The Award of Compensation to Dependents
The Court’s will look at the purpose of the award of compensation to the dependents following a fatal accident and ensure that they will not be financially worse off. To demonstrate the point, a judge considered the quantum of damages in a fatal accident case:
“The purpose of an award of damages under the Fatal Accidents Act is to provide the widow and other dependants of the deceased with a capital sum, which, with prudent management, will be sufficient to supply them with material benefits of the same standards and duration as would have been provided for them out of the earnings of the deceased had he not been killed by the tortious act of the defendant, credit be given for the value of any material benefits which will accrue to them…”
The capital sum (similar to an award for lost future earnings) will not remain intact as it will be used up over the relevant period. The dependent will be withdrawing income and capital from the fund.
This is valuing the dependency following a fatal accident, the multiplicand, which is an arithmetical exercise. There are 3 ways to calculate this figure;
Add each item of expenditure by the deceased on the dependents to provide a net figure;
Assess the deceased net income and deduct his estimated expenditure on himself. Do not forget to add into the calculation fringe benefits such as a company car or free accommodation provided by his employers;
To deduct a percentage from the deceased income to represent what he would exclusively spend on himself. The court’s are favouring this method.
In a husband and wife situation 1/3 is the usual deduction. The rationale was that one-third would be for the benefit of each and the remaining third would be for their joint benefit. Clothing is an example of a several benefit, rent an example of joint benefit. No deduction is made for a joint benefit because one cannot drive half a car! Where there are children the deduction is reduced to 25% .
However in one fatal accident case, the conventional percentage may be unsuitable if the wife had been earning a considerable sum herself before her husband’s death.
The fact that a deceased widow would have given up work to start a family but for the deceased death, will not increase her dependency on the deceased from the date when she would have given up work.
Other losses in a fatal accident claim, include a loss of pension, gratuitous services and fringe benefits, amounts others. They are recoverable provided that there was a realistic expectation of the benefit, regardless of whether or not it was previously enjoyed. Thus a separated spouse must show a significant prospect of reconciliation; if the deceased was not working at the time of death, he would have returned to work in the future.
Free Fatal Accident Motorbike Solicitors Advice Line 0800 011 2757
As specialist motorbike fatal accident solicitors we can often work for free win or lose so you have nothing to worry about. There is a limited time to make a claim so we make it easy for you to contact us. You can fill on our online motorbike fatal accident claim solicitor form, call us free of charge on 0800 011 2757 or alternatively call our Landline on 0151 431 0548.
We are also specialist Fatal accident motorbike solicitors helping in all liability and fault distribution to maximising compensation for all dependents of the deceased who has died since the motorcycle fatal accident.
Posted: November 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm