Category Archives: 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.

Claim Back Funeral Expenses

Funeral Expenses – Can they be recovered?

Fatal Accident Compensation

In accordance with the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 reasonable funeral expenses can be recovered against the party at fault. Funeral expenses can also be covered on behalf of the estate claim under a fatal accident (Law Reform Miscellaneous Act 1935) but in practice most claims for funeral costs are in accordance with the 1976 Act.

This is because the dependents left behind are the ones who generally pay for the funeral cost and that expense is recoverable back to them.  If the expense is paid by the deceased’s estate then it can be recoverable by the estate.

Average Costs of a Funeral

Funerals are not cheap and can put a bereaved family into debt.  It is reported that the average costs of a funeral is now in the region of £4,000. Combined with the loss of income or carer which often arises following fatal accident claims means that not only do bereaved families have to cope with the emotional stress of losing a loved one but also the added burden of loss of imcome or care within the family unit.

This can lead to unnecessary stress and burden.

How can we help?

At fatal accident claims, we are experienced in dealing with the recovery of the funeral expenses following a fatal accident in addition to the other claims that can be made which can be substantial especially if the deceased had a young family.

Fatal Accidents Act 1976 – What Now?

Fatal Accidents Act 1976 – What Now?

The law under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is outdated and should be amended to reflect society as it stands today not in mid 1970’s.

The law under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 needs updating as the family units have changed since the law came into force.

Death By Dangerous Driving: Fatal road accident

The Family Unit is Different Today

The law that was passed in the 1970’s dealt with a time where the family unit typically was white, husband and wife with 2.2 children.

The husband would be the ‘bread winner’ and thus go to work and provide for the family.  The wife would stay at home and become the house wife.  She will look after the children and the home.  Cook all the meals and generally clean the house.  The children would leave the home at an early age and go to work.  Not as many would go to university, that was for the privileged few.

The children will then repeat what their parents had done and the cycle is complete.

Family Unit Today

The family unit today is more multi-cultural, diverse, same-sex marriages, increase in divorces and more step-children etc.  Further women are more independent and are ‘bread winners’ in their own right.

The problem is that when a loved one is lost in a tragic accident the law can create unjust consequences. For more information in the unjust application of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 click on the webpage.

Fatal Accidents Act – Bereavement Award

Following the tragic loss of a loved one in fatal accident claim the law provides what bereaved families must undertake to obtain justice and lastly compensation.

However the Fatal Accidents Act is pitiful and outdated.  There is not a great deal we can do as specialist solicitors in this area other than apply to law to the best of our ability and achieve the best possible result given the law at it stands.

What is the Fatal Accidents Act?

The Fatal Accidents Act is passes as law by the Government.  It is not judge made law.  All judges and solicitors do is apply and interpret the law in the given circumstances.  The 1976 Act governs all fatal accidents in England and Wales.  It does not apply to Scotland who have their own laws which provides greater justice to the bereaved families left behind.

What is a Bereavement Award?

A bereavement award is payable where the deceased was killed following an accident that as caused as a result of another persons actions or omissions.  The current award is just £12,980.

The most common fatal accidents claims that solicitors encounter in England and Wales arise out of:

Fatal car accidents – death by dangerous driving

Fatal car accidents – death by careless driving

Fatal cycle accidents  death by dangerous driving

Fata motorbike accidents  death by careless driving

Fatal accidents at work

Bereavement award – fatal accident claims

Bereavement award – fatal accident claims

We are asked simply out of curiosity and as part of a tragic loss of life due to a accident.  A bereavement award is commonly payable where a close family member loses the life of a loved one.  The  amount payable is a poultry £12,980. Primarily this is due in the following type of accidents:

Fatal accident claims – compensation death by dangerous driving

Fatal accident claims – compensation death by careless driving

Fatal accident claims – compensation death in car accident

Fatal accident claims – compensation death in cycle accident

Fatal accident claims – compensation death in motorbike accident

Fatal accident claims  – compensation accident at work

Child dependency fatal accidents
What is a bereavement award?

 

WHAT IS A BEREAVEMENT AWARD?

Our non-legal definition of a bereavement award:

‘A bereavement award is made following the death of a person involved in an accident or illness due to the fault, in whole, or in part, by another.  A bereavement award may be in addition to other claims the “next of kin” may claim.  Fatal accident compensation for a bereavement award is an amount of compensation simply to serve as a recognition of grief and a financial token or public recognition that the death was wrongful.’

Who is entitled to a bereavement award?

There is a limited class of close family members who can claim.

  1. Surviving spouse of the deceased, including now surviving civil partner.
  2. Parents of child, providing child at the time of death is under 18 years.

That is about it.  Surprisingly a child cannot claim any bereavement award for the loss of his or her parent(s), guardian or grandparent who may have been the primary carer at the time of the tragic death of the adult.  Absolute nonsense and totally unjust.

Fatal Accidents Act 1976

The statutory provision for payment of a bereavement award is found under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 a rather old an unjust piece of law, made by the Government.

It is for the Government to change the law but under the Conservatives, this looks remote.  In fact quite the opposite.

For more information please also see our Fatal Accidents claims guide.

Contact Fatal Accident Claims Solicitors

For expert advice on all fatal accidents claims and to see if a bereavement award is payable contact us now: fatal accidents claims solicitors.

Compensation for fatal accidents – Calculator

Compensation for fatal accidents – Calculator

Compensation for Fatal Accident Claims

Compensation for a fatal accident at the end of the day has to be produced to the court in black and white, on paper and electronically. Below are some examples of what can be claims for dependency.

PARENTS CLAIM FOR DEPENDENCY – A CLAIM FOR RENTAL INCOME

Below is a typical expression of a claim compensation for a fatal accident claim for dependency on behalf of parents:

Loss of rental income £12,000

  • The Deceased started his degree course at University, the Claimant’s parents had built and extension to their house so that the Deceased would always have a place that he could call his own when visiting during holidays and in the likely event that he moved back home at some point after completing his studies.
  • After graduating the Deceased moved away and obtained a full-time job.
  • While the Deceased lived in rented accommodation he was not particularly happy with his job and wanted to move back home and be closer to his family and friends. Further his parents health was failing and as the only child they needed support. He wanted to be there for them.
  • Just several weeks before the Deceased’s death, he attended for an interview close to his parents home and was successful. Before starting his new job he tragically lost his life.
  • If the Deceased had moved home, his parents would have charged him nominal rent of about 200 per month towards household costs. They had discussed such an arrangement with the Deceased before he moved.
  • In the circumstances, it is the Claimant’s case that there was a substantial chance that the Deceased would have returned to live at home and contributed £200 per month towards household costs.
  • The timing and duration of the Deceased’s return are all incapable of being precisely ascertained, and therefore proposes that the parents’ claim in respect of the Deceased’s likely contribution towards household costs is valued on the basis that it would have lasted for 5 years. The period of claim allows for the possibilities that the Deceased might have lived at home for a longer or shorter period. No enhancement for any element of accelerated receipt is sought, and the claim is therefore for £200 x 12 x 5 = £12,000
  • There are many more heads of loss that can be claimed. Please see our webpage fatal accident compensation.

Further examples to be added shortly.

 

 

 

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

Drugs The Big Killer in Fatal Road Accident Claims

Sign of the times. In the 70’s and 80’s the problem seemed to be with alcohol related deaths on the road. However there in the United States there are more fatal road accidents due to drugs than alcohol.

Why is this relevant I hear you say as this is an American problem?  The answer is short and to the point.  It seems that whatever America does, the UK will follow some 10 years later.  A maker we have to consider no doubt.

Drink and Drugs

In one report where the statistical information has come from, (Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility) advisers that there is a a steady increase in drug use amount drivers killed in road traffic accidents.

In 2005 28% of toes tested were found to be under the influence of drugs, but in 2009 this increased to 33%.

35,000 Killed in Crashes

The statistics are shocking and every life lost is a personal tragedy that could have been avoided. Of the drivers who were fatally killed, 57% were tested for drugs and 71% for alcohol.

Over a third were tested positive for drugs.

Combined with those to criminal charges against the offender, the family left behind following the loss of a loved one will want to ensure the justice is achieved by the conviction  of the offender and also fatal accident compensation can be obtained to relieve some of the financial stress and worry.

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media The New Church

The Church is often what we use to for family and friend to get together on important stages in our lives:

  1. Christenings
  2. Marriage
  3. Deaths

Facebook is Taking Over!

Now Facebook is taking over (at least digitally).  We are still using The Church for such important events in our lives (and death) but Facebook is now so vast and widely used that such events also take place digitally.

Facebook is certainly a place for light-hearted messages, thanks, updates but now even announcements of a death in the family are often an important message board to inform family and friends.

In a recent study by Co-Op funeral care  a third of adults who want their loved ones to post online when the die have already let someone know that tho sis their wish.

We Deal in Grief in Different Ways

Everyone is different.  Some will shudder at the thought of advising loved ones or friends of a loss.  They would want to meet the family in person, make that call rather than announce it on social media platforms.

However others are use to posting anything and everything which includes announcing the death of a loved one.

Announcements of death on social medial ever growing.  Anyone who has lost a loved on in the past 3 years due to an unlawful killing should consider seeking legal advice to help them make a fatal accident claim for compensation and getting to the truth of what happened.

Contact us now for help and support all under a no win no fee solicitors guarantee.

Estate to Pay more in Fatal Accident Claims

Dramatic increased in court fees are not uncommon with the Conservative Government.  Now the bereaved families are set with another tax through probate fees which will come into force in May 2017.

What is Probate in a Fatal Accident Claim?

Probate is the court procedure to ensure that the person who has died is officially recorded and to show the assets and liabilities of deceased immediately before death.

Probate will be obtained by the deceased executors if a will was left behind or through the next of kin (known as intestacy) if there is no will.

The person(s) in charge of the deceased affairs will then issue the relevant paperwork at the local court to obtain permission to officially deal with the legal affairs of the deceased which includes selling or maintaining assets and paying debts of the deceased.

In addition, of course, the person(s) dealing with the affairs of the deceased will also need to file the relevant IHT (Inheritance Tax Forms) to inform the Inland Revenue of how much tax, if any, the estate has to pay.

Fatal Accident Claims Increase Probate Fees

Fatal accident solicitors will need to advise bereaved families of the increase in the probate court fees, which can raise to £20,000 simply to authorise the court to proceed through probate.  There is nothing more the court will do for this hefty fee, it is just a backdoor method of gaining more tax from the dead.