Category Archives: fatal accident claims

Compensation For The Death of a Family Member

The Legal Authority to Make a Fatal Accident Claim for the death of a Family Member is currently under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934.

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 makes it possible to claim compensation for the death of a family member in respect of a wrongful death. It enable entitles certain people to make a claim for compensation in order to reflect their loss of financial dependency on the deceased. The categories of people in tilted to claim could include spouses, civil partners and children of the deceased. However, the number of Dependants is not fixed it could range further than immediate family; it could also extend to siblings and grandparents.

The Dependants are usually the deceased ‘Next of Kin’ so the fatal accident claims are usually made by the same people. Dependents are able to claim for any loss any dependency including;

For more guidance and information Fatal Accident claims after the death of a family member check out our Fatal Accident Claims Guide.

Bereavement Award

Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 a Bereavement Award is a personal injury claim made following the unlawful death of a person to the fault of another. Entitlement for a Bereavement Award is calculated on an individual case-by-case basis. To qualify for a Bereavement Award a claimant has to show they fall within a particular class of persons entitled and highlight how they have suffered or are suffering a loss.

Bereavement damages are most often paid where you may also hear the words ‘unlawful killing’ or where the death has occurred due to a criminal offence such as murder.

The Bereavement award is a one of payment of £12,980 to certain relatives of the deceased which is limited to the wife, husband or civil partner of the deceased. The exception to the strict criteria is where the deceased was a minor, in which case the deceased parents may be entitled to a bereavement award.
The amount of the Bereavement Award has increased over the last decades and historical figures for the Bereavement Award are;

£3,500 to £7,500 – 1 April 1991
£10,000 – 1 April 2002
£11,200 – 1 January 2008
£11,800 – 1 January 2012
£12,980 – 1 April 2013 to present (current rate)

This provision has been widely criticised, particularly in light of ‘the number of cohabiting couple families has increased faster than married couple and lone parent families, with an increase of 25.8% over the decade 2008 to 2018’ according to the Office for National Statistics. It is our firm belief that when a couple has cohabited for years and may even have started a family together it seems unjust to deny them the Bereavement Award solely on the basis that they have not entered into a legal marriage. As reported by the BBC the Law Commission previously suggested ‘cohabiting couples should be eligible for bereavement damages’.

For Further guidance and information on the Bereavement Award after the Death of a Family Member check out our Bereavement Award- Guide 2019.

Dependency on Children in Fatal Accident Claims

The legal system sparks a grave injustice where children are killed in an accident where it is another’s fault.  Most such cased involved fatal road accidents where the child is a passenger in a vehicle.

The law ignores children from a compensation point of view.  It is as though they are worthless.  A child who is tragically killed in a road accident or other equally tragic event where the death or unlawful killing was the fault of another, the compensation for dependency is usually the following:

  1. Beareavement award.
  2. Return to parents of funeral expenses.
  3. Damage for personal items such as clothing.
  4. Compensation for any pain and suffering prior to death.

Due to the child’s age there is often no financial dependency upon the child by the parents or guardian responsible for looking after him/her and thus the loss of a child is quite often valued at £NOTHING, subject to a bereavement awant.  It truely is remarkable that this law is still in place today.

Fatal Accident Compensation for Cohabitees

As the Law stands, cohabitees are not able to claim for a Bereavement Award under the 1976 Act. However, as cohabitation is becoming increasingly regular amongst couples in the UK. The law is gradually adapting to accommodate these alterations to the usual household dynamic and provide greater protection for cohabitees; however, there are no immediate legal rights for cohabiting couples.

When a long term partner and cohabitee passes away at the fault of a third party the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 makes it possible for cohabitees to claim for compensation if they fulfil certain criteria;

• That they were living with the deceased in the same household immediately before the date of the death.
• That they had been living with the deceased in the same household for at least 2 years before that date.
• That they were living during the whole of that period as the husband or wife or civil partner of the deceased.

However, person seeking to make a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 are not only required to prove that they are living with the deceased, but equally the permanence and stability of the relationship with the deceased. Evidence of the stability of a relationship includes things such as shared bills, bank accounts and other household arrangements.

Equally, to the internal nature of the relationship, the external nature will also be relevant; in other words the nature to which the relationship was presented publically as living together in a long term sustained relationship. Brief periods of absence will not break the continuity of cohabiting, if it is found that the deceased and the claimant did cohabit together regularly.

Legal Challenges for Fatal Accident Compensation for Cohabitees

The Law on Fatal Accident Claims after the death as the result of a third party may be set to change in relation to cohabitees after a recent ruling in the Smith v (1) Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2) Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and (3) The Secretary of State for Justice [2017] EWCA Civ 1916.

In the case Ms. Jakki Smith, the claimant and the deceased Mr. John Bulloch cohabited as man and wife between March 2000 and his death on 12 October 2011. Mr Bulloch died as a result of medical negligence of the first and second defendants. The defendants admitted the negligence but claimed that Ms Smith was not entitled to the Bereavement Award as the couple never officially married.

Ms. Smith’s legal team argued that in denying cohabitees from claiming the Bereavement Award, the High Court ruling dismissing her claim breached Article 8 and Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Ms. Smith argued that the legislation discriminated her as an unmarried woman. As Article 8 protects the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence and; Article 14 requires that all of the rights and freedoms set out in the Act must be protected and applied without discrimination; the law needs to take into consideration that cohabitation can and does give rise to intimate and long-term relationships which stand to be compensated for the grief experienced when one party dies due to the fault of a third party.

The Court of Appeals issued a section 4(2) declaration of incompatibility under the Human Rights Act 1998 to the effect that section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is not in accordance to the European Convention of Human Rights. This in itself does not change UK law it paved the way for parliament to amend the legislation through a joint committee to review the Fatal Accident Act 1976 with regards to cohabiting couples. On 8 May 2019 the Government laid a proposal draft Remedial Order to remedy the discrimination. However, as it stands cohabitees are not entitled to a Bereavement Award.

Conclusion

The law on the rights of cohabitees when one dies in an accident found to be the fault of a third party is gradually coming in line with the dynamic of modern families and the social acceptance of the legitimacy of cohabiting couples. Cohabitees may claim compensation for loss of dependency provided they are able to demonstrate that they lived in the same household as the deceased. Each case is judged with its own specific details but primarily the claimant must demonstrate that they were in an internally and externally stable relationship of sufficient permanence to be eligible. Currently, the Bereavement Award is not available for Cohabitees however, this will change but the time scale for this to be included within the law is undetermined.

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

 

 

Who Is Entitled?

Who Is Entitled to a Bereavement Award?

Firstly a claim for a bereavement award is in addition to other claims that may be made under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

Claimaing a bereavement award under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976

There are only a limited class of people who can claim for bereavement compensation award in a civil claim set out under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving civil partner
  • Parents (if the child was under 18)
  • Unmarried couples? (living together as husband and wife/same sex couple for at least two years prior to death – see further below).

Civil Partners Act 2004 introduced a claim for a bereavement award. But what about unmarried couples?  The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 Guide we have provided clearly shows that if a couple is unmarried or not in a sanctioned civil partnership, the death of a partner due to a fatal accident were not entitled to claim.

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Unmarried? Can I Claim Bereavement Compensation?

If a partner has died due to a fatal accident caused by another, providing that the surviving partner was:

  • married to the deceased,
  • in a civil partnership with the deceased,

A bereavement compensation award can be made. However, if they were not married or in a Civil Partnership at the time of the fatal accident claim, no compensation for a bereavement award is payable under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.  Please note a parent can claim for a bereavement award for a loss of a child providing that the child was under 18 years of age at the time of death.  However, this article concentrates on couples who cohabit by choice or otherwise and choose not to marry or be in a Civil Partnership.

In a recent development and very much welcomed, came a challenge through the Courts where an unmarried partner tried to claim for a bereavement award despite the limited class of people who can claim under the 1976 Act.

In this case, Miss Smith had cohabited with her partner for over 10 years when her partner unfortunately died due to a medical accident.  She believed the law was unfair and incompatible to other laws such as pursue the bereavement award as well as a declaration of incompatibility under the European Convention of Human Rights with regard to the right for family and private life and protection from discrimination respectively.  She had the right to challenge but no compensation was payable.  The law has changed and it is likely that unmarried couples may be able to claim for a bereavement award but the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 has not been changed to date but is about to be amended at the time of writing this page, see below.

It is an important attempt and example that illustrates the need for urgent reform; the case can be read in full by clicking here: Smith v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals & Others 2017 – bereavement award challenge by cohabitee/unmarried couple. But  a step back in the case of same-sex couples: Stienfeld case.

Change in the Law to Qualify for a Bereavement Award

Following the Court of Appeal case in Smith, the Government is intending to change the law so that unmarried couples can also claim compensation for a bereavement compensation following a fatal accident claim if they were living together for a period of two years prior to death as ‘husband and wife.’

The full proposals to change the law can be found here Fatal Accident claims and Cohabitees on bereavement compensation claims.

See further our report on the Government Changes to Bereavement Compensation Award

Fatal Accident Claims and Cohabitees

Below is a comprehensive guide on Cohabitation is rapidly growing in popularity amongst couples in the UK.  Even though an unmarried couple may be able to bring a claim, they must satisfy the Court that they were ‘living together‘ for a period of two years prior to death.

Bereavement Compensation Award

While the law is gradually adapting to reflect these changes and provide greater protection for cohabitees, as yet there are no automatic legal rights for cohabiting couples. So what happens if you are a cohabitee and your long-term partner passes away in a tragic accident?

Where the accident is found to be the fault of a third party, the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 entitles certain categories of persons to make a claim for compensation to reflect their loss of financial dependency on the deceased. These include spouses, civil partners and children of the deceased.

Section 1(3)(b) of the 1976 Act allows cohabitees to make a claim for compensation subject to certain criteria:

  • That they were living with the deceased in the same household immediately before the date of the death
  • That they had been living with the deceased in the same household for at least 2 years before that date
  • That they were living during the whole of that period as the husband or wife or civil partner of the deceased.

The Relationship: Living Together, Cohabiting, What Does It Mean?

The fact that people cohabit and live together does not mean that they are a couple who have intended that the relationship was akin to a ‘husband and wife’ situation. There must be some sort of criteria, a formula if you like, that demonstrates to others and the court that they were indeed living or cohabiting together with that intention.

Several factors that can help determine if couples who are not married or in a Civil Partnership and may be useful to satisfy the court that they were cohabitants under the law. Some examples found outside of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 are below:

  • The Family Law Act 

Section 62(1) of the Family Law Act 1996 defines “cohabitants”, for the purpose of eligibility to apply for occupation and non-molestation orders, as two persons who are neither married to each other nor civil partners of each other but who are living together as husband and wife or as if they were civil partners.

  • Couples Cohabiting – Adopting Children

Couples are defined as two people (whether of different sexes or the same sex) living as partners in an enduring family relationship.

  • Common Factors for Living Together to Satisfy a Claim for Bereavement Compensation.

It appears that the common factor, to be summarised in a short sentence can be typically described as ‘an enduring sexual or intimate relationship to the exclusion of all others.’  The most common formula uses the “marriage analogy”, while some more recent legislation has referred to “partners in an enduring family relationship“.

Bereavement Award and The Fatal Accidents Act 1976

The criteria in the provision of the FAA 1976  for couples ‘living together’ as husband and wife can be broken down into their component parts as below:

1. “Household”

The Courts have made clear that the relevant phrase for consideration is “household” and not “house”; thus it is not sufficient to show that a claimant was merely living under the same roof as the deceased.

The case of Gully v Dix [2004] EWCA Civ 139 involved a claimant who sought to make an application for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.  While this case was decided under different legislation, the criteria to be established was largely the same; the claimant had to demonstrate that she was living in the same household as the deceased during the whole of the period of two years immediately before the date of his death.  In considering this case, the judge commented that:

“they will be in the same household if they are tied by their relationship. The tie of that relationship may be manifest by various elements, not simply their living under the same roof, but the public and private acknowledgement of their mutual society, and the mutual protection and support that binds them together”

In another case Churchill v Roach [2002] EWHC 3230 (Ch), the judge in defining “living in the same household” said that it seems to

“have elements of permanence, to involve a consideration of the frequency and intimacy of contact, to contain an element of mutual support, to require some consideration of the degree of voluntary restraint upon personal freedom which each party undertakes and to involve an element of community of resources”

Thus a person seeking to make a claim for compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 would need not only to show that they were living with the deceased, but also provide evidence as to the permanence and stability of their relationship.

This may include things such as shared bills and bank accounts, as well as other household arrangements – for example cooking, laundry, reminders of appointments and so on. While some of these factors may simply be indicative of a strong friendship, the combination of all factors must point to a deep-rooted bond and an element of exclusivity.

For example in the case of Swetenham v Walkley & Bryce [2014] WTLR 845, the deceased and the claimant would attend social events as a couple, and the claimant would do the deceased’s washing while the deceased would pay for meals when they went out. They would support each other when ill. Although the defendants argued that they had merely been close and mutually supportive friends, the judge held that the couple had a mutuality of support and understanding to the extent that they would put each other before other friends.

In addition to the internal nature of the relationship, the external nature will also be relevant;  in other words, the extent to which the claimant and deceased presented themselves publicly as living together in a sustained relationship. In Pounder v London Underground Ltd [1995] PIQR 217 (referred to in Kortke v Saffarinig [2005] where the claimant girlfriend of the deceased was entitled to claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, the strength of her case was her ability to rely on independent witness evidence giving the strong impression that the witnesses believed the deceased to be living at the claimant’s flat.

2. Separate houses

An important principle to be drawn from the above case of Pounder is that the claimant and deceased were held to be living in the same household despite the fact that the deceased had retained his mother’s address for all official documents.

A similar situation occurred in Lindop v Agus [2009] EWHC 1795 (Ch), decided under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, in that the claimant lived as the deceased’s wife in the same household while retaining a different address for official correspondence. The court held that the fact that bank statements and other documents were sent to a different address was not in itself enough to defeat her claim and there was sufficient corroboration from witness evidence to find that they had lived in the same household.

Thus in the case of Kotke v Saffarini [2005] EWCA Civ 221, the judge commented that

“It is clear from the authorities that in principle a person may be a member of household A, albeit he has a second house or home elsewhere at B to which he departs temporarily from time to time”

In that case, the claimant brought a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 after her partner was killed in a road traffic accident. In the years prior to the accident, the claimant and the deceased had owned and lived in separate properties in Sheffield and Doncaster, staying together at weekends.

Although the judge considered that the retention of the deceased’s house in Doncaster was not in itself a barrier to establishing the criteria for the claimant’s claim, what did invalidate her claim was the fact that the deceased himself considered himself as resident at his Doncaster address and indicated that he and the claimant had not yet reached the position of treating the Sheffield address as their mutual home.

In fact, the deceased had kept his wardrobe and possessions at his home in Doncaster, and only really began to plan a life with the claimant after she discovered that she was pregnant. However, the legislation requires that the claimant and deceased to have lived together for two years prior the date of the deceased’s death, and the pregnancy was discovered less than two years prior to his death.

These cases demonstrate that the fact that the claimant and deceased had separate houses or addresses will not automatically prevent the claimant from proving that they had lived in the same household as required by the legislation. More important are the intentions of the couple themselves and the nature of the relationship as a whole.

3. Brief Periods of Absence

It follows, then, that brief periods of absence will not break the continuity of “living together”. In the case of Pounder, the judge accepted that the deceased may have returned to his parents’ house for a week or so at a time but he was still able to find that the claimant and deceased had lived together at the claimant’s home. In addition, the judge found that although in the year before the accident in which the deceased was killed the claimant had gone to a woman’s refuge for a period of 3-4 months this did not break the period of living together. Evidence showed that the claimant had returned home regularly and stayed overnight.

In Gully v Dix [2004] EWCA Civ 139, concerning similar provisions under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, the claimant had been living separately from the deceased in the three months preceding his death. This separation was in response to an incident in which the deceased had threatened to kill himself. In finding that the claimant and deceased had nevertheless been living in the same household, the court considered that regard was to be had to the “settled state of affairs during the relationship and not the immediate de facto situation prevailing before the deceased’s death”.

Thus in the same vein as the reasoning which underpins the approach taken with separate houses, the mere fact of an absence will not negate the “living together” element of the legislation. The intention of the parties will be more determinative and a court may find that a person was living in the same household as the deceased even if they were living separately at times if it can be demonstrated that there was no settled intention that the relationship was at an end; it was merely suspended.

4. Civil Partners

While the legislation previously referred to the need to demonstrate that the claimant and deceased had been living together “as husband and wife”, growing acceptance of same-sex relationships led to an amendment being made in 2004 to the effect that cohabiting same-sex couples can also bring a claim for compensation under section 1(3)(b).

There are no separate requirements for same-sex cohabitees; the same criteria that must be established by cohabitees advancing their claims as husband and wife apply. Thus a claimant must demonstrate a relationship that goes beyond casual and produce evidence to show that it was sufficiently permanent and constant, both privately and publicly.

Bereavement Award £12,980

So far this article has dealt with the ability to bring a claim for compensation flowing from the claimant’s loss of financial dependency on the deceased. This entitlement is calculated on a case-by-case basis and beyond establishing that they fall within a particular class of persons entitled to bring a claim, the claimant must also show that they have or will have suffered a loss. For example, a claimant may claim compensation where they can show that they have suffered a loss of prospective earnings or pension. The court may also take into account non-material losses, such as the loss of the deceased’s role in family life – these include things such as birthday presents for children or the fact that the deceased regularly carried out DIY or gardening around the house.

However, in addition to this entitlement, the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 also introduced the Bereavement Award, a one-off payment of £12,980 to be paid to certain relatives. Currently this award is limited to the wife or husband or civil partner of the deceased. The only exception is where the deceased was a minor, in which case his or her parents may be entitled to the Bereavement Award.

Therefore, as the law stands, cohabitees are not able to claim compensation for bereavement under the 1976 Act.

This provision has been widely criticised, particularly in light of the fact that more and more young couples are choosing cohabitation rather than the more traditional route of marriage. Where a couple has cohabited for years and may even have started a family together it seems unjust to deny them the Bereavement Award solely on the basis that they have not entered into a formal marriage. The inequity becomes even starker when you consider that a couple who have been married for just several months and have no children will be entitled to the Bereavement Award should one of them die.

However, the law may be set to change after the recent ruling in Smith v (1) Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2) Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and (3) The Secretary of State for Justice [2017] EWCA Civ 1916.

In this case, the claimant, Ms Smith, and the deceased, Mr Bulloch, had cohabited for 11 years before his death in October 2011 after he had contracted an infection following a hospital procedure. The NHS Trusts admitted that they were to blame but argued that Ms Smith was not entitled to the Bereavement Award as she and Mr Bulloch had not been married.

Ms Smith argued that in denying cohabitees from claiming the Bereavement Award, the legislation breached her human rights, namely Articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 8 ECHR protects the right to respect for private and family life while Article 14 ECHR provides protection against discrimination. Ms Smith’s argument was that the legislation discriminated against her as an unmarried woman.

The Court of Appeal noted that the Bereavement Award was intended to reflect the grief that flows from intimacy inherent within couples who were married or in a civil partnership. In that respect there was no distinction between couples in a marriage or civil partnership, and couples who were cohabiting.

Just as the right of civil partners to claim bereavement damages had been added by the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to reflect the growing incidence of same-sex relationships and the need to protect their right under Article 8 ECHR, so too does the law need to reflect the fact that cohabitation can and does give rise to intimate and long-term relationships which stand to be compensated for the grief experienced when one party dies due to the fault of a third party.

The Court in Smith issued a section 4(2) declaration under the Human Rights Act 1998 to the effect that section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is incompatible with the ECHR. While this does not in itself change the law, it paves the way for Parliament to amend the legislation in order to allow cohabitees to be awarded bereavement damages.

Checklist of Living Together as a Couple

From what has been read and considered a useful check list to determine if the survivor of a couple were living together as ‘husband and wife’ can be found in the Law Commissions report on defining unmarried couples & Family Life:

Factors to include the following:

(1) the duration of the relationship;
(2) the nature of the relationship;
(3) the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
(4) the nature and extent of common residence;
(5) whether the parties maintained a common household;
(6) whether or not the parties had a sexual relationship;
(7) the emotional or physical intimacy of the parties’ relationship;
(8) the extent of financial interdependence or dependence, if any;
(9) the extent to which any financial dependence was encouraged or fostered by the relationship;
(10) the ownership, use and acquisition of property;
(11) the performance of household duties;
(12) whether the parties have or care for children, either of both or one of them;
(13) the reputation and public aspects of the relationship;
(14) oral or written statements or promises made to each other, or representations made jointly to third parties, regarding their relationship;
(15) the extent to which the parties acknowledged responsibilities to each other, for example, by naming the other as eligible to receive benefits under an employee-benefit plan; and
(16) the parties’ participation in a commitment ceremony or registration as a domestic partnership.

Conclusion

The law on the rights of cohabitees when one dies in an accident found to be the fault of a third party is gradually coming in line with modern society and the social acceptance of the legitimacy of cohabiting couples. Cohabitees may claim compensation for loss of dependency provided they are able to demonstrate that they lived in the same household as the deceased. Each case will be judged on its own specific facts but the underlying principle is that claimants must show that they were in a relationship of sufficient intimacy and permanence, taking into account the relationship as a whole and how they conducted themselves both privately for themselves and publicly for the outside world to witness.

As it stands, cohabitees are not entitled to a Bereavement Award; however, this will change in the near future. In response to Smith v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Government laid a proposed draft Remedial Order before Parliament on the 8th May 2019 designed to extend the right of bereavement damages to cohabiting couples. Just how long before this becomes law remains to be seen but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

53 Year Old Dies in Fatal Accident in Liverpool

53 Year Old Dies in Fatal Accident in Liverpool

Tragically there has been another local fatal car accident in Liverpool. The accident details are reported in the Local Liverpool Echo.

Our deepest condolences are to the family of those affected at this most difficult time.

The Liverpool Echo reports:

“Emergency services were called at around 2.15am to reports a black Mercedes car had been in collision with a stationary HGV on Moorgate Road.

“The 53-year-old male driver of the car was taken to hospital but later died from his injuries.

“Next of kin have been informed and formal identification has taken place.”

If you have any information about this indcident you can contact the Matrix Roads Policing on 0151 777 5747 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Fatal Road Accidents

The most common fatal accident claims comes from those who have been involved in a road accident.  The legal issues can be complex in the form of liability (negligence) that is who is at fault for the accident and what damages (compensation) that can be claimed?

For expert help or just an enquiry on what to do following a fatal accident, no matter how small the enquiry please contact us.

Dying with Embarrassment

The heart stops in the bedroom while love making. It is more common than you would think. No fatal accident claim can be made, of course but it is something that has been brought to the attention when considering the response from the British Heart foundation (BHF).

The BHF said that the findings should not scare people off sex. In fact is like exercise it can be good for the heart. For more information please see Sex and Heart Disease.

Patients Who Collapsed During Sex

When there is a fatal injury due to a patient who collapses during sex, they are less likely to received cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and had to wait longer for treatment.  The delays?  Due to the embarrassment of sex.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating as a result of an irregular rhythm and is quickly fatal without treatment or CPR.

A heart attack, however, is where the blood flow to the heart is blocked.  A different condition. Cardiac arrest is more likely to occur in men.  The issue is awareness in women to recognise the symptoms and to administer CPR and seek professional help urgently.

Having Sex After a Heart Event

The above guidance is of importance from the British Heart Foundation and it could save the person you their life.

999 and Fatal Accident Claims

Fatal Accident Claims & 999

The Emergency Ambulance service are causing almost 2 deaths per month for failing to get to the accident scene on time and or failures to recognised the severity of the patent’s symptoms.

In a damming acknowledgement by the Coroners in England and Wales it is reported that Coroners have had to notify the ambulance service since 2013 86 times warning them that changes have to be made to avoid possible fatal accident claims.

Fatal Road Traffic Accident

FORTY EIGHT WARNINGS OVER DELAYS

Of the Coroners’ warnings to the Ambulance service 48 of them related to delays in getting to  the patient in a reasonable time.  A former whistle blower said that the volume of reports suggest that:

‘a significant decline in ambulance safety in recent years.’  The whistle blower added ‘action is needed to rectify underfunding, related to workforce and skill mix issues…’

Coroners Duty under Fatal Accident Claims

Under Regulation 28 of the Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013 a Coroner  has a duty to write a report if it appear there is a risk of other deaths occurring in similar circumstances.

An analysis into Regulation 28 reports on deaths by the Chief Coroner had revealed that delays were caused by slow handovers at Accident & Emergency Hospitals which findings were similar to the National Audit Office earlier this year.  Further reading on delays and underfeeding of the ambulance service resulting in possible fatal accident claims please click here: Emergency Paramedics

 

 

Coroners speak out about Ambulance Service

Coroners speak out about Ambulance Service

Fatal accident claims solicitors are aware that the Coroners in England & Wales have criticised call handlers and the ambulance service for failings in the system that are giving rise to deaths that could possibly be otherwise avoided.

Such un-necessary deaths can therefore lead family members to make fatal accident claims of compensation.

Fatal accident solicitors
Fatal accident solicitors

Failings in the Ambulance Service

The Coroners in England and Wales are increasingly concerned about the delays in responding to an urgent 999 call and the ambulance service where they often fail to recognise the severity of the symptoms leading to a possible fatal accident claims.

It is reported that 86 times the Coroners have had to warn the Ambulance Service of possible failures, a statistic of almost two patients every month have died.

Fatal accident claims

Further reading on making a fatal accident claims are:

fatal accident claims

bereavement award

dependency claim

fatal car accident claim

Fatal Accident Claims – Death by 999

We are all aware of Government cut back over recent times. But when cut back cause unnecessary deaths we have to sit up in society and take action.

It is recorded that almost two patients die a month on average due to the failings of the ambulance service following a 999 call.

Main Causes of Death Following a 999 Call

It appears that many deaths are cause by:

  1. Delays on getting to the patient in a timely manner;
  2. Failure to recognise the severity of symptoms.

The findings follow the Coroner’s reports in England & Wales who have now written to the ambulance services or call handlers over eighty times to warn them they they need to make changes to prevent future deaths; essentially turning an accident into a fatal accident claim.

Fatal Accident Claims

If a friend or family member has been involved in something similar or was sadly killed due to another person please contact us for immediate and sympathetic advice and assistance.  No matter how small the query, were are here to help.

Fatal Accidents Claims and Mobile Phone Usage

It is reported that there are 10,000 motorists have been caught twice for being distracted whilst driving a motor vehicle on UK Roads over the last 4 years.

Many such incidents go without tragic results such as:

  • 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.

However using mobiles phones behind the wheel are distracting to the extent they are akin to a drink driving charge.  Of almost 240,000 motorists that have been caught since 2012, only 284 have received a ban.

Fatal road accident claims

Put Your Mobile Phone Away In Your Car

To prevent you being distracted but your mobile phone away so that you cannot get access to it such as your glove box.  One tragic loss of concentration can result in a fatal road traffic accident.  You could kill somebody.  It is not worth it.

Police Will Check Your Phone

As is routine in any serious accidents the police will check your mobile phone records to see if you were using your phone immediately prior to a any accident including a fatal accident claim.  If there is not a great deal of evidence as to the cause of the accident, if you were using your mobile phone it may be suggestive that you will be at fault and you could be charged with causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving the former can lead to a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

The fact that your own life could be spent behind bars for a long time, you also have the guilt of having to live with yourself for killing someone on the road.  Just to check your texts or emails.  It is not worth it.

Electrician Died Due to Fatal Accident at Work

Electrician Died Due to Fatal Accident at Work

It is believed the 32-year-old was taking part in work on a farm where he was contracted to fit and erect safety netting on a barn extension when his ladder came into contact with an 11,000 volt power line.

The deceased was thrown 20ft to the ground and was transported to hospital by an air ambulance when he was pronounced dead on arrival.

A Inquest Hearing took place into how the cause of death happened and it was confirmed there was an electrical burn from a cable which was 2m away from where the deceased was working, the electricity traveled straight through his arm to his toe causing a fatal heart attack.  The fatal accident occurred at the work place and yet another tragic statistic.

Accident at Work Claim

Safety of all employees in the work place is a priority to prevent a fatal work accident.  The Health and safety of the workforce is paramount.

The dependents and family of the deceased should also make sure that they receive specialist legal advice from qualified fatal work accident solicitors.

As a firm of solicitors with over 27 years of experience you can assured we consider and analyse carefully the full factual and legal aspects of every death at work.

Compensation will be available for each fatal accident where the fault was wholly or on part due to the employer’s negligence.  The main claims for compensation are for fatal accident at work claims are:

Further Fatal Accident At Work Claims Advice

We have a dedicated work accident compensation website that provides various information on various accidents at work which may be of assistance to you.  The website’s relevant page in this area is Fatal Accidents at Work for general legal advice Hutcheon Law fatal accidents.