Compensation for Death in Car Accidents
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. While the law treats the death of a loved one the same as other tragic accidents, fatal car accidents deserve a particular mention because of the number of deaths on our roads (about 3,000 per year).
It is often the case that death in a car accident leaves bereaved families let down by the justice system. Only 60% of drivers are prosecuted, and the average prison sentence is four years.
Common fatal car accident compensation following a criminal conviction includes:
Fatal car accident claims may also arise without any criminal conviction, as charging a driver with death by dangerous or careless driving requires a higher standard of proof by the police or Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). In a civil claim, as opposed to a criminal case, the standard of proof the solicitors need is on a balance of probabilities, such as proving the accused was 50% responsible.
Help & Support When You Need It
Despite the hurdles families face when they lose a loved one following a death in a fatal car accident, we can do enormous work to help you. From assisting with the investigations about the cause of the fatal accident to dealing with the paperwork and compensation payout, we will be here for you every step of the way.
Our no-win, no-fee service means there will be at least one less worry on the family’s behalf by instructing us, the specialists in fatal car accident claims. Contact us today to learn your options for securing compensation for death in a car accident.
Who Can Claim for a Fatal Car Accident?
Not everyone connected to the deceased can claim compensation following a death in a fatal car accident. The law limits the type of people who can claim. The words ‘family’ and ‘dependents’ describe close family ties with the deceased, such as children, wives or husbands, as this group are often the most affected and usually dependent 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 dependent 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 before the accident
A fatal car 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.
When Multiple People Are 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 several cases, multiple family members are killed. The effects are devastating and even more so if the driver of the same family was at fault. We are here to support the family, helping them get to the truth and guiding them through the legal maze so they receive a sense of justice following their pain and hurt.
Fatal Car Accident Solicitors Video
Watch the video below to learn more about this area of law from our fatal car accident solicitors.
Pregnant Mum Tragically Killed by Speeding Driver
One recent example of a fatal car accident involves Frankie Jules-Hough, a 38-year-old mother who tragically died in May 2022. She was 17 weeks pregnant at the time and had pulled up on the hard shoulder of the M66 in Bury after suffering a punctured tyre. Before the accident, Adil Iqbal, 22, was driving his father’s BMW at speeds up to 123mph. He was filming himself while steering with one hand and ultimately lost control of the vehicle, hitting the mother’s car while travelling at 92mph.
Frankie was with her two sons and nephew at the time of the accident, and two of the children suffered severe injuries, which left them in a coma. The mother, who had previously played a role on soap opera Hollyoaks in the early 2000s, died from head injuries. Her unborn child also sadly died from the accident.
Mr Iqbal had previous experience of driving erratic and racing with other motorists. He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and received a 12-year jail sentence. The Attorney General, however, considered this sentence ‘unduly lenient’ and asked an appeals court to reconsider it. The judges quashed the initial sentence and increased it to 15 years, citing aggravating factors like his driving, such as ignoring the rules of the road, using his phone and carrying out dangerous manoeuvres. They agreed it was one of the worst examples of bad driving they’ve seen. This case is a tragic example of the devastating consequences that a fatal car accident can leave behind for all impacted.
Sympathetic Answers from Solicitors
At R James Hutcheon Solicitors, we understand that getting compensation for death in car accidents is often a secondary thought. However, making a claim helps maintain financial stability and relieves the financial worry and stress of losing a loved one.
Below is a list of the 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 and 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 acting against the defendant to prove fault and legally representing 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 car’s driver, the other car’s driver, 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 travelling in. However, in reality, it is the driver’s insurance company that will pay the compensation.
- If the driver has no insurance, please see below regarding “MIB” cases. In such tragic cases, a compensation claim must be considered, and expert solicitor representation should be sought.
- Uninsured or Untraced Drivers (MIB Claims) – A sizable number of fatal and non-fatal accidents result in a driver being uninsured or failing to stop at the accident scene. You should not give up hope in claiming compensation, as the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) was set up to compensate victims and their family members. Compensation will be payable in the usual way.
Clients Who’ve Received Compensation for a Fatal Car Accident
We’re proud to have helped many clients who’ve lost a loved one following a fatal car accident. We are dedicated to providing all support possible, from solicitor advice to emotional and financial assistance. We’ve helped family members and dependents receive thousands in fatal car accident compensation.
Here’s what some of our clients say about the service they’ve received from us:
In January 2020 my son was killed in a RTC. I contacted R. James Hutcheon Solicitors in Liverpool. In January 2022 the other driver was convicted at Crown Court in Sheffielf. This company then proceeded to seek compensation on my behalf.
They were successful in this claim which has just been completed Jan 2023. The service from this company has been first class from start to finish not just from Ronnie Hutcheon but from another staff member-Chantelle- who kept me informed on a regular basis of all developments. Everything completed by phone and e-mail.
I would certainly use this firm again for any issues that I have and you do not need to live in Liverpool.
A very positive ten out of ten.
– Robert McCormack
What Are the Top Safest Cars?
Car accidents can happen no matter what. Ultimately, the user causes an accident, not the vehicle itself. Therefore, you must be cautious and watch for dangerous or careless drivers. But that said, statistically speaking, some cars are far safer than others. Various factors can influence a vehicle’s safety, including safety features like seatbelts and airbags, an antilock braking system, electronic stability control, a collision avoidance system, the car’s crashworthiness, and much more.
The Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) is a European safety program that scores cars in four categories (Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Vulnerable Road Users and Safety Assist), releasing regular reports of a car’s safety. Here are some of the safest cars in 2023:
- Hyundai Ioniq 6
- Land Road Defender
- Tesla Model S & Y
- Lexus RX
- SEAT Leon
- ORA Funky Cat
- Toyota Yaris
- Nissan Qashqai
- Subaru Solterra
- Lexus NX
- Polestar 2
- Genesis G80
- Mercedes-Benz EQE