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).
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.
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.
It is unfortunate that there are many senseless deaths and fatal car accidents on UK road due to the criminal acts of others. Usually young teenage or adult males.
Motor vehicles can easily be turned into weapons and cause carnage. Young males still steel vehicles for ‘joy riding’ or used in the course of a criminal offence such as a get-away car at the scene of a crime.
Whatever the use, there is with regret victims who are present at the wrong place and time who ultimately and needlessly lose their life or suffer from serious injuries or life-changing injuries and are in the need of fatal accident compensation to help them recover and relieve the financial stress and burden of not having to work again.
Help is Available to Victims of Fatal Road Accidents
Those bereaved families who have lost a loved on due to crime or criminal activity can seek independent specialist advice from solicitors dedicated to help victims.
Notwithstanding the criminal often have no assets or money or insurance cover to sue for compensation, a claim can be made for criminal injuries compensation for the death of a loved one. The scheme is designed to help bereaved families to claim compensation for a fatal accident claim where the death was caused due to a criminal activiity.
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.
The hurt of loved ones following a fatal road accident is compounded when the person who caused the death was uninsured.
It is difficult enough to have to deal with the legal complexities following the sudden and unexpected loss of a close family member but then having to find out there is no insurance just makes matters more difficult.
Step in the Motor Insurance Bureau, who can deal with fatal car accident compensation claims if the driver of the vehicle that is at fault was uninsured or untraced.
Fatal Car Accident Uninsured Driver or Untraced Driver
If the driver that caused the death cannot be traced or even if traced has no insurance solicitors acting for the bereaved family will take action against the driver via the MIB. The MIB is a fund set aside by a pool of insurance companies to compensate loved ones for the death of a close family member, funeral expenses and financial dependency losses.
Many fatal car accident claims are taken against a driver that is properly insured but there it is still not uncommon for the MIB to be involved.
Many fatal car accident claims are often following by criminal charges brought by the police for such offences as:
To take specialist legal advice from solicitors who deal with fatal car accident claims is necessary to over-come the legal complexities that often accompany fatal road traffic accident compensation claims. Not every solicitor who deals in personal injury will have all the necessary expertise to represent bereaved families.
Contact us now the fatal accident claim solicitors, we are here to help you every step of the way.
Death by Dangerous Driving Compensation Guide 2020
Causing death by dangerous driving is one thing bereaved families have to consider when they are faced with an untimely and sudden loss of a loved one following a tragic road accident. As specialist fatal accident claims solicitors, we will help bereaved families claim back compensation against the driver’s insurance company (if there is one), if not through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau or an order by a Judge in Court.
A driver or cyclist charged with the offence will be liable for a civil claim for compensation and criminal charges by the police that can lead to imprisonment.
This guide updated for 2020 will include information on the legal definition of causing death by dangerous driving, some examples of the offence and which family members can claim compensation following the death of a loved one. It can be quite complex so if you are in need of any assistance please feel free to call us or why not engaged our live chat facility if we are online.
When the death is due to a deliberate or reckless disregard to life, it is hard to take. Specialist fatal accident solicitors here to help bereaved families and offer FREE SUPPORT and legal advice. We will obtain for the family maximum compensation for road deaths in the UK.
If the other driver has been charged with another offence by the police and you with to claim for compensation for causing death by careless driving please click on that link for further information.
Definition of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving
To understand the law you need to know the definition which the lawyers and the courts will use to see if the driver or cyclist in question can be convicted for the criminal offence.
Section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as substituted by the Road Traffic Act 1991) provides:
A person who causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence.
On the Crown Prosecution Service website it provides some useful information of what can constitute a claim for compensation for causing death by dangerous driving under section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988).
‘When the suspect’s driving is a cause or factor in the death of another person and the driving was dangerous.’
By “dangerous” we mean within the meaning of section 2A of the RTA 1988, i.e.
‘the standard of driving falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.’
The criminal sanction is 14 years’ imprisonment, by virtue of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and/or an unlimited fine.
Examples that will be considered by a Judge at court when a driver is faced with a criminal charge:
The criminal driver must have played a part not simply in creating the occasion for the fatal accident, i.e. causation in the “but for” sense, but in bringing it about;
The degree of contribution to the criminal activity is beyond a negligible;
If the criminal driving is too remote from the later event to have caused the death, the Judge may dismiss the claim.
Three Common Offences of Causing Death while Driving
As fatal accident solicitors we are often asked what is the difference between the driver being charged with death by careless driving and death by dangerous driving.
The main difference it that ‘careless driving’ of a driving standard below that of a ‘prudent motorist’ with no obligation for the CPS to establish any actual or risk of injury giving rise to death.
But for a charge, the standard has be be ‘far below’ and that there is an obvious risk that by the driver’s actions, there is a risk that personal injury or death may result by his or her actions.
Causing Death by Careless driving or Inconsiderate Driving:(Section 2B of the Road Traffic Act 1988, amended by the Road Safety Act 2006, s. 20).
Examples of Careless Driving :
• Driving too close to another vehicle.
• Driving through a red light by mistake.
• Overtaking on the inside.
• Turning in to path of another vehicle.
• Being avoidably distracted by the radio, cigarette etc.
Source: Crown Prosecution Service Fact Sheet
2. Causing Death by Dangerous Driving: (Section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988).
Examples of Dangerous Driving :
• Racing / Going too fast / driving too aggressively.
• Ignoring traffic lights.
• Overtaking dangerously.
• Driving when knowing there is a serious fault with the vehicle.
• Being dangerously distracted by a map / phone / radio etc.
Source: Crown Prosecution Service Fact Sheet:
3. Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs: (Section 3A Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1988).
Examples of death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs:
Excessive alcohol consumption,
Excessive prescription drug consumption,
Illegal drug consumption,
Mixture of drugs and alcohol consumption,
Road Accident Deaths and Mobile Phones
Possible actions that you can be charged for by using a mobile phone behind the wheel where you can be convicted for a serious criminal offence. With the advent of using mobile phones behind the wheel there are increasing number of charges brought against drivers for serious offences for dangerous driving and careless driving. In fact, for many driving offences, the one of the first things the police will check a driver’s mobile phone.
For the purposes of this website, there is no need to go into detail about what constitutes “dangerous driving” as it is very much dependent upon individual facts and moreover a common sense. Some guidance can be obtained from the Crown Protection Service, see more below on this page.
If a driver is charged and or convicted with causing death by dangerous driving it also has a further consequence and where a claim for compensation for a fatal car accident claim can be made by the bereaved family who have lost a loved one by the accident. The compensation claim is called a ‘Civil Claim‘ (this does not involved the police or the Crown Prosecution Service.)
In a Civil Claim for compensation, specialist fatal accident claims solicitors like us will represent the bereaved family (usually the next of kin) to make a compensation claim against the driver or specifically his or her vehicle insurance company.
For compensation claims the legal system will commence in the following courts (most cases will be heard in the County Court). If a party wishes to appeal any decision of a judge in the county court the appellant may appeal to the higher courts set out below.
The general distinction between the two Statute Laws are that the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 are used by the dependents of the deceased, that is, in laypersons’ terms, the ‘next of kin’ usually the widow or widower, the survivor in a civil partnership or other ‘dependents of the deceased which can include children and a wider network of family members.
But a dependent of the deceased may also be an unmarried partner who was living with deceased for at least two years prior to death or a child of the deceased. The list of dependents can be wide see further below on who can be a dependent.
Who Can be a Dependent of the Deceased?
The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 provides a list of dependents who can claim compensation for a fatal accident:
(a) the wife or husband or former wife or husband of the deceased;
(aa)the civil partner or former civil partner of the deceased;]
(b)any person who—
(i) was living with the deceased in the same household immediately before the date of the death; and
(ii) had been living with the deceased in the same household for at least two years before that date; and
(iii) was living during the whole of that period as the husband or wife or civil partner of the deceased;
(c) any parent or other ascendant of the deceased;
(d) any person who was treated by the deceased as his parent;
(e) any child or other descendant of the deceased;
(f) any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any marriage to which the deceased was at any time a party, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that marriage;
(fa) any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any civil partnership in which the deceased was at any time a civil partner, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that civil partnership;]
(g) any person who is, or is the issue of, a brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the deceased.
(4) The reference to the former wife or husband of the deceased in subsection (3)(a) above includes a reference to a person whose marriage to the deceased has been annulled or declared void as well as a person whose marriage to the deceased has been dissolved.
The dependency claim under the 1976 Act will be for a:
Loss of income
Loss of services.
The bereavement award is what the law values the life of the deceased if killed instantly in a road traffic fatality, the current amount is a pitiful £12,980. But this award is limited to only a particular class of close family members. For more information on please see here claiming a bereavement award.
A dependent will usually claim compensation for financial support that was provided pre-death by the deceased. It may also include non-financial support such as caring for a surviving partner who was ill or for child-minding. The compensation for a dependent can be significant especially if the deceased was working and the bereaved family were very much dependent upon the deceased’s income prior to death.
What if the Driver Has No Motor Insurance?
This often happens especially where the driver is young and drives the vehicle without the owner’s consent or permission. Another example is where the driver steals the vehicle.
The law relation to motor insurance can be very complex (even for lawyers) but the following information is simplified to understand the point.
Where a vehicle has insurance but the driver does not have permission or it was stolen to drive the vehicle, the insurance company that insured the vehicle will, under the rules of the Motor Insurance Bureau, (MIB) be the responsible insurer and pay out to the bereaved family dependents any compensation that is due to the family under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 in particular.
If the vehicle and/or driver could not be traced then a claim can be made, again via the MIB for compensation for causing death by dangerous driving under the uninsured loss agreement.
Families will hear of a specialist court called ‘The Coroner’s Court’ is inquisitorial to investigate the possible causes of death that may be suspicions or death following a crime or criminal activity such as the deceased being killed due to dangerous driving.
The judge who is called a ‘Coroner’ will hold an ‘Inquest’ into the cause of death. The Coroner has wide-raging powers can can order various witnesses and the Police to attend court to give evidence.
This will involve driving that is deliberate, the CPS use the words “a flagrant disregard” for the rules of the road, examples include:
A prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving
Consuming substantial amounts of alcohol or drugs leading to gross impairment.
Substantial risk of danger to life.
This is the second serious charge which the following will be taken into account by the Police:
Excessive speed, racing or competitive driving against another driver,
Avoidable distraction such as using your phone, reading, composing a text message over a period of time.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failing to take prescribed medication or as a result of a known medical condition.
Significant risk of danger to life.
The third charge and less serious compared to the other two charges but nevertheless, the end result is still the same.
Driving above the speed limit/at a speed that is inappropriate for the prevailing conditions.
Driving when knowingly deprived of adequate sleep or rest or knowing that the vehicle has a dangerous defect or is poorly maintained or is dangerously leaded.
A brief but obvious danger arising from a seriously dangerous manoeuvre.
Driving whilst avoidably distracted.
Failing to have proper regard to vulnerable road users.
Are You Affected by the Death of a Loved One Due to Dangerous Driving?
You are not alone. We are here to help you every step of the way. Our philosophy is the same (see our quote below). We help you get to the truth, support you through the Courts and Inquest hearing and claim any compensation for the family left behind.
Whist we are civil claim solicitors, claiming compensation for death by dangerous driving offences, nevertheless it must be remembered that the offence comes under Criminal Law which means there are serious consequences as a conviction can result in imprisonment. The criminal law is enforced by the Police who gather the evidence sufficient for the driver to be charged with the offence. Once the Police have the necessary evidence, the file is then passed to the Crown Prosecution Service who will then present the case to the Judge and Jury.
The CPS on their website, provides information on what they do summarised as follows:
decides which cases should be prosecuted;
determines the appropriate charges in more serious or complex cases, and advises the police during the early stages of investigations;
prepares cases and presents them at court; and
provides information, assistance and support to victims and prosecution witnesses.
There is advice if you are a victim of a criminal offence or a witness, in both circumstances it can be a very emotional and stressful time; support for victims and witnesses.
The CPS will often prosecute criminals in the following courts in order of hierarchy
However only minor criminal offences are taken to the Magistrates Court, and therefore causing death by dangerous driving offence will be tried in the Crown Court before a Judge and a Jury.
A Magistrates’ court deals with minor offences, eg:
most motoring offences (unpaid parking fees)
minor criminal damage
being drunk and disorderly
drugs offences (minor offences)
The Magistrates Court has jurisdiction to deal with charges, but they have limited authority to pass a maximum term of imprisonment of only 6 months. The Magistrates can, if they consider this sentence too short for the crime, refer the case up to the Crown Court for sentencing.
A Crown Court can give a range of sentences which are serious including:
The punishment should fit the crime. But you cannot get more serious than causing the death of another person(s). However by being charged with the offence of dangerous driving is due to an accident or mistake rather than an intention to kill.
An intention to kill someone is with what lawyers call ‘malice aforethought‘ a premeditated or intentional act to murder a person. So the easiest example is a criminal who plans weeks or months ahead to kill someone. The guilty mind is present and the execution is the act of killing i.e. stabbing or shooting etc. That is murder and thus a life sentence is appropriate.
But causing death by dangerous driving in the UK is an ‘accident’. The driver did not intentionally go out that morning, day or night to kill someone. What the driver did was to drive his or her vehicle dangerously, the terms used could be recklessly by driving too fast for instance. The standard test used by the Court under the Road Traffic Act 1988 is put simply as:
‘obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous.’*
Every road death is a tragedy and for the deceased’s family and friends a life changing event that will last their entire life time. Government statistics confirm that there were 440 road deaths between April and June; over 1,700 fatal road accidents.
The following road deaths recorded following fatal road accidents statistics are relevant to 2003:
Assist and attend any criminal hearings against the Defendant
Prepare a full and financial fatal road accident assessment for Compensation
Advise you and your family with any legal issues arising from the fatal accident claim
Prepare and apply for probate
Claim for funeral expenses
Identify those family members who can claim compensation
Claim a bereavement award
Advise you with any financial issues arising out of the death
If liability is admitted, to obtain interim compensation payments to help your immediate needs for the fatal road accident.
Prepare the fatal road accident case for Court
Obtain the maximum compensation for all dependants.
No Win, No Fee, Solicitor
As specialist fatal road accident solicitors, we undertake all work under a No, Win, No Fee basis, so despite the complex legal and factual issues that can arise from an accidental death, you and your family will have no money worries by instructing us.
0% or Low Solicitor Success Fee if you Win
Due to a change in the law, fatal road traffic accident solicitors can take up to 25% of your compensation if you WIN, by way of a “Success Fee.” So for every £100,000, you may have to pay up to £25,000 to your fatal accident Solicitor leaving you with £75,000. That compensation award has to last you and your family a lifetime and to go to a personal injury solicitor could leave you seriously out of pocket.
Ask Your Solicitor: What will it cost if you win my Claim?
Our Success Fees Cap starts at 0%. The majority of our success fees are only 12.5% plus vat however. Simply by instructing us, can save you £Thousands in fatal road accident compensation, leaving you with the potential of obtaining 100% of the compensation. We believe the compensation is much better in your pocket than ours despite what the Government believe.
Fatal Road Accidents In Your Area
The following statistics can be found on the BBC News Website from 1999 to 2010
For legal advice please click on the links below to what is most relevant to what you are searching for. As fatal accident claim solicitors were are here to help you every step of the way from that call or email to us to the ultimate settlement of the claim and justice.
Fatal Car Accidents and Compensation Claim Solicitors
Nobody can put a cost on the death of a loved one following a fatal car accident. The personal tragedy, pain and suffering is immeasurable. Whilst the law treats the death of a loved one following a fatal car accident as the same as other tragic accidents, fatal car accidents deserve a particular mention here because of the number of deaths on the Road (about 3,000 per year).
It is often the case that death by dangerous driving often leave bereaved families let down by the Justice system. With only 60% of drivers being procectued and an average prison sentence of 4 years really is not good enough. With compensation that follows a fatal road accident by dangerous or careless driving, totally inadequate, it is common feeling of injustice for the victim and the family left behind.
The two main types of fatal accident claims that arise from the following charges made out by the police:
Fatal road accident claims may also arise without any charge of criminal activity on behalf of the driver(s) to blame. This is because to charge a driver with death by careless or dangerous driving requires a higher standard of proof by the police (or Crown Prosecution Service ‘CPS’). The phrase most people would have heard from films is ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt.’ However in a civil claim as opposed to criminal, where compensation is claimed against the driver(s), the standard of proof the fatal accident solicitors need is ‘on a balance of probabilities’ i.e. proof of blame above 50%.
Help & Support When You Need It – Fatal Accidents
Despite the hurdles families have to face when they lose a loved one following a death in a fatal car accident, nevertheless there is an enormous amount of work we can do to help you. From helping with the investigations about the cause of the fatal road accident to dealing with the paper-work and compensation amount we will be here for you every step of the way.
Our NO WIN, NO FEE, SOLICITOR service means that there will be at least one less worry on the families behalf by instructing us the specialist in fatal car accident claims.
Fatal Car Accidents – Multiple Hurt
With fatal car accidents the tragedy is often amplified by the fact that the same members of one family and/or close friends are often occupants in the same car. In a number of cases, several family members are killed. The effects are devastating and even more so if the driver of the same family was at fault. We will be here to support the family get to the truth and guide them through the legal maze and see a sense of justice through the pain and hurt.
At R James Hutcheon Solicitors we do understand that compensation is often a secondary thought, but making a claim helps maintain financial stability and relieve the financial worry and stress that comes with losing a a loved one especially if they were the main “bread winner.” Below is a list of most common questions asked by bereaved families:-
Who will pay the bills?
Who will look after the children?
Often a claim out of financial necessity as well as getting to the truth of what happened tends to be the dominant factors when family dependants instruct solicitors.
It’s not just about compensation.
Our specialist fatal accident team helps the family achieve a sense of justice by taking action against the Defendant to prove fault and to legally represent the family at the inquest to help investigate the cause of death.
Family Claims – Passengers in a car will nearly always be entitled to compensation against the driver of the car they are traveling in, the driver of the other car or both. This is because they are innocent victims which sometimes means that they (or their estate) will have to claim against a family member who was at fault when driving the car they were traveling in. However, and in reality it is the insurance company of the driver who will pay the compensation.
If the driver does not have any insurance please see below in respect of “MIB” cases. In such tragic cases a claim for compensation must be considered and expert solicitor representation should be sought.
Uninsured or Untraced Fatal Car Accident Claims (MIB Claims) – A sizable number of fatal and non-fatal but serious accidents result in a driver being uninsured or failing to stop at the scene of the accident. You should not give up hope in claiming compensation as the Motor Insuers Bureau (“MIB”) was set up to compensate victims/family members of car accidents. Compensation will be payable in the usual way.
Not everyone connected to the deceased can claim compensation. The law limits the type of people who can claim. The word “family” and “dependants” are used to describe close family ties with the deceased such as children, wife or husband as this group of family members are often the most affected in a fatal accident claim and usually “dependant” upon the deceased.
Therefore the person(s) who can claim on behalf of the deceased are those close family members who were in some way “dependant” upon the deceased before and at the time of death which include:
Deceased’s infant children
Parents of the deceased
Any person who was living with the deceased as husband or wife immediately before the accident and was doing so for at least two years prior to the accident
A fatal accident claim on behalf of the deceased can also be made if the deceased would have been able to claim compensation himself/herself at the time of death.
For further reading please click onto the following links on our fatal accident web site:
The number of fatal road accidents in Britain for 2007, according to the Department of Transport, fell by 7% from 3,172 in 2006 to 2,943. The number of non-fatal serious injuries on the road were 30,720. There were 247,780 road casualties. The number of fatal accidents among car users were 1,431 and non-fatal serious injury accidents 11,536. The number of fatal accidents and non-fatal serious accidents involving children was 3,090, of those 1,899 were pedestrians, 121 children died on the roads. There were 644 pedestrian fatal accidents. Pedal cyclists fatal accidents fell from 146 in 2006 to 136 in 2007, serious non-fatal accidents rose by 6% to 2,428. There were 588 motorcyclists fatally killed, the number of fatal and non-fatal but serious accidents rose on the previous year to to 6,737. All motorcycle accidents was 1% higher at 23,459. The Cost of road accidents is estimated to about £20,000 million in which 95% are of human error. One is seven people fatally killed on the road have a drink-drive element. There are about 31million vehicles on the road. Deaths of the road to car accident for further reading and advice.