Death by Careless Driving Compensation Guide 2021
Many of the deaths on UK roads are caused by a fatal road accident due to death by careless driving. If someone is arrested by the police and found guilty of causing death by careless driving, they may face time in prison. As well as imprisonment, the culprit may also be liable for a civil compensation claim where damages will be paid to the victim’s family.
This page is a dedicated guide to fatal accident compensation claims where the death was caused by careless driving. We have updated this guide for 2021 and will do our best to explain how you can claim, the process of an investigation, the potential offences and penalties, and much more. We know that careless driving compensation can be a complex topic, so please feel free to call us or get in touch via our live chat widget if you would like further assistance.
If you are looking for details on claiming compensation for death by dangerous driving, please click on that link for dedicated information and advice.
How to Claim for Careless Driving Damages
Losing a close family member due to someone else’s careless driving can be extremely difficult to take. A death such as this can elicit a range of emotions, including anger, sadness and frustration. It is also not just about emotions. The deceased’s loved ones may endure mental health problems, including physical effects of depression, and financial struggles. That’s why we are here to offer free support and legal advice. As specialist fatal claims solicitors, we will do everything in our power to help you claim back compensation for a careless driving accident.
We believe in offering a friendly and personal service, which is why we welcome families to get in touch with us. The moment you reach out is completely no obligation and you won’t be charged a penny. If you are happy to appoint us, we will work on your side to form a solid and winning case in your favour. With our No Win, No Fee solicitors, you won’t pay our fees unless your case wins.
Please click the button below to get started with your death by careless driving claim.
- Causing Death by Careless or Inconsiderate Driving: (Section 2B of the Road Traffic Act 1988, amended by the Road Safety Act 2006, s. 20).
- Causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs: (Section 3A Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1988).
Examples of Careless Driving:
- Driving too close to another vehicle
- Driving through a red light by mistake
- Overtaking on the inside
- Turning into the path of another vehicle
- Being avoidably distracted by the radio, cigarettes, etc.
Process of Investigation/Claim
Firstly, in all road traffic accidents where there has been a fatality, the police conduct an initial investigation assessing the road surface, weather conditions, and the state of any vehicles involved.
Crown Prosecution Service will then assess whether any individual involved will face prosecution. Compensation claims can then be made against the party at fault from a claimant who was a dependant family member of the deceased.
Penalties Inflicted on the Defendant
Causing death by careless driving:
- Maximum of 5 years in prison, disqualified from driving for a minimum of 1 year
Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs:
- Maximum 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both, & disqualified for a minimum of 2 years
Careless Driving Statistics
There can be no true repayment when life is tragically lost in a road traffic accident, yet the law must make every attempt possible to reimburse those closest to the deceased. When assessing whether this actually occurs, several statistics have to be considered.
- Between September 2012 & September 2013, there was a 38% increase in official deaths caused by dangerous driving.
- In the same time period, there has been a 14% decrease in deaths caused by careless driving.
- Only 60% of drivers who have been involved in a traffic accident involving a fatality are actually prosecuted.
- The average prison sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 4 years.
- In 2006 there were 381 convictions in England and Wales for serious driving charges for causing death, but only 58 resulted in a prison sentence of more than five years.
- The number of deaths involving drink/drug drive accidents soared by 26% in 2012.
Analysis of the Statistics
Regarding the sentencing of causing death by dangerous driving, it could be said that the average of 4 years imprisonment is not nearly enough considering an individual has paid the ultimate price as a result of a defendants’ actions. It could also be argued that despite no prison sentence sufficient to compensate for the loss of someone’s whole life, the implementation of a maximum prison sentence of 14 years is insufficient, considering there is no maximum prison sentence for murder or manslaughter.
Additionally, when assessing the average prison sentence of 4 years, it could be said that this is far too low considering that someone had died due to their dangerous driving. It would be reasonable to expect that the average prison sentence should be around half of the maximum sentence, yet the actual average is 3 years short of this.
Fatal Accident Compensation Advice
Who can claim on behalf of the deceased following a death due to careless driving?
- Deceased’s children/parents
A fatal accident claim on behalf of the deceased can also be made if the deceased would have been able to claim compensation themselves at the time of death.
- Depending on the circumstances, a claim can be made for:
- The injuries of the loved one who died, if they were conscious of pain before death
- Funeral expenses
- Statutory bereavement damages
- Loss of financial dependency – which means a loss of the financial contribution of the deceased to the household
- Loss of non-financial dependency. This can include DIY and other help around the house support that the deceased used to provide to their family.
- Bereavement award:
- The standard bereavement award is £12,980
- This is awarded when someone dies as a result of an accident due to the fault of another.
- The bereavement award in Scotland is not a set figure; it can vary from case to case, depending on the circumstances. This can result in much higher awards being granted to represent the value of life lost more suitably than merely just a standard figure of £12980.
At R James Hutcheon Solicitors, we can guarantee that we will do our utmost to reassure and fully support any client who has suffered the bereavement of a loved one, following the death caused by careless driving of someone they were dependant on.
We will look to ensure that the unfair nature of this area of law, in particular, does not result in our clients feeling abandoned. Our work will help mitigate the effects of such an unjust concept to help reimburse the clients of their loss in the hope they can begin to attempt to recommence their life.