Welcome to our brief fatal accident claims guide, providing a nutshell of what can be claimed without using complex legal jargon. Our guide is an over-simplification of the compensation claims process, but it is a start to understanding and working towards your successful claim.
As we are specialist solicitors in this area, please contact us to find out more about claiming.
Who Can Make a Fatal Accident Claim?
The main people who can make a fatal accident claim on behalf of the deceased are generally the wife or husband of the deceased and dependent children. Dependent children are usually below the age of 18 or 21 years (during their education).
The word “dependent” means financial reliance which can be in money or monies worth. For example, if a dependent was living in the deceased’s property ‘rent-free’, a claim would be possible.
However, the number of dependents can be wide and not limited to the immediate family. It can extend to brothers, sisters, grandparents, and so on.
Authority to Make a Fatal Accident Claim
The main authority now is under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 (the “1934 Act”).
You do not really need to know the provisions of the act and what you can or cannot claim as your fatal accident compensation solicitors will advise you. This fatal accident claims guide below sets the main heads of compensation.
What Can Be Claimed?
The deceased’s estate can claim compensation for the deceased’s pain and suffering between their injury and death. Fatal accident compensation can include the deceased’s suffering caused due to his/her awareness of reduced life expectancy or if the deceased was unconscious before death, although pain or suffering occurred.
In most cases, the term ‘estate’ means the widow, widower or child of the deceased. In short, the deceased’s ‘next of kin’. In addition, any losses such as earnings from the date of the accident to death can be claimed along with any funeral expenses if paid for by the estate.
The dependents are usually the next of kin, thus the fatal accident compensation claim on behalf of the deceased is usually made by the same people. The dependents can claim any loss of dependency which the dependent enjoyed prior to death, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Bereavement award
- Dependency loss (loss of financial support and services from the deceased)
The latter claim for financial support and services is usually the main aspect of any fatal accident compensation dependency claim. A typical example for a financial dependency claim is where, for example, the main ‘breadwinner’ for the family has died, and as a result, little or no income is now being brought into the household. The dependents of the household left behind have been financially supported by the deceased, and therefore the loss to the family is the net wages the deceased was earning prior to death and any other income or service of financial worth.
In this fatal accident compensation guide, the typical example used here is where the spouse or partner left behind and any children will have a past, present and future loss of financial claim on what they would have received had the deceased still been living. As fatal accident compensation solicitors, the wages will be apportioned between the dependents, the spouse or partner usually getting more of the compensation than any children.
The dependent spouse may well have a future dependency claim until retirement age (which can be substantial if the deceased was young), but any children’s claim may well be reduced to 18 years or 21 years unless there is evidence that the dependency could be greater.
Get Help From Specialist Solicitors
We hope this fatal accident claims guide has helped you get to grips with the basics. We are here to help you every step of the way to make a fatal accident compensation claim. Sympathetic advice and support are paramount in addition to maximum compensation.
Contact us, and we will be glad to hear from you. We provide a No Win, No Fee, No Worry service, and even if we succeed in claiming fatal accident compensation, you still have the ability to keep 100% of the compensation. Many solicitors are now charging up to 25% of your compensation if you win. That can add up to a significant sum to pay your fatal accident solicitors. That money is better spent on you and the family than on solicitors fees.
We trust this fatal accident compensation guide has been useful. It is important that you do instruct us for specific advice and assistance.
Please contact us if you have any questions, either if you are a dependant, close family member or even a friend who is worried about the bereaved family and wants to help. We will always be here to help you under our No Win, No Fee, Solicitor Service.