Category Archives: Criminal Injuries Compensation

Suspicion of Death by Danger Driving in Liverpool

A man has been arrested in a ‘hit and run’ tragic fatal car accident when the vehicle he was driving caused the tragic death of a little girl and serious injury to her grandmother.

The man who handed himself in after allegedly travelling abroad after the tragic accident is now said to have handed himself in after pleas from his mother on national TV.

Police are not looking for any other suspect.

Further Reading on this tragic event: Liverpool Echo – Violet-Grace

Consequences Causing Death by Dangerous Driving

In our mind the punishment for causing death by dangerous driving are totally inadequate.  The maximum punishment is 14 years in prison.  Most serve less than 5 years.

If the punishment against the driver is not sufficient, bereaved families are further met with an insulting legal system where compensation is of limited or no use especially when it comes to losing children.

Yes compensation is not everything, it will never be enough for a loss of a loved one but the compensation for a fatal accident claim for causing death by dangerous driving can help with financial pressures following the death of a loved one.  Often even if it is not the bread-winner who has died, some bereaved family members cannot go back to work for a long time.  The bills don’t stop coming in.  They need to be paid from somewhere.

If you have been affected please contact us for sympathetic expert legal advice.



Criminal Injuries – Fatal Road Crash

It is unfortunate that there are many senseless deaths and fatal car accidents on UK road due to the criminal acts of others. Usually young teenage or adult males.

Motor vehicles can easily be turned into weapons and cause carnage.  Young males still steel vehicles for ‘joy riding’ or used in the course of a criminal offence such as a get-away car at the scene of a crime.

Whatever the use, there is with regret victims who are present at the wrong place and time who ultimately and needlessly lose their life or suffer from serious injuries or life-changing injuries and are in the need of fatal accident compensation to help them recover and relieve the financial stress and burden of not having to work again.

Help is Available to Victims of Fatal Road Accidents

Those bereaved families who have lost a loved on due to crime or criminal activity can seek independent specialist advice from solicitors dedicated to help victims.

Notwithstanding the criminal often have no assets or money or insurance cover to sue for compensation, a claim can be made for criminal injuries compensation for the death of a loved one.  The scheme is designed to help bereaved families to claim compensation for a fatal accident claim where the death was caused due to a criminal activiity.

For more information on making a criminal injuries claim for compensation for the death of a loved one please click here: criminal injuries – compensation for death.

Dangerous Driving Crackdown

Causing death by dangerous driving provides a life sentence to the love ones left behind.  But what about the person who has caused such heart ache?  How does the legal Justice System treat him or her?

The sad answer, says Ronnie Hutcheon specialist in fatal road traffic accident claims, is that:

the offender is treated with leniency, kid gloves.  The statistics don’t lie, two out of five motorists who are convicted of death by dangerous driving are not jailed, the average prison sentence is just 4  years back in 2014.  Causing death by dangerous driving carries a maximum sentence of 14 years but the average is just less than 6 years.”

Fatal cycle accident

Compensation for Death by Dangerous Driving – Unfair

Most offenders will get legal aid and defend the charge.  Then in the fatal accident compensation claim, the deceased family will then be faced with fighting the fatal accident compensation claim by large insurance companies with big pockets to spend on solicitors.  The family even if the win the case, due to the Conservative legal cut backs, may lose up to 25% of the compensation the family receive to their own solicitors who acted on their behalf.    It is totally unjust.

Crackdown of Sentences for Causing Death by Dangerous Driving

However there is some movement by the Government to a least look into the leniency of sentencing handed down by the Criminal Courts for causing death by dangerous driving. The Ministry of Justice consultation will be launched by the end of 2016.  It is mooted that causing death by dangerous driving will carry a minimum jail sentence of 1 year and that the distinction between death by careless driving and death by dangerous driving should be abolished and judges should be given the discretion to sentence the offender up to 14 years in jail.

Fatal road traffic accident claims


Time will tell if these proposed stronger punishments will materialise in the months and years to come.  But something has to be done to deter dangerous driving on UK roads.

Crime Does Not Pay – Joint Enterprise

Where a fatal road accident occurs the consequences for those left behind are devastating.  But what happens if as a result of the death that caused the fatal injury, the deceased was involved in a criminal activity by himself or with another, for instance on a ‘joint enterprise?’

An example of a criminal activity but be breaking into a car to steal it or driving a car with an intention to seriously injure or kill somebody. This can be done by himself or with others.  The general rule is that if someone has committed a criminal offence, current or a past criminal offence, those charges can be taken into account to stop any compensation or reduce the amount of compensation for a fatal accident claim.

Examples of Criminal Joint Enterprise

In one case where there were two persons involved in a criminal joint enterprise, one a driver and the other a passenger, the driving drove his car negligently and injured a pedestrian.  The Court had found them both responsible for the accident.

The same principle will apply where the passenger encouraged the driver to drive in a dangerous or careless way, if a fatal car accident happens then the passenger and the driver can be held both liable for the death of another.

How Much Compensation Can Be Deducted if There is Criminal Liability

  1. This is dependent upon the facts.  Certainly if the person who caused the fatal accident and died himself by dangerous driving, it will follow that his ‘dependents’ will not be able to claim as his estate and his dependents cannot claim against himself as he was at fault.
  2. If he was killed whilst racing another vehicle in a dangerous manner, it again will follow that his estate and his dependents may not bring a claim due his criminal activity.
  3. If he the driver was innocent in the accident but had criminal convictions in the past, his compensation could be reduced or stopped.  The amount that can be deducted will be dependent upon the seriousness of the criminal convictions.  The ore severe the greater the deduction.

Help and Assistance

Contact the fatal accident claims please contact our experienced solicitor who will help you every step of the way.

Criminal Injuries Compensation

Criminal Injuries Compensation

A close family member can claim compensation on behalf of a loved one if they die from their injuries due to a violent crime.

Criminal Injuries Compensation for a bereavement award can be made providing that the family members who are entitled to claim of sufficiently a close relative to claim similar to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

As a qualifying relative under s 59 of the Scheme is designed to ensure only close members can claim.

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Who Can Claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation?

There are several types of people who can claim for criminal injuries compensation, from children to former spouses and dependents.


Compensation for Fatal AccidentThere is no age limit for a ‘child’, so children of the deceased can claim even though they are over 18 years of age and a child who is born after the tragic event.

A token award of compensation will be payable to the children of the deceased for the loss of a parent’s love and affection and care and supervision etc, providing that the child was receiving such parental care at the time of death and that the child or children were under the age of 18 years at the time of loss.

The child’s payment is £2,000 for each full year, proportionally reduced for part years. There may be additional payments for expenses incurred by the child as a direct result of the loss.  Compensation may be retained until the child or children are 18 years of age, but they may receive advanced payments for their education and welfare.

Former Spouse

A former spouse may claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation if they were financially dependent upon the deceased at the time of death, but they cannot claim for a bereavement award.

Civil Partnership

Similarly, if you are a former Civil Partner registered under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and were financially dependent upon the deceased, a dependency payment can be made, but no compensation for a bereavement award.

Qualifying Relatives & Bereavement Award

A claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation for a bereavement award can be made if you are not divorced or estranged from the deceased at the time of death.

Who Cannot Claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation?

If you are not a ‘qualifying person’ of the deceased and:

  • a person who was responsible for the death of the deceased and
  • a reduction of compensation or that the criminal injuries compensation may be withheld if by the Claimant’s conduct or that of the deceased may have led to or contributed to the death/fatal injury. In addition, if there is a history of criminal convictions, these may also be taken into account to reduce any award.

Financial Dependency Claim

A dependency award for Criminal Injuries Compensation is in addition to any bereavement award. Generally speaking, the ‘dependent’ family member must have been financially or physically dependent upon the deceased at the time of death to obtain an award of compensation. The conditions of dependency to claim must satisfy the conditions of s 43 of the Criminal Injuries Scheme.  No claim is normally made for financial dependency if the deceased was solely reliant upon Government benefits as their main income, which differs somewhat from if a claim was being made under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. If the deceased was not working, a family member who qualifies under the Scheme might still be able to claim a dependency award for the death of a husband or wife, for instance, if they can show that they were in full-time education or were a carer.

The calculation for dependency compensation for criminal injuries will be for the period of the dependency at the weekly rate of statutory sick pay; if there are multiple relatives who qualify for a dependency award, it will be shared equally.

Caring Dependency Claim

If the deceased was the claimant’s main carer for physical needs such as:

  • bathing
  • food preparation
  • eating
  • toileting
  • generally looking after you and keeping a watchful eye on your well being

The relevant family member can claim a CICA dependency award in the same manner as a financial dependency award.

Fatal Injury Claims & Funeral Expenses

These are currently limited to £2,500 for immediate payment if the family qualifies and a further payment of £2,500 as a ‘flat rate’. Most basic funeral costs will be covered, but an additional payment may be made for expenses.

Compensation Claims for a Murdered Relative

Murder Compensation Claims

There is nothing more emotive than losing a loved one due to a criminal act such as murder.  The devastation can only be imagined by those not affected. Even perhaps more hurtful is if the murder is by a family member, husband or wife, for instance, or the murder of a child.

The unthinkable regrettably does happen, but what can the family victims left behind do?

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Criminal Injuries Compensation for Murder

The death of a loved one due to a murder or manslaughter charge may result in a claim for compensation against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority CICA.

The CICA is set up by the Government to help victims of crime by making a compensation award to certain family members who have been affected by the death of a loved one.

The compensation award is similar in a certain respect to a normal claim for fatal accident compensation claims in the civil courts. The CICA have a tariff of compensation awards which includes murder claims, and thus a bereavement award and dependency claim can be made.

Compensation Can Help Given the Circumstances

Nobody is ever suggesting that a lump sum compensation award for a fatal injury claim on a charge of murder or manslaughter can replace the loss of a relative. But compensation for a murdered relative may help those family members left behind, particularly if there are young children or the breadwinner has lost his or her life due to a crime.

The compensation may help towards child care, education and protect their future. Family members struggling to make ends meet will find it easier to cope with the everyday life and bills that keep on coming in. The loss of a loved one due to a crime, the criminal act does not stop bills.

Affected family members, even if they were working at the time, may not be able to come with returning to work for a long period of time or at all.  Again this can result in a loss of income, or if children have to be looked after, the working parent may not be able to return.

Whatever the circumstances, compensation for the murder of a relative due to a crime may be payable even if the perpetrator is known to the victim.

Making a Claim for Criminal Injuries or Murder Compensation

Criminal injury compensation is payable. Making a claim is simple with the fatal accident claim solicitors. We shall deal with all of the paperwork and gather the evidence you need to take the stress and strain from you and your family. We work under a No Win, No Fee Solicitor service, so you have no financial worries in instructing specialist solicitors.

If you are looking for compensation for a murdered parent or relative, please contact us for help and advice.

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Fatal Accident – Who Can Claim Compensation?

Fatal Accidents – Who Can Claim Guide

As specialists in fatal accident claims, this guide will provide you with a quick reference of who can claim compensation for the loss of a loved one.

The law that Determines Who Can Claim

There are two main sources of law that govern fatal accident claims – see also fatal accident claims guide:-

From the above statement, there are mainly two questions raised by clients:

Taking each question in turn.

Fatal Accidents Claims - The Law


Who is a dependant?
This can be very wide. But in most fatal accident compensation claims brought by solicitors on behalf of the dependants, are usually the deceased’s “next of kin,” that is, close family such as widow/widower, children of the deceased, grandparents, brother/sister.

“Dependants are fixed at the date of death but a dependant can be a matter of fiction and entitled to claim”

Due to a recent change in the law, under s. 83 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 a dependant now includes a “Civil Partner” of the Deceased.

In addition to the above, if a partner was living with the Deceased (similar to a husband and wife relationship) for at least 2 years prior to death, the living partner can also become a dependant under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

Dependants are fixed at the date of death but a dependant can be a matter of fiction and entitled to claim. Therefore a dependant can be an unborn child at the date of death. It can also be a child that has not yet been born. Thus if there is evidence that the deceased would have intended to start a family then a possible claim can be made on behalf of that “fictitious” child.  For further information pleas also see our fatal accidents claims guide.

What does estate mean?
In lay-person’s terms, the “estate” are the assets and liabilities of the Deceased accrued at death and may continue after death. This can include the value of any house, money in the bank, shares, bonds, investments, life insurance policies less any liabilities that the Deceased owed at the time of death such as bank loans, mortgages etc.

Thus any compensation for a fatal accident claim due to the Deceased will therefore form part of the Deceased’s estate like an asset.

In most claims, the person(s) entitled to the deceased’s estate are usually the dependants, but not always. Therefore a fatal accident claim may give rise to one person being entitled to all the compensation, an obvious example is the widow who can claim as a dependant and also as the person entitled under her late husband’s estate.

Fatal Accidents Claims - The Law

What can be claimed, following a fatal accident?

The following is a summary of the compensation that can be claimed following a fatal accident:

  • Pain and suffering of the deceased (if any at the time)
  • Funeral expenses
  • Statutory bereavement award currently £12,980
  • Losses incurred between fatal accident and death
  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical expenses
  • Claims for any care provided by dependants
  • Travel expenses
  • Loss of pension entitlements
  • Damage to clothing and property
  • All other reasonable losses and expenses.

Fatal accident claims guide – Some points of note

The court will not award any compensation to the estate if death was instantaneous (technically, there is no pain and suffering). This is difficult to explain to grieving dependants as clearly there must have been some pain and suffering that had caused death.

“The law that deals with fatal accident compensation, clearly gets in the way of justice in our respectful view.”

Similarly if the Deceased was in coma before death there is no claim for pain and suffering. In the tragic case of Hicks (one of the Hillsborough Cases) the medical evidence brought to court was that both girls died of traumatic asphyxia in the crush and would have fallen unconscious within seconds and died within minutes. The claim for compensation was rejected.

It is with regret that the law governing fatal accident compensation claims do not tend to favour dependant claimants and are often harsh. The law that deals with fatal accident compensation, clearly gets in the way of justice in our respectful view.

Fatal Car Accidents

Fatal Car Accidents and Compensation Claim Solicitors

Nobody can put a cost on the death of a loved one following a fatal car accident. The personal tragedy, pain and suffering is immeasurable. Whilst the law treats the death of a loved one following a fatal car accident as the same as other tragic accidents, fatal car accidents deserve a particular mention here because of the number of deaths on the Road (about 3,000 per year).

Fatal road accident claims

It is often the case that death by dangerous driving often leave bereaved families let down by the Justice system.  With only 60% of drivers being procectued and an average prison sentence of 4 years really is not good enough.  With compensation that follows a fatal road accident by dangerous or careless driving, totally inadequate, it is common feeling of injustice for the victim and the family left behind.

The two main types of fatal accident claims that arise from the following charges made out by the police:

Fatal road accident claims may also arise without any charge of criminal activity on behalf of the driver(s) to blame.  This is because to charge a driver with death by careless or dangerous driving requires a higher standard of proof by the police (or Crown Prosecution Service ‘CPS’).  The phrase most people would have heard from films is ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt.’  However in a civil claim as opposed to criminal, where compensation is claimed against the driver(s), the standard of proof the fatal accident solicitors need is ‘on a balance of probabilities’ i.e. proof of blame above 50%.

Help & Support When You Need It – Fatal Accidents

Despite the hurdles families have to face when they lose a loved one following a death in a fatal car accident, nevertheless there is an enormous amount of work we can do to help you.  From helping with the investigations about the cause of the fatal road accident to dealing with the paper-work and compensation amount we will be here for you every step of the way.

Our NO WIN, NO FEE, SOLICITOR service means that there will be at least one less worry on the families behalf by instructing us the specialist in fatal car accident claims.

Fatal Injuries & Road Accidents – Solicitors Advice

Fatal Car Accidents – Multiple Hurt

With fatal car accidents the tragedy is often amplified by the fact that the same members of one family and/or close friends are often occupants in the same car. In a number of cases, several family members are killed. The effects are devastating and even more so if the driver of the same family was at fault.  We will be  here to support the family get to the truth and guide them through the legal maze and see a sense of justice through the pain and hurt.

Fatal Motor Car Accident Solicitors Video


Further reading on fatal motor accident claims

Below are some helpful links for further reading:

Fatal accident – Death by dangerous driving

Bereavement award – criminal injuries compensation claims

Fatal road accident claims

Fatal car accidents

Fatal motor accident claims guide

Fatal road accident – uninsured driver, motor insurance bureau

Sympathetic Advice

At R James Hutcheon Solicitors we do understand that compensation 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 a loved one especially if they were the main “bread winner.” Below is a list of most common questions asked by bereaved families:-

  • Who will pay the bills?
  • Who will look after the children?
  • Often a claim out of financial necessity as well as getting to the truth of what happened tends to be the dominant factors when family dependants instruct solicitors.
  • It’s not just about compensation.
  • Our specialist fatal accident team helps the family achieve a sense of justice by taking action against the Defendant to prove fault and to legally represent the family at the inquest to help investigate the cause of death.
  • Family Claims – Passengers in a car will nearly always be entitled to compensation against the driver of the car they are traveling in, the driver of the other car or both. This is because they are innocent victims which sometimes means that they (or their estate) will have to claim against a family member who was at fault when driving the car they were traveling in. However, and in reality it is the insurance company of the driver who will pay the compensation.
  • If the driver does not have any insurance please see below in respect of “MIB” cases. In such tragic cases a claim for compensation must be considered and expert solicitor representation should be sought.
  • Uninsured or Untraced Fatal Car Accident Claims (MIB Claims) – A sizable number of fatal and non-fatal but serious accidents result in a driver being uninsured or failing to stop at the scene of the accident. You should not give up hope in claiming compensation as the Motor Insuers Bureau (“MIB”) was set up to compensate victims/family members of car accidents. Compensation will be payable in the usual way.

Support our broken hearts campaign to help increase bereavement award compensation.

Who Can Claim?

Not everyone connected to the deceased can claim compensation. The law limits the type of people who can claim. The word “family” and “dependants” are used to describe close family ties with the deceased such as children, wife or husband as this group of family members are often the most affected in a fatal accident claim and usually “dependant” upon the deceased.

Therefore the person(s) who can claim on behalf of the deceased are those close family members who were in some way “dependant” upon the deceased before and at the time of death which include:

  • Widow/Widower
  • Deceased’s infant children
  • Parents of the deceased
  • Any person who was living with the deceased as husband or wife immediately before the accident and was doing so for at least two years prior to the accident

A fatal accident claim on behalf of the deceased can also be made if the deceased would have been able to claim compensation himself/herself at the time of death.

No Win No Fee No Worry Cycle Solicitors

For further reading please click onto the following links on our fatal accident web site:

Some Fatal Road Accident Statistics

The number of fatal road accidents in Britain for 2007, according to the Department of Transport, fell by 7% from 3,172 in 2006 to 2,943. The number of non-fatal serious injuries on the road were 30,720. There were 247,780 road casualties. The number of fatal accidents among car users were 1,431 and non-fatal serious injury accidents 11,536. The number of fatal accidents and non-fatal serious accidents involving children was 3,090, of those 1,899 were pedestrians, 121 children died on the roads. There were 644 pedestrian fatal accidents. Pedal cyclists fatal accidents fell from 146 in 2006 to 136 in 2007, serious non-fatal accidents rose by 6% to 2,428. There were 588 motorcyclists fatally killed, the number of fatal and non-fatal but serious accidents rose on the previous year to to 6,737. All motorcycle accidents was 1% higher at 23,459. The Cost of road accidents is estimated to about £20,000 million in which 95% are of human error. One is seven people fatally killed on the road have a drink-drive element. There are about 31million vehicles on the road.  Deaths of the road to car accident for further reading and advice.

Further reading: – Fatal Car Accident.

Fatal accidents claims guide

Fatal accidents claim

Fatal accidents compensation

Fatal Motorbike Claims

Fatal Work Accidents

Inquest & Coroners

Fatal accident

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