Category Archives: No Fee

Using Mobile Phone Behind The Wheel

In a BBC Radio 5 programme which obtained a Freedom of Information Request to the Driver and Licensing Vehicle Agency DVLA, it reported that 600 people have been caught driving whilst distracted behind the wheel three times.

One driver apparently was caught 5 times.

These endorsements by the police to drivers distracted are called CU80 endorsements.  These type of endorsements are defined as follows:

CU80 Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, mobile telephone etc 3

The penalty carries with it 3 points on a motorist licence.  But in reality it is little deterrent to the daily use of mobile phones at the wheel which we see on our UK roads.

But Causing Death By Dangerous Driving Using Mobile Phone?

Whilst some drivers will get caught and charged with driving a motor vehicle whilst using a mobile phone the only punishment will be 3 points and a fine.  But think about what may or could happen if that momentary lapse of concentration did kill someone on the road.  A charge for causing death by dangerous driving can be made.

The charge of;

CU80 – Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, mobile telephone etc

Could leads to something much worse:

DD80 – Causing death by dangerous driving-  mobile telephone etc

or

CD80 – Causing death by careless, or inconsiderate, driving – mobile phone usage

Endorsements and Offences

The information below is taken from the GOV.UK website which sets out the motoring penalty points for various charges in addition to the serious offences listed above.

Causing Death by Dangerous Driving – Mobile phone use

These codes must stay on a driving record for 4 years from the date of the conviction.

Code Offence Penalty points
DD10 Causing serious injury by dangerous driving 3 to 11
DD40 Dangerous driving 3 to 11
DD60 Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving a vehicle 3 to 11
DD80 Causing death by dangerous driving 3 to 11
DD90 Furious driving 3 to 9

Causing death by Careless Driving

Codes CD80 and CD90 must stay on a driving record for 4 years from the date of the conviction.

Code Offence Penalty points
CD80 Causing death by careless, or inconsiderate, driving 3 to 11
CD90 Causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers 3 to 11

Family Advice Legal Help Line

If you or someone you know has lost a loved one due to a road traffic accident or they have been seriously injured in a non-fatal road accident we are here to help you every step of the way.

Even if you are a concerned friend of the family affected, we understand that sometimes those most affected find it difficult to speak to a solicitor.  But from our experience the sooner they obtain advice the more we can help them deal with the paper work, the legal complexities that have to be dealt with and obtaining compensation to help with paying the bills.

Fatal Accident? – No Win, No Fee, Solicitors

As specialist fatal accident solicitors we take the worry about speaking to a qualified solicitor if you wish to seek advice or simply wish to have a chat with a solicitor.  We provide a No Win, No Fee, Solicitor service for fatal accident claims.

No Win No Fee Solicitors – How Does It Work?

In simple terms if the fatal accident compensation claim is lost which can be by obtaining unfavorable advice when the fatal accident solicitor is investigating the claim or lost at a Court Hearing the general rule is that the losing party has to pay the winning parties costs.  However those costs are now qualified since April 2013 as in a fatal injury claim the losing party does not have to pay the legal costs of the action save for expenses in running the case.  For a detail look on what this means see qualified one way costs shifting link.

However to save time and worry in having to read the above link and understand this, the simple way to protect yourself is to obtain legal insurance.  We can obtain the insurance on your behalf and you only pay for the insurance if you win the case so it is genuinely worry free.

So by obtaining insurance through fatal accident solicitors you protect yourself against any legal costs if the claim for compensation is lost.

What Does it Cost If I Win?

In the event of winning compensation for a fatal accident claim the you win pay the following:

  1. Success fee of between 0% to 25% of qualifying compensation
  2. Legal expense insurance (if one is obtained) – remember you don’t pay this if you lose.

The balance of the compensation will be paid to you.

 

 

Not All Accident Solicitors Are the Same

Not All Accident Solicitors Are the Same

Not all fatal accident solicitors are the same.  It this most difficult time for family members who are looking for legal advice in such an emotional and traumatic time, it is important that you do obtain advice from as specialist in this area.

Fatal accident claims can involve a very complex area of the law where there are pitfalls for the unweary and inexperience solicitor who may be very good dealing with simple whiplash injury road traffic accident claims or accidents at work but not equipped with fatal injury compensation claims.  Applying the law to fatal accident claims is not routine, the demands and complexity are uniquely demanding and simply nothing short of experience and expertise should be considered in such a difficult time for the family.

Fatal Acciident Compensation Law

One Example of an Inexperienced Solicitor Getting It Wrong

In this matter, a firm of fatal accident solicitors  acted for a family whose adult child was tragically killed in a road traffic accident.  The deceased was living away from his parents and recently left university and was in a full-time job.

The fatal accident solicitors instructed by the family pursued the claim against the other driver that killed the adult child.  The police via the Crown Prosecution Service  (CPS) successfully pursue the charges of causing death by dangerous driving.

Following the conviction the family as requested by the fatal accident claim solicitors requests that they send the receipts in of the funeral expenses to stat they can be reimbursed with the cost of the funeral and headstone which is a claim that can be made under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

The fatal accident solicitor only made a cursory enquiry asking simply did their adult child provide an financial support for them at the time of death.  The answer was ‘no.’

The insurance company for the other driver made an offer to compensate the family for the funeral expenses in ‘full and final settlement’ of the fatal accident claim.  That was it.  The family became a little concerned and questioned their rights.  After seeking advice from us, it quickly became apparent that the fatal accident solicitor simply did not go into any detail about what a ‘dependency claim’ involves and what can be claimed.

Fatal Accident Dependency Claim

It turns out that the parents and the deceased had in mind shortly before the tragic death that their adult child was intending to come back to live with the parents due to job relocation and more-over to look after one of them as they had fallen ill.  That the provision of care to one parent and that the adult child would financially support his family was simply over-looked by the fatal accident solicitor.  No proper and full investigations were ever made.

Had it not been for that telephone call to us, the fatal accident solicitors the family would have settled the claim for compensation for the loss of funeral expenses.  The total value of the Dependency claim is significant and whilst no amount of fatal accident compensation can ever be considered as justice, it does provide some financial security, closure and piece of mind.

Fatal Accident Solicitors – Advice & Support

We are here to help you every step of the way.  The first legal step is to call us.  We will be sympathetic and with over 20 years of dealing with families left devastated by the loss of a loved one appreciate your concerns and demands for justice.  We work under a No Win, No Fee Solicitor service so you have no worries in getting in touch.

Make sure you instruct the right fatal accident solicitor,  otherwise you may  not obtain  the justice that you deserve and the right amount of compensation of piece of mind  and  a sense of closure.  The above link is a cautionary tale of what can easily go wrong if the family instruct the wrong fatal accident solicitor.

Fatal Car Injury - Contact Us

 

Battle for Justice

Our fatal accident claim solicitor, Ronnie Hutcheon talks to us about recent events and his own quest for Justice for bereaved families who has lost a loved one due to unlawful killing.

The Hillsbourgh Families fight for justice brings to light the determination of people when the system, the law, the Government, the Press, whichever way you put it, is fundamentally flawed. The old addage of ‘hope over fear‘ and ‘unity over division‘ springs to my mind of how the families stuck at it and got to the truth in the end.  I would not call the end result justice. In my mind it clearly was not the case. Just getting closer to the truth of what happened on that fateful day.

For me, specialising in fatal accident claims, the law clearly gets in the way of Justice.  At the outset I am often apologetic to families who have lost a loved one due to an unlawful killing. By ”ulawful killing’ I mean, the untimley death following a tragic road traffic accident or a fatal work related accident where the tragic death was due to someone’s negligence or carelessness. In road traffic cases often the Defendant will be charged with ‘death by dangerous driving‘ or ‘death by careless driving’.

Emotional Law – Unemotional Justice

When dealing with fatal accident claims, it is not easy as a solicitor.  To hear how a child has been killed and to investigate the devastating loss can be difficult but as a professional I have to stand back at times and not let the emotion take over.  If I did, I would not be doing my job. This is because Justice is unemotional.

“It is a numbers game to them.”

I have to fight against multi-national insurance companies (which I enjoy) who would rather pay more to their solicitors to defend the claim for compensation for a fatal accident than pay the family compensation. Why?  Simply put is it a numbers game to them.  If they pay ‘over the odds’, on one fatal accident case, this will create a precedent for other compensation claims which in the long run would mean they lose out.

I have to argue over the cost of funeral expenses, the amount paid by families over trinkets or ornaments to significant amounts of compensation for loss of dependency.  If there is a loss it shall be pursued. Without question, without fear or favour.

Equality of Arms = Equal Justice = 0

The procedural law says that both the Claimant and Defendant should be equal before the Courts, equal access to justice.  But that is not the case in today’s current climate.  The Conservative Government are clearly backing the large insurance companies and restricting access to the ordinary people to fight for their rights.  As alluded to above, insurance companies can spend an extortionate amount of money on one minor legal point, the value of which is important to the family but they are unable to fight it for fear of losing what they have.  Many occasions, particularly when dealing with fatal accident claims, the law often gets in the way of justice.

The structure of the law and the totally inadequate legal system to help bereaved families means that the starting point is to instruct a specialist solicitor in this area.  Not a solicitor who incidentally comes along with the odd claim compensation claim for a fatal accident.

The Fatal Accident Act 1976 is old and outdated. It is law passed by the Government that is passed down and interpreted by the Judges.  The judges cannot change the law, but they can tinker with it. But the end result, in every fatal accident claim, in my view there is continuing injustice.

Contact The Fatal Accident Claim Solicitors

My Firm will strive to help families through this difficult time, to be sympathetic to their needs but maintain that sharpness of mind and methodical ruthlessness against large insurance companies that is required to gain any sense of justice and obtain the best possible outcome that can be achieved in an inadequate legal system.

We are here to help you every step of the way.

 

My Unmarried Partner Dies – But Still Married, Can I Claim?

My Unmarried Partner Dies – But Still Married, Can I Claim?

This can be a heartbreaking situation following a fatal accident claim.  Where a couple are not married but are living together there is no automatic right for the surviving partner to bring an action for the unlawful death following a fatal accident.  This is governed by the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 which states that if there are co-habities, then the survivor can only claim as a dependant of the loss of their loved one if they were living together as ‘husband and wife’ for a period of 2 years immediately prior to death.  The law has subsequently been updated to included same sex co-habities.

Fatal Accident Compensation Claims

The law was challenged under Section 4 of the Human Rights Act  1988 in a case called in a case called Swift v Secretary of State 2013 to overturn the offending section 1(3)(b) of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (as amended) as incompatible and thus should be overturned.

Fatal Accidents Act 1976

Under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1976, only 3 groups of people are entitled to make a fatal accident compensation claim following the death of an individual. They are:

  • dependants of the deceased,
  • close relatives of the deceased,
  • deceased’s estate.

Dependency claims are usually  ‘financial dependents’ of the deceased under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, husbands, wives or civil partners, parents or ascendants, children or other descendants and brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles.

But for co-habitees, the law has been strictly applied and the Human Rights Act does not help.  In the above case of Ms Swift she had been living with her partner for just 6 months prior to his untimely death where he was fatally injured at work.  She was pregnant at the time of death.  Despite the fact she was having his child she could not be classed as a dependent of her partner because she did not live with him for a period of 2 years prior to death as ‘husband and wife.’  Her appeal was dismissed and as said before even the Human Right Act would not help her.  The same will apply to a Civil Partnership.

What if the Deceased Co-Habitee Was Also Married?

In this was the case, the estranged wife will also be able to claim as a dependent and also claim a bereavement award as she will come under list of limited people who can claim.

However if the Co-habitee had been living with his or her partner for more than 2 years prior to death as ‘husband and wife’ then the co-habitiee may also claim for a dependency award along side the ‘married partner.’  This is because there can be more than one dependant who can claim at the same time.

So if there are also children to the relationship of the deceased, each child may also be able to claim for a dependency award in addition to the partner(s) of the deceased.

If there is a conflict between dependents as to who can claim for a death following an accident they dependents may require separate legal advice from specialist fatal accident claim solicitors.