Category Archives: Death by Careless Driving

Bereavement Award A Lottery To Claim

Why is the bereaement Award A Lottery?

What is a bereavement award?

In a civil law claim where a loved on sadly dies due to the wrongful actions of another, most typically where a driver of a motor vehicle kills another and is charged with offences such as causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving the bereaved families of can claim compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 for a bereavement award.

Now for some reason only known to the Government that sets the laws and the amount of compensation that can be claimed for a bereavement award, the amount on offer is only meant to be a token value.  One could say that no amount of money can ever replaced a loved one.  However, there has to be reality here when someone is unlawfully killed in an act of pure recklessness on the road or disregard over  health and safety if an employee is loses his or her life at work.  But where you live in the United Kingdom determies who can claim and the amount that can be claimed, an article in The Times refers; Bereavment Compensation A Lottery

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What is the amount of a bereavement award? 

As mentioned above this is set by the Government and has increased from £12,980 to £15,120 for any fatal accidents that have occurred on May 2020.  The amount so unjust.

What is the post code award for a bereavement award?  Well those who lose a loved one in Scotland, it is reported can obtain substantially more than those bereaved families in England and Wales.  It appears that in Scotland they are  more sympathetic to those families who lose a loved one through no fault of their own. The Courts will assess the closeness of love an affection to the deceased an place a more reasonable award.

Who can receive a bereavement award?

This is also where the lottery of where you live plays a part.  In England and Wales the Fatal Accident Act 1976 is very restrictive as to who can claim a bereavement award.  For instance, where a parent loses a child in a road accident, the parent cannot claim for a bereavement award if the child is 18 years or older.  Makes not sense.  Similarly if a chid loses a parent, the child cannot claim a bereavement award, no matter how old.

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Why pay compensation for a bereavement award?

The question is why not?  If a family member is killed in an accident it causes a financial loss to the household in addition to the loss of love and support for the life time of the surviving partner and children.  Often the partner of the deceased will be unable to return to work for a substantial time (where the law says that they cannot claim for any loss of earnings by the way another unjust part of the laws that apply to England and Wales).  The amount does not justify the loss to the family left behind.  Further a larger bereavement award will also be

What is the lottery postcode for a bereavement award?

The Times Newspaper refers to the differnence in  laws between Scotland and England and Wales;

“There is a postcode lottery when someone is wrongfully killed in the UK,” says Sam Elsby, the president of the APIL which produced a report showing that “only a very rigid, prescribed list of relatives qualify for statutory compensation for their untimely loss in England, Wales and Northern Ireland”.

The association says that in Scotland “the law has no difficulty in recognising the closeness of different relationships”. But in the other UK jurisdictions unmarried fathers do not qualify for payments, and step-parents, parents of adults, brothers and sisters are left out. “It is woefully discriminatory and out of date,” Elsby says.

See also: List of family members who cannot claim a bereavement award

See also: Bereavement Award in Scotland

Why is the bereavement Award Unjust?

It is difficult why the law makers in England and Wales put such token amounts on the value of life.  It is because the motor injurers and employers liability insurers who are large multi international companies can lobby Government to keep payments to bereaved families low.

Because the bereaved families are vulnerable?  I say this because of the phone hacking scandal where celebrities can claim over £200,000 for ‘hurt feelings’ for someone listening in on their phone calls.  I have no issues with the award, but my issue is how does this compare to losing a loved one killed by another?  There is simply no comparison.

How can I instruct a Bereavement Award Solicitor?

Please only contact expert solicitors in this area.  A ‘personal injury’ lawyer is not usually the best solicitor to instruct unless they have a specialist interest in fatal accidents because the law of calculating compensation is different.  The unwary solicitor may fail to obtain the maximum result of bereaved families.

Please remember that it is not just a bereavement award that can be claim, there are many other aspects such as funeral costs, headstone costs, dependency claim and care and support claims that can add to a substantial amount.

Please contact us now for free support and advice: bereavement awards solicitors.

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Lorry Driver Watching TV Causes Death

A lorry driver has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving when it is alleged that he was watching television at the time of the collision.

The lorry driver drove into the rear of the vehicle the deceased was driving when it is thought he was watching television.

The lorry driver has denied causing death by dangerous driving but has agreed to a lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.

Compensation Death by Dangerous Driving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Searches Reveal Watching Television while Driving

The prosecution in a trial has informed the court that the lorry driver had made two Google Searches on his phone in his cab revealing the possibility that shortly before the tragic collision that he may have been watching television hence the charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

At the court hearing it was said:

“There was clearly inadequate distance between the car and the lorry and insufficient time to stop.”

The court was told that the lorry driver was looking downwards for an “extended period” and was not paying attention to the road.

“There was no hope at that point to stop in time and avoid a collision,” the lorry driver’s actions were “inevitably dangerous”.

The lorry driver is said to have admitted that he“fell short” of the required standard but added: “The Crown say the driving was much worse than that and fell far below.”

The trial continues, reported in The Times

Compensation for causing death by dangerous driving?

If you or your family have been affected by this article and require legal advice please do not hesitate to contact our legal team who will advise you of your legal rights and help you through the legal paper-work required.

Further reading please click on the following links:

Causing death by dangerous driving

Causing death by careless driving

Fatal Accidents Act 1976

 

 

Mobile phone related deaths UK

Mobile phone related deaths UK

Causing death by dangerous driving or death by careless driving whilst using a mobile phone can result, in the former case a jail term of life.

Drivers who cause death by using their mobile phones (it may also apply to using hands-free devices) may still get life.  If the charge is death by careless driving, the jail term may be 14 years.

There were 10,000 reported motorists caught twice behind the wheel over the last 4 years.  Incidents that may give rise to a charge for careless driving or dangerous driving are listed below, but beware, if a momentary lapse of using your mobile (or cell phone) which caused death or serious injury may result in up to life imprisonment.

Fatal road accident claims

Examples that may mobile use giving rise to compensation for death whilst driving a car

Many typical examples are:

  • quick look at who text
  • texting
  • making a call
  • receiving a call
  • checking emails
  • sending emails
  • playing music
  • the list is now endless with smart phones.

Everyone is urged to put their mobile phone in the glove box to prevent temptation and the devastating result of an accident to the driver and to those who may be injured or killed as a result.

Compensation for death by using a mobile phone behind the wheel

Families left devastated by the death of a loved one following a fatal car accident claim will no doubt be pleased to hear of the increase in the sentence.  However this does not match any increase for:

However the compensation levels are available to help families whose lives have been devastated by the loss of a close family member. Contact us now for family help and support via our fatal car accident helpline.

The current penalties for the offence are listed below.

Fatal car accident mobile charges

Mobile phone deaths in the UK behind the wheel

There is a lot of information on our website to cover this important and ever changing topic and the links below will guide you through the most important issues:

Using Mobile Phone Behind The Wheel – Fatal – CU80

Fatal Road Accident – Using Mobile Phone

Fatal accidents claims and mobile phone usage

Death by Dangerous Cycling

We have all heard of causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving, however the Conservative Government are considering if a charge on the statue books can be brought for causing death by dangerous cycling.

Ministers this month are looking into the death of a cyclist where a woman was hit by a bike when she crossed the road.  The cyclist was charged and convicted with wanton and furious driving over the death.

Riding a Bike with Faulty Breaks

It was revealed that the bike had no front brake.  The cyclists was, however, cleared of manslaughter and convicted of a lesser charge which only carried a maximum sentence of just 2 years.

Increase the Punishment

There is no backing with the Government to review the law when someone is killed on the road or pavement by a cyclists to bring it in line with the law relating to motor vehicles.  There has been a recent growth in cyclists over the past 10 years and as a result, the probability is that more people could be injured or killed on the roads.

Parliament is reviewing the law in this area following the sad loss.

Hit and Run Driving – Man Jailed

A set of tragic circumstances led to the loss of two young cousins in a hit and run case on New Year’s Eve. The driver was convicted of careless driving and jailed for 4 years.

The set of regrettable circumstances are:

  1. Hungarian man allowed to come to the UK with criminal convictions.
  2. His friends also with criminal convictions allowed in the UK.
  3. Not just criminal convictions but the driver was in prison.
  4. Three accomplices tried to help the driver get away.
  5. Driving without a licence.
  6. The two young cousins moved to the UK for a better life
  7. Following the conviction, the judge did not know if he had power to deport the men.

The judge heard that the driver who was convicted for careless driving rather than dangerous driving had convictions for car theft, gang robbery and aggravated assault.  It was estimated that he was driving about 40 mph in a 30 mph zone, at least he was doing 29 mph.  He was charged with careless driving rather than dangerous driving due to the fact that CCTV footage showed that a van had obscured his view resulting in less time to react.

Fatal Accident Claims – Uninsured Driver

When faced with a fatal accident claims road traffic accident there can be worry for the dependent family that the defendant driver does not have motor insurance to provide compensation to the deceased’s estate and family left behind.

Thankfully, even if the defendant driver was uninsured or even untraced at the time of the fatal accident claim the family and the estate of the deceased are still able to obtain compensation from the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).

Fatal Accidents Claims - The Law

The MIB has been set up to provide compensation for fatal accident claim so that the family left behind do not financially suffer as a result of losing a love one.

The claim procedure will be handled the same by the fatal accident claim solicitors which will include:

  • Investigating the circumstances of the fatal accident claim.
  • Dealing with the police
  • Speaking to the coroner
  • Attendance at a coroner’s hearing if required
  • Establishing compensation award
  • Establishing dependents of the deceased.
  • Providing compensation payments

Fatal Accident Claims – Need Advice?

If you or a member of the family who have lost a loved one and are in need for advice, please contact the fatal accident claim solicitors now.

 

Fatal Car Accident Claims – Marijuana

Tragically it is not just human error, a split second wrong decision or complete and utter carelessness or recklessness that may cause a fatal road accident claim for compensation but what the driver does before getting behind the wheel.

The issue is drugs in society and seemingly freely available to many youngsters who drive today.

A recent study that the fatal accident claim solicitors blogged about earlier reported on a study by the Highway Safety Association which as reported that there are more fatal road accident claim due to drug taking than alcohol.

We reported that whilst this study was based on information from America, it is often the case (or at least is seems to give the impression) that come 10 years time, the UK will follow what the US does.

Cause for Concern – Fatal Car Accidents and Drug Taking?

As fatal accident claim solicitors specialising in this area, we consider that what happens in America will happen in the UK.  The report suggests that there were over 35,000 deaths due to road accidents.  A third of those drivers who died behind the wheel tested positive for some form of drug taking.

Marijuana – The Drug for Drivers?

The drug that most drivers that were killed behind the wheel in a fatal car accident claim had taken marijuana in some form or another. The next most common drug was amphetamine which showed up in about 9% of those deaths.

Should Marijuana be Legalised?

The report suggests that the rise in the number of fatal car accident claims due to drug taking coincided with the legalisation of the drug for recreational or medical use in more than 50% of the states in America.

The are calls in the UK for this drug to be legalised and perhaps this is one form of evidence that suggests that before we consider going down this road, more studies and safeguards should be considered.

Cyclists and Fatal Accidents – Near Misses

Cyclists are prone to serious life-chanigng injuries or fatalities on the road due to their vulnerability.

Cyclists are reported to be a risk to being knocked off their bike almost every 2 weeks which can be the fault of the cyclists not being aware of their surroundings or motorists not seeing or expecting a cyclist close by.

There are also other matters of concern to avoid such devastating consequences on the UK roads and streets.  What are they?  It is the ‘near misses.’  Those thankful days where a car, van or lorry just misses the cyclist and thus avoiding a fatal accident claim and serious injury.

25 Near Misses A Year

It is reported that almost every 2 weeks a cyclist is almost knocked off their bikes.  A staggering statistic. It appears there is confusion over the right of way at junctions in particular which gives rise to most risk to potential cycling fatal accident claims.

On average a cyclist will experience 25 near misses at junctions every year in the UK. The Highway Code is being criticised by cycling organisation to be updated to reflect the dangers and a petition has been set up.

British Cycling Federation have said that there are 14 conflicting rules to consider for cyclists and motorist alike when it comest to rights of way at road junctions.

Dangerous Common Risk

British Cycling have said that the most common dangerous manoeuvre was passing too close to the cyclist by a motorist.  It was recorded over 130 times a year and where a vehicle pulling out in front of a bike 70 times.

Contact the Cycling Accident Solicitors

If you have been involved in an accident causing injury or are a family member or friend who has lost a loved one please contact us for legal advice and support.  No matter how small the question on blame, liability, compensation or simply what to do we can point you in the right direction or help you submit a claim.

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.

 

 

Fatal Accidents and Motor Insurance Bureau

Fatal Accidents and Motor Insurance Bureau

In this blog we would like to refer you to our link page fatal car accidents and motor insurance bureau for general information for bereaved families who need some guidance on taking action against the driver who killed a family member in a fatal road traffic accident.

Fatal Accidents Claims - The Law

Legal Proceedings v Motor Insurance Bureau – Fatal Accident Claims

One a relevant bereaved family member instructs a fatal car accident claims solicitor proceedings will be taken against the driver said to have caused the fault.  Now if that driver is uninsured or untraced a case may be made out against the Motor Insurance Bureau or (MIB).

The MIB will effectively run the case and if the offending driver is at fault will make an award of compensation.

Practical Steps to Issue Proceedings v MIB

There are special rules for fatal accident solicitors to take action where the MIB is involved.  Failure to adhere to the rules (Uninsured Drivers Agreement) for instance will mean that a perfectly good claim for fatal accident compensation will have to be rejected.  The main points a fatal accident claim solicitor will have to bear in mind is:

  • MIB claim form, must be completed and submitted to the MIB as soon as possible.
  • Upon issue of proceedings relevant notice in accordance with the Uninsured Drivers Agreement but be given to the MIB (Clause 9).
  • Once the court has issued proceedings (the fatal accident solicitor must inform the court NOT TO SERVE UPON THE MIB/DEFENDANT) as the solicitor must then notify that the claim form has been issued within 14 days.  The court may fail to inform the Claimant fatal accident solicitors that the claim form was issued in time which may result a failure to provide proper notice.
  • Upon issue of the claim form the fatal accident solicitor must then serve this upon the MIB and defendant driver (if traced but uninsured) together with other relevant documents which will include the particulars of claim, medical evidence and a schedule of loss.  Further all relent correspondence with the defendant and any relevant insurance certificates – Clause 10.
  • When the fatal accident claim solicitors serve all of the relevant documents it is good practice that notice is provided at the same time that if there is no defence served within 35 days of service, the Claimant reserves the right to enter judgement.

Failure to Comply Will Result in the Fatal Car Accident Claim Being Struck Out

A failure of the fatal accident claim solicitors to comply with the strict time limits set out in the  Motor Insurance Bureau Uninsured Drivers Agreement can result in them rejecting a perfectly valid claim.  Even if the procedural aspects are complied with when proceedings have been issued and serve, if the fatal car accident solicitor failed to give notice within the 35 day period to enter judgement, again the MIB may reject the fatal car accident claim.