious compared to the other two charges but nevertheless, the end result is still the same.

  • Driving above the speed limit/at a speed that is inappropriate for the prevailing conditions.
  • Driving when knowingly deprived of adequate sleep or rest or knowing that the vehicle has a dangerous defect or is poorly maintained or is dangerously leaded.
  • A brief but obvious danger arising from a seriously dangerous manoeuvre.
  • Driving whilst avoidably distracted.
  • Failing to have proper regard to vulnerable road users.

Are You Affected by the Death of a Loved One Due to Dangerous Driving?

You are not alone. We are here to help you every step of the way.  Our philosophy is the same (see our quote below). We help you get to the truth, support you through the Courts and Inquest hearing and claim any compensation for the family left behind.

Please contact us, even if you are a concerned friend of the bereaved family call us now.  We will be pleased to hear from you. Our advice can be undertaken by our no win, no fee, solicitors.

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