Category Archives: Blog

The Main Differences Between Death by Careless & Dangerous Driving

Death by careless driving and death by dangerous driving are two common types of motoring offences in the United Kingdom. Sadly, both types of offences involve loss of life following a road accident and can lead to serious criminal prosecution. However, for most people not involved in the legal sector, it can be challenging to understand the differences between careless and dangerous driving.

We are specialists in fatal accident claims involving road accidents. In the latest article from our expert solicitors, we will explain the main differences between both types of motoring offences.

What is Careless Driving?

The standard of driving is the most critical factor when considering if someone has acted carelessly or dangerously. Every motorist has a responsibility to drive safely and competently.

Careless driving is defined by the Road Traffic Act 1988 as driving “without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road.” Generally speaking, to be charged with careless driving, the driver will be judged to have driven slightly below that of a competent driver. Careless driving may appear minor, but it can still lead to severe accidents and death and should not be treated lightly.

Examples of careless driving include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Driving too close to other vehicles
  • Running a red light
  • Overtaking on the inside
  • Turning into the path of other vehicles
  • Using a mobile phone while driving
  • Eating or smoking while driving

What is Dangerous Driving?

The Road Traffic Act 1988 defines dangerous driving as using a vehicle “dangerously on a road or other public place.” It is by far the more serious conviction. In comparison with careless driving, the threshold for being charged with dangerous driving is much more significant. The driver will be judged to have driven well below the expected standards of a competent driver.

Examples of dangerous driving include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Racing, speeding or driving aggressively
  • Driving when unfit
  • Overtaking other vehicles dangerously
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Ignoring traffic lights and road signs
  • Driving on a hard shoulder

What It Means for Prosecution

The Crown Prosecution Service will decide whether to charge someone with careless driving or dangerous driving. When a case goes to court, the prosecutors must show strong evidence that the driver’s standards either fell slightly (careless) or far below (dangerous) that of a competent driver. The driver may be charged with dangerous driving but prosecuted with the lesser charge of careless driving if it’s not proven that they acted dangerously. Evidence that can affect a verdict includes alcohol or drugs consumption, excessive speed, licence and insurance documentation, previous convictions, and competitive driving.

When it comes to sentencing, the judge will consider the degree of culpability and harm caused to another person. Causing death by careless driving comes with a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment while dangerous driving is a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. Other possible punishments include fines, community orders and disqualification.

It’s important to note that this article only covers accidents caused by careless or dangerous driving. If a vehicle was used to intentionally harm or kill another person, this would also fall under murder or manslaughter. Likewise, using a mobile phone or driving without insurance are covered with their own offences.

Get Compensation for Death by Careless/Dangerous Driving

If you’ve been affected by a death caused by careless or dangerous driving, it’s important not to suffer alone. Careless driving compensation and dangerous driving compensation are vital for receiving financial support and coming to terms with your loss. Get in touch with us today, and one of our solicitors will explain how we can help you.

Companies That Have Paid Out Compensation for Mesothelioma

Asbestos is a dangerous type of mineral that, when inhaled, can damage the lungs and cause long-term diseases and other serious health issues, including mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is most commonly caused by asbestos exposure. The cancer can typically affect the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. Mesothelioma is a long-term condition, and it may take several years for symptoms to begin showing. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and a persistent cough. By the time symptoms show up, and a diagnosis is made, it is often too late to save the victim from death. According to the NHS website, about 50% of people live at least a year after diagnosis, while only 10% live at least five years after.

The risk of breathing in asbestos becomes apparent when a material containing the mineral is damaged. While the use of asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1999, many old buildings still contain asbestos. Therefore, the risk is greater for people who work in certain industries such as construction and insulation. That is why there are serious regulations to ensure that asbestos exposure is kept to a minimum. However, certain companies have sadly failed to protect their employers from the risk of asbestos, resulting in heavy consequences such as paying compensation damages.

Keep reading to see some of the biggest companies that have been forced to pay compensation following a death from mesothelioma or other asbestos-related conditions.

Talc Supplier to Pay $4.8 Million

We’ll start with one of the most recent examples of a mesothelioma compensation verdict delivered by a US court in April 2021. As reported by, a talc supplier has been ordered to pay a victim a whopping $4.8 million. Whittaker Clark & Daniels were found guilty of negligence by a civil jury in Los Angeles County. 78-year old Willie McNeal, Jr. was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, having used Old Spice Talcum Powder daily for 22 years. The jury determined that the supplier was 42% responsible for Mr McNeal’s illness.

Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $120 Million

In another example similar to the one above, Johnson & Johnson, a manufacturer of healthcare products, has been ordered to pay $120 Million. Donna Olson and her husband took the company to court in what turned out to be a 14-week trial. It was alleged that Mrs Olson was diagnosed with mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson’s talc products. A judge initially demanded a payout of $325 million, but following a review by the New York State Supreme Court, the compensation was lowered to $120 million.

Former Boots’ Employer Receives Six-Figure Payout

For a story closer to home, we only have to look at this story by the Daily Record. In 1975, Lynne Mitchell worked at a Boots store in Exeter, Devon, while it was undergoing construction work. She worked at the store for 12 years but only started feeling symptoms of mesothelioma in 2016. According to Mrs Mitchell, the work at the store lasted for around six months, and the “whole environment remained very dusty.” As a result of her diagnosis, she was forced to sell her farm in France and moved back to Devon, ending one of her life’s dreams. Boots admitted liability, and both parties agreed on an undisclosed six-figure settlement.

Widow to Receive Payout for Husband’s Death

As reported by KentOnline, a widow is set to receive compensation following her husband’s death. Scott Morrison worked at the Chart Leacon railway depot in Ashford, Kent. In September 2018, Mr Morrison became ill and was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma. Sadly, he died only two months after being diagnosed. His wife, Diane Morrison, worked with a legal team to identify how he was exposed to asbestos. Following the testimony of former colleagues, it was determined that Mr Morrison regularly handled old train parts containing asbestos. Bombardier, the company that owned the depot at the time, settled with Mr Morisson’s wife. She was able to recover some of the hospice costs accrued due to his end-of-life care.

Please visit our dedicated page on asbestos compensation after death claims to find out more about this type of accident. If you have sadly lost a loved one due to asbestos exposure in the workplace, you don’t have to suffer alone. We are professional solicitors in this sector. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about your options for claiming compensation damages.

When You Can and Cannot Claim for the Bereavement Award

Throughout our many years covering fatal accident claims, we’ve been longtime supporters of the bereavement award. We know how helpful the award can be for relatives who’ve lost a loved one quite suddenly due to another person’s actions. In many ways, the bereavement award is a necessity for coping with the emotional and financial damage caused as a result of the death. We continue to fight for greater inclusion and larger figures when it comes to bereavement damages.

Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for a bereavement award, even in circumstances where you would assume eligibility to be obvious. The bereavement award can be a complicated matter, but in today’s blog post we will try and explain when you can and cannot make claim for the award under certain situations.

When You Can Claim

First of all, a bereavement award is not simply handed out for every death. The law is pretty clear that the award can only be provided when someone’s death is judged to be due to the unlawful or negligent actions of another party. Only after that fact has been established can we begin to look at the specifics of who may be eligible. The bereavement award is governed by the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 which states that damages should only be paid to people who meet the criteria. It is here were we, and many other solicitors, believe that the law is too strict and doesn’t take into account the individual circumstances.

So who can claim for the bereavement award? Presently, you can only make a claim if you are a surviving spouse or civil partner, as long as the death is judged to have happened due to someone’s negligence or unlawful actions. If you are a parent of a child who has tragically died, you can pursue a claim if they were under 18 at the time of death. Last of all, unmarried couples who’ve lived together for at least two years are now able to make a claim, something that has only been possible in recent years following court battles.

When You Cannot Claim

If another person has not caused the death, such as natural causes, then a bereavement award is not possible. There may, however, be other areas of compensation or financial support available for cases that fall into that category. As we have already made clear, a fatal accident that fits the bill is not enough to automatically provide someone with the bereavement award.

You must apply for the award and only the people mentioned in the previous section are able to do so. The award has limited criteria that clearly states who is eligible rather than who is specifically unable to claim. That means parents of an adult that has died would not be eligible. Likewise, children are not eligible should they lose a parent. Grandparents are also unable to claim for the award. Unmarried partners who’ve lived together for less than two years would not be eligible for the bereavement award should one of them sadly pass.

Do you think you are eligible for the bereavement award? We are specialists in this area of fatal accident claims.  Please contact us today to find out more about your options.

5 of the Top Most Dangerous Professions in the UK

Have you ever wondered what job professions are the most dangerous to work for in the UK? In this article, we will explore that very question!

Fatal accidents at work can happen in any working situation, even in the most innocuous environments such as that of the typical office space. However, there are certain types of jobs and industries where the risk of serious accidents or injuries increases significantly. Below we will provide a rundown of some of the top five most dangerous professions in the UK.

1 – Construction

We have to start with an obvious answer and what is clearly a hazardous environment… the construction industry! Whether you are a builder, scaffolder, surveyor, or another type of worker in this sector, there are several potential dangers to look out for. Construction work is typically a very complex job that requires specialised personnel, suitable equipment and appropriate safety measures. Working with a range of heavy materials and unfinished structures raises a series of unique challenges. For projects with multiple storeys, one of the common risks is the possibility of falling from a height.

2 – Farming

You might not have initially thought of this answer, but when it comes to annual statistics for industries with the most accidents, the farming industry is usually right up there. Those working in agriculture will usually work with heavy machinery and large vehicles which can pose a serious threat to your life. As with the construction sector, there’s also the risk of injury when working at height. And let’s not forget about the animals! The behaviour of animals, no matter how small or large, can be unpredictable and may lead to a serious accident, especially if the employee is untrained.

3 – Transportation

Any job that involves the use of a vehicle for work purposes, whether a lorry driver or a bus driver, comes with a host of unique hazards. In most cases, jobs such as this require additional training and qualifications. Large vehicles are significantly more challenging to drive than a standard four-wheel car, so it can be a difficult task for drivers to switch between the two. Driving jobs may often involve long hours of work, so if tiredness or a lack of concentration creeps in, the driver could lose control of the vehicle. Not to mention these types of jobs usually involve spending most of your time on busy and hazardous roads like the motorway.

4 – Manufacturing

Whenever you research statistics for the top workplace accidents, the manufacturing industry is another sector that will usually be in one of the top positions. Working in the manufacturing industry involves making a range of goods on a large scale in a potentially dangerous setting. The job can be completed either via your own hands or with the use of machinery. Accidents here can include incidents that involve machinery and being exposed to hazardous substances.

5 – Waste Collection

If collecting and disposing of household waste doesn’t already sound like a horrible task to you, what about the risk of a serious accident? First of all, waste collectors are coming into contact with rubbish bags that could contain anything. Hazardous items could include sharp materials, electrical equipment, harmful bacteria, needles, and so on. If the binbag breaks, then this can create all kinds of dangerous issues. Other hazards that waste collectors may encounter include slips and trips, machinery incidents, and being struck by other vehicles.

Has someone you loved suffered a fatal accident at work due to the unlawful or negligent actions of someone else? If so, then you may be eligible to make a claim and receive thousands in compensation. We are experienced in this particular area of law and are committed to providing families and friends with the valuable advice and support that they require.

Please contact us today to find out more about the compensation options available to you.

How Does Asbestos Affect the Body?

Asbestos is a dangerous mineral that can lead to truly devastating consequences. When a material containing asbestos becomes damaged, it creates a hazard for anyone who comes into contact with it. Exposure to asbestos is most common in workplaces which involve property work such as construction and renovation. At first, there are no signs that anything is wrong. Instead, asbestos acts as a silent and invisible killer, slowly attacking a person’s internal organs over several years without them being aware. Asbestos-related illnesses can come in many forms, the majority of which affect the lungs.

In today’s article, we will look at the different ways in which asbestos can affect the body and the long-term effects that it can have on a person’s life.


Cancer is undoubtedly one of the world’s cruellest illnesses. For the patient, it means pain, emotional stress and years of torment in trying to find a treatment that works. For family and friends, it means feeling helpless watching a loved one struggle right in front of them, and having to endure the bereavement heartbreak should they lose their battle. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cancer, but there are several treatments that can help aid remission. Sadly, cancer is also one of the most common diseases that can be caused by exposure to asbestos.

Cancer is where cells in the human body grow out of control and overcrowd normal cells, making it difficult for the body to function as normal. Cancer can occur anywhere in the body and in the case of asbestos, it is most likely to appear in the lining of the lungs or abdomen. For instance, mesothelioma is one of the most common types of asbestos-related cancers, and it is both rare and incurable. Asbestos-related cancer can also appear in the ovaries and larynx.

In the case of mesothelioma, when a person breathes in the asbestos minerals, the fibres can become lodged in the lining of the lungs, abdomen and heart. These can then damage the mesothelial cells and cause inflammation over time, allowing tumours to form. Due to how it affects the body, it can lead to physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughs, fevers, chest or abdomen pain, fatigue, and nausea. While mesothelioma cannot be cured, if a diagnosis is spotted early, treatments can help control the symptoms.

Lung Inflammation and Scarring

Another way in which asbestos affects the body is through lung inflammation and scarring. This is typical of asbestosis, a lung condition caused by long-term exposure. This is where the lungs can become inflamed and scarred due to the asbestos fibers, preventing them from expanding and relaxing as normal. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, coughs, wheezing, and chest tightness.

Pleural Effusion and Thickening

The pleural is a fluid-filled space surrounding the lungs which can be significantly affected by breathing in asbestos. Two of the key conditions that we will cover in this section are pleural effusion and pleural thickening. Pleural effusion is where excessive fluid can build up between the lungs and chest cavity. This can cause difficulty breathing as well as a dry cough, chest pain and persistent hiccups. Pleural thickening, on the other hand, is extensive scarring that thickens the pleural lining, causing chest pain and breathing issues. If pleural thickening reaches an advanced stage, it can be extremely serious and cause restrictive lung disease, making it extremely hard for someone to breathe.

Have you been affected by a tragic loss due to an asbestos-related condition? We know the pain and suffering that this can cause, both mentally and financially. As solicitors that specialise in mesothelioma compensation after death claims, we are committed to working tirelessly to ensure that victims and families get the compensation they deserve.

If you would like to know more, please call us on 0151 724 7121 or contact us online and a friendly member of our team will get in touch for a no-obligation chat.

2 Examples of Bereavement Award Payouts

Here on Fatal Accident Claims, we have talked about the bereavement award for several years now. This is one of our most specialist areas and a common first step in achieving compensation following the death of a loved one. We have long debated that the award is unjust and offers a pitiful amount, but for those that can claim, it is at least better than nothing. The award can be really essential in helping loved ones come over a sudden death as well as any financial issues as a result of the death, and there are several public examples where this has been the case.

In this article, we provide details of two examples of bereavement award payouts that have helped families come to terms with their sad loss, as well as offering them support in a financial sense.

Two Teenage Girls Killed in a Car Crash

As reported by the Daily Mail in 2015, we worked on a tragic case in which two teenager girls died following a two-car crash. Megan Storey and Jordanna Goodwin, both aged 16, sadly died alongside three friends in Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, when their blue Toyota Corolla lost control and crashed into another vehicle. The deaths were ruled accidental and charges were dropped against a third driver due to a lack of evidence that they were at fault.

The mother’s of Megan and Jordanna each received a bereavement award payout, which at the time was £12,980. They were outraged at the injustice of the system and we helped them in launching an e-petition to change the law for the better.

Partner Died Following Infection

This is perhaps one of the most well-known bereavement award stories to appear in recent times due to what it led to. In October 2011, prison governor John Bulloch, aged 66, lost his life due to an infection. Mr Bulloch had undergone surgery to remove a benign tumour on his right foot. Following this, he picked up an infection from the surgery that had not been discovered by the medical professionals. His long-term partner, Jacqueline Smith, was not entitled to the bereavement award as, at the time, only spouses or civil partners could claim. Ms Smith challenged this in court, claiming that it was not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court of Appeal ultimately ruled in her favour that cohabiting partners should have the same rights as spouses in relation to claiming for bereavement damages.

Technically, this story does not fit with the article’s theme of bereavement payout examples but nevertheless, it is one of the award’s most influential cases. While the law was amended, Ms Smith was not able to receive a payout as retrospective cases are not considered.

Make a Bereavement Claim

Do you think you may be eligible to pursue a bereavement claim? The bereavement award may sound complicated in terms of eligibility, but don’t let that scare you away. It is completely free to get in touch with us and there is no commitment required at this stage. Please feel free to begin your conversation with us today and one of our expert solicitors will be more than happy to let you know if you are eligible for a bereavement award or not. If you cannot claim for a bereavement award, rest assured that there are other compensation options available to you.

The Bereavement Award Payout Has Increased as of May 2020

It’s taken a while, but the bereavement award has finally seen an increase to its payout amount…

As of 1st May 2020, the sum awarded for bereavement damages in England and Wales has been increased from £12,980 to £15,120. It is the first increase in the award that the government has introduced for seven years. The increase only applies to deaths that have happened after May 1st. Any successful cases involving deaths before this date will only pay the previous value of £12,980.

The bereavement award is an essential form of compensation for families of the deceased. However, we have long campaigned against the injustice of the award in its current state. We believe that the award remains a low sum that doesn’t fully take into account how the death occurred and the devastation that it leaves behind. The award is also very restrictive in who can claim eligibility.

If you would like advice and support with the bereavement award, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are experienced solicitors in this field and a friendly member of our team will be happy to help you out.

What to Look for When Appointing a Fatal Accident Claims Solicitor

If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal accident that wasn’t their fault, we know that the aftermath can be challenging for you due to several reasons. When you are ready to pursue a compensation claim, there are several factors to look out for to make sure you receive the best solicitor support and advice that you require.

Here are some of the things you should look out for when appointing a fatal accident claims solicitor…

Free Advice

First of all, most solicitors who have the best interests of their potential client in mind will look to consult with you on a free, no-obligation basis. Solicitors who wish to take money before they consider the facts should be avoided. At Fatal Accident Claims, we’re delighted to say that we will always offer free advice before formally working with you. We will listen to what you have to say and will explain the options available to you based on what you have described. We will be open to answering any questions you have or looking to address any concerns. Seeking a solicitor is the very first stage of the claims process and we know the pain and challenges you’ve faced from the death will likely still be very present. It’s a commitment of ours to be friendly and supportive while remaining professional in using our expertise to discuss the possibilities of your individual case.

Area of Speciality

You have a better chance of winning your claim when you appoint a solicitor who has experience and speciality in the area. Each case is different and it’s important that a specialist solicitor knows the ins and outs of the law. We are experienced in fatal accident claims, so much so that we have a whole website dedicated to it! Our experience in this sector of law has seen us help clients who’ve lost loved ones due to various circumstances of negligence and unlawful acts. We have a particular interest in the bereavement award and believe the current state of the law is inadequate for the purpose that it serves in awarding family members with suitable compensation. We are also happy to support you in attending an inquest hearing if needed.

Are They Regulated?

It’s important that you appoint a solicitor firm which is regulated. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the regulatory body in England and Wales for solicitors. They are there to ensure that the public is protected by a series of enforced regulations. The regulations are in place to make sure that solicitors operate in a way that meets the standards required. The SRA image at the bottom of our website shows that we are properly regulated.

How You Will Be Charged

Before you formally agree to the services of a firm, you should be aware of how you will be charged and whether any of your compensation award will go to the solicitor firm. At Fatal Accident Claims, we are proud to operate on a no-win, no fee basis. You won’t have to pay our fees should you lose the compensation claim. We also won’t take any of the compensation off you. After all, it’s the compensation you deserve for the loss that you have suffered. You will keep 100% of the compensation.

For more information about our fatal accident claims service, please contact us today. We will be more than happy to discuss your case for free and with no obligation.

What Are Your Fatal Accident Claim Options?

When it comes to fatal accident claims there are a number of possible avenues you can go down to claim the compensation and support you deserve following the death of a loved one. It can be quite challenging knowing what you can do amidst the pain of a bereavement as well as the uncertainty around legal terms which is why we have created this article to explain several options.

Here are some of the options available to you for making a fatal accident claim…

The Options for a Fatal Accident Claim

The term ‘fatal accident claim’ may seem like a simple claim option but it is in fact a complex process of receiving compensation. Every fatal accident is different and so are the options for making a claim. There are a number of different factors that determine what claims can be pursued and how much is awarded. For example, some types of fatal accident claims can only be awarded if the claimant had a particular relation to the deceased at the time of their death. Regardless of these factors, any such claim is reliant on whether the claimant was a dependent of the deceased and only if the accident was a result of error or negligence on the part of another person.

When you first approach a solicitors firm to discuss your case, they will explore the circumstances surrounding the death, your relationship to the deceased, and why compensation would be a suitable and supportive acknowledgement of your unlawful loss. Information such as this is important for establishing what options are available and what options are not possible.

One of the first options to consider is how much pain and suffering has been caused as a result of the accident and how it affected their quality of life. For instance, if the deceased received an asbestos-related disease, this compensation option would take into account the pain and suffering during their lifetime with the disease.

Compensation is not just about providing claimants with justice but it’s also extremely helpful in easing the financial burden, which brings us on to the next claim option. If the death didn’t occur suddenly but rather after a sustained period of time, then certain fees will have been affected by this. Compensation may be awarded to cover medical costs, cost of care and loss of earnings. It will also award other amounts where reasonable expenses may have been required as a result of the accident.

The next option to think about is the bereavement award, a statutory compensation claim that we have long believed to be outdated and unjust. The award is only eligible for spouses or parents of the deceased, which means that there are too many unfair situations of people being unable to claim. The award currently provides damages of £12,980 no matter how the death came to be.

Similar to one of our previous points, there are other expenses that can be aided with a successful compensation claim. When a death has suddenly occurred with no prior warning, funeral expenses can be even more difficult to manage. It’s possible to claim back these expenses with a fatal accident claim.

The last option we would like to mention is a dependency claim. This type of claim highlights how impacted a person has been as a result of the loss of life. It provides compensation damages to claimants who were dependent on the deceased in various aspects of their life. The damages are calculated based on a number of elements including loss of income, loss of pension provision and loss of contribution to household activities.

Get Advice from Experienced Solicitors

If you feel you would be eligible for one of the above options or would like to know more about the help you can receive following a fatal accident, you can get in touch with a qualified law firm. We are an experienced team of solicitors who specialise in fatal accident claims. We can offer free advice no matter how small or large your query is and we can attend an inquest hearing on your behalf. Contact us today to find out more about the support that is available to you.

Rate of Fatal Road Accidents in Britain Reaches Highest in Five Years

Fatal road accidents can leave devastating consequences for all those involved in a crash as well as the family of the deceased. The rate of these type of accidents are on the rise and having reached the highest figure in five years, it just shows the alarming danger road users face in Britain.

As reported by the Metro, 2016 saw the number of fatal road accidents reach its highest point in five years. There were 1,792 deaths recorded which is the highest since 2011 and an increase of 4% from 2015. The Department for Transport has described the data as ‘not statistically significant’ and cited ‘natural variation’ as a probable reason for the increase.

Director of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding, has called for more to be done to prevent further road accidents. Gooding bemoaned the lack of progress since 2011 but has praised a new reporting system which is used to gather accurate data about accidents.

Have you been affected by a fatal road accident? We will help you every step of the way to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact our solicitors today to start your claim.