Fatal Accident Claims Guide

As specialist UK solicitors in fatal accident claims, we know that no compensation can replace the untimely death of a loved one, but it goes a long way in supporting you financially. Learn more about fatal injury claims with our guide.

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We Are Experienced Fatal Accident Claims Solicitors in the UK

The death of a loved one through a fatal accident can lead to total devastation. Compensation from fatal injury claims, bereavement awards and dependency claims are all secondary but important considerations. Every unlawful accident is a personal tragedy, and we ensure that each case will be treated sympathetically.

Dependency claims are a common factor for the immediate family left behind as well as fatal accident compensation for the death and hurt caused. This type of claim is awarded to someone who may have relied on the deceased before their death.

A bereavement award requires set criteria to be met and is based on the claimant's relationship to the deceased. A one-off payment is awarded no matter the specific situation of the fatal accident, the amount of which was last raised to £15,120 in May 2020. The criteria has recently been updated to allow cohabitees to be entitled to the award as long as they lived with the deceased two years before their death.

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A new legislation called Jack's Law is set to come into force to provide parents with bereavement leave following the death of a child.

We understand that not everyone is in search of compensation following a fatal accident. The truth is more important. Over a period of time help is often required if the deceased’s family are met with denials, shifting blame or an unsympathetic attitude. As specialist fatal accident solicitors, we will listen to you and your family in order to take the action you require.

“The law does not always lead to justice but we will ensure that we will use our skill and experience to achieve the best result possible for the family and dependents.” - Mr. Ronnie Hutcheon

When it comes to making a fatal accident claim, our judgement and philosophy is to always act in the best interests of the family and dependents. We encourage you to call even if it is something you may think is trivial.

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Fatal Accident Act 1976

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 provides for a fatal accident compensation award on behalf of the “dependents” of the deceased. The dependents are usually the spouse, partner or children of the deceased. We understand that compensation following an unexpected loss of life is often a secondary thought, but making a claim helps maintain financial stability and relieve the financial worry and stress that comes with losing a spouse or partner. Often a claim out of financial necessity as well as getting to the truth of what happened following a sudden death tends to be the dominant factors when family dependents instruct solicitors.

Its not all about receiving compensation for a fatal accident. Our specialist team of fatal accident claims solicitors help families achieve a sense of justice by taking action against the defendant to prove fault as well as to legally represent the family at the inquest in order to help investigate the cause of death. Very often the defendants will deny responsibility or the cause of death is not always clear, which is why expert legal advice from a qualified fatal accident solicitor is required to achieve justice and to claim the maximum amount of fatal accident compensation.

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What are the most common types of fatal injury claims? Several types of accidents can lead to fatal injuries, including road traffic accidents, such as careless driving and dangerous driving, often involving cyclists and motorcyclists. Workplace accidents, such as industrial incidents, can also cause fatal injuries. Other common accident claims caused by a fatal injury often include industrial diseases such as mesothelioma, medical negligence and criminal assaults.

Why Choose Our National Fatal Accident Claims Solicitors?

Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience, but the emotional strain shouldn’t prevent you from pursuing the support and compensation you need to help you get by. We use our legal expertise to help clients across the UK make a successful compensation claim. Fatal injury claims are essential procedures for easing the financial burden following a sudden death. Below are some of the top reasons to appoint Fatal Accident Claims to manage your claim.

Fatal Accident Claims Specialists

R. James Hutcheon Solicitors consists of lawyers that specialise in this area of law. We know the ins and outs of making a fatal accident claim and can adapt our working processes to fit.

Keep Your Compensation

Unlike most solicitors who will take up to 25% of any compensation awarded, we can provide an option for bereaved families to keep all of their compensation. Please ask for further details.

A Personal Service

We are committed to offering a friendly and personal service that is tailored to you. Our team has over 30 years of experience helping to reduce the burden on grieving relatives.

Establish the Truth

We are dedicated to helping you establish the truth behind your beloved’s death. We will carry out a thorough investigation to determined what happened and who’s to blame.

No Obligation Support

No matter your query, we can offer free no-obligation support to anyone who needs it. Simply pick up the phone and a fatal accident solicitor will walk you through your options.

We Are Regulated

Our firm is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) which protects the public with enforced regulations. We ensure that our team follows industry guidelines and best practices.

What Our Clients Think

We know that claiming fatal accident compensation can be a deeply personal and emotionally challenging experience. You should feel comfortable speaking to your solicitors as if they are friends or family members, providing them with all the details they need to support you. Our solicitors approach every case with compassion and sensitivity at the forefront to ease you throughout the process, offer helpful advice and ensure you get the financial and emotional aid you deserve. Here are some things our clients say about the assistance they've received from our fatal accident claim solicitors.

Questions About Fatal Accident Claims

At Fatal Accident Claims, we know that this area of law can be confusing and overwhelming, especially for people who have limited knowledge on the topic. On top of this, the loss of a loved one may mean that you already feel stressed and disoriented about the next steps. As specialist fatal accident solicitors, we are committed to helping you in any way we can, including providing useful information and advice to further your understanding and make you feel at ease.

We have collated some answers to a selection of some of the most frequent questions about making a fatal accident claim. If you have a question that isn't covered here, please don't hesitate to contact us today and we'll do our best to advise you with the answer.

Are you wondering what a fatal accident claim is? This type of compensation claim is made under the Fatal Accident Act 1976. A claim can occur when someone has tragically and unexpectedly lost their life due to the unlawful or negligent actions of another person. Fatal accident claims are intended to provide a claimant with compensation damages that will help ease their financial burden following a loss.

The Fatal Accident Act 1976 is a piece of legislation in the UK that modernised the law and how it correlates to bereavement damages for relatives. In summary, the legislation ‘allows relatives of people killed by the wrongdoing of others to recover damages’. It states that if someone’s wrongful or negligent actions caused the death of another person, then the relatives are entitled to bereavement damages. Compensation claims that fall under this legalisation include dependency claims, bereavement claims and funeral expenses.

To be eligible for a fatal accident claim, first of all, there must be evidence that shows the loss of life was caused by a third party due to their unlawful or negligent actions. Relatives of the deceased may be eligible for a claim. This can include spouses, cohabitees, children, parents, siblings, and so on. Typically, if you were close to the deceased and suffered greatly as a result of the loss, particularly financially, then you may be able to make a claim.

There are several types of fatal accident compensation claims that you can make. You can make a claim for a bereavement award which provides the statutory amount of £15,120 in damages for eligible claimants. You can also make a dependency claim which awards damages to close relatives who, following the death, have been deprived of the deceased’s support and services. Other damages that you can pursue include funeral expenses, medical care, loss of earnings, and compensation for pain and suffering.

Usually, there is a time limit of three years for making a fatal accident claim. This period, which is called the limitation period, either begins from the date of death or the date when the fatal accident occurred. There may be certain exceptions to this timeframe, such as for disease and medical negligence cases, accidents abroad, and criminal assaults and criminal fatal injury claims.

One of the very first steps that you should take is to appoint a specialist firm to manage your case. When looking for the right solicitor, points to consider include their experience in similar cases, their personable and cooperative approach, and how their fees work. During the early stages of a fatal accident claim, the solicitor will work closely with you to gather the facts so that they can provide advice on the options available. If an inquest is held by a coroner, the solicitors will be able to attend and represent you. If the claim goes to court, they will be able to present evidence, such as photographs and witness statements. A claim will be won when the fatal accident solicitors have successfully argued that a third party was liable for the death and that the claimant’s life was significantly impacted as a result.

Yes, we can represent you at an inquest. Inquest hearings are a significant part of the fatal accident claims process. It is here where the cause of the death, as opposed to liability, is established. While you do not need to have a solicitor at the inquest, we highly recommend that you consult one beforehand. If your fatal accident solicitor is able to attend the inquest, this will provide them with first-hand insight into any evidence that is being presented and they can then use this to assess the strength of any subsequent action when moving forward with a claim.

The amount of compensation damages you will receive following a successful claim will be calculated based on several factors, and this can also include the type of fatal accident compensation claim that you make. The court will carefully consider how the death has had an impact on your life, both in terms of how it has affected you financially and how it has affected your day-to-day function. It can take into account pain and suffering, loss of amenity, loss of earnings and services, and losses for dependency. The cost of funeral expenses and medical fees may also affect how much you are awarded.

While making a fatal accident claim may help you very slightly ease the emotional pain that you have suffered, we recognise that this isn’t the core reason for claiming and isn’t going to bring your loved one back. However, unexpected deaths can cause financial distress during what is already a challenging time. A fatal accident claim is most effective when it eases the financial burden on yourself and your family. It allows you to recover damages incurred as a result of the death, such as medical costs and funeral expenses, and claim back any loss in dependency.

We are No Win No Fee solicitors which means that we will only charge you should your claim be successful. With us, you can keep 100% of the fatal accident compensation that you receive. We promise that we will not ask you to pay any upfront charges, to sign any credit agreements, or to pay any hidden costs.

There is no legal requirement to appoint a fatal accident solicitor to make a claim. If you wish, you can pursue a claim yourself. However, claims can be complicated and time-consuming processes. You are likelier to win your fatal accident claim and receive the maximum compensation possible with a specialist solicitor’s support. Our solicitors are experienced in fatal accidents and will prevent unnecessary stress from landing on your part.

Fatal injury claims can be lengthy, and how long a claim takes can vary by case based on several factors. For instance, if the other party denies liability, cases may drag on before a decision is reached. Straightforward claims may be settled in weeks, while complicated cases could take a few years. It’s critical that you appoint a solicitor as soon as possible so they can get started with the process.