Nervous Shock and Fatal Accident Claims

The law in this area is outdated, like most of the Fatal Accident Act 1976, the law that has been made since the passing of the Act and everything before it.  The Fatal Accident Act 1976 is now 40 years old.  The family unit in the day, typical white ‘Christian’ Male and Female, married with 2.2 children has changed dramatically since the laws have been passed.  Today divorce rates have rocketed, there are less marriages, people choosing to live together, same sex marriages and so on.

The fatal accident laws however still are ‘back-in-day’ typically the claim for compensation following an unlawful killing in an accident at work or road traffic accident for instance, stems from the bread-winner (typically the husband) losing his life, the the wife and children claiming the dependency award and bereavement.  When things don’t fit in, there tends to be unnecessary heartache.

But what then on the question of nervous shock following a loved one witnesses the death of a loved one.  Often in road traffic accidents and in disaster cases such as airplane crashes and the Hillsborough Disaster.

Nervous Shock – Secondary Victim

Compensation for nervous shock is governed by old law passed before the internet and social media. A claim for nervous shock can be made if a close relative, normally the next of kin, witnesses the death of a loved one and suffers some form of psychiatric injury or ‘nervous shock.’ The law limits the family members who can claim by using the words ‘close love and affection between the person killed (primary victim) and the family member in shock (secondary victim).

As a result of witnessing the tragic events, (the court has in mind ‘eye witness’) due to the close proximity of the relationship and witnessing the event, if harm occurs a claim for compensation can be made against the party at fault.

However, what if the family member did not ‘eye witness’ the event but came to the scene of the accident in minutes after the fatal accident?  The closer in time and space following the accident and witnessing the scene the more likely the court will grant an award of compensation for the psychiatric shock.

The fact that a close family member may witness a disaster for instance on TV (Hillsborough disaster springs to mind) or on Social Media, unfortunately will not give rise to a claim.  The law is based on public policy not by rational understanding.  Once again the Courts have concerned themselves with opening the ‘flood-gates’ of claims.

The law under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 needs updating quickly and so does the common law where nervous shock arises following a fatal accident so that proper compensation can be awarded to help the family, the victims of such tragic and catastrophic events.  Compensation is not a dirty word, we are getting to a point where people have to justify an award.  It is awarded to help the family not get into poverty, to help pay the bills and just relevie some of the stress following the death of a loved one and here, in addition a further family member also suffering a mental illness.

Knowledge of Loss of Life = £0

The Courts are ‘chipping away’ at the injustice of compensation awards following a fatal accident claim where a person or shall we put it in a more personal way, your Spouse, Partner, Child, Mother, Father, Brother or Sister is unlawfully killed at work or in a road traffic accident for instance.

The case of Kaidir v Mistry decided in 2014 by the Court of Appeal, the second senior court in England and Wales, no less.  In this tragic case a the Claimant’s case was founded on the negligent late diagnosis of stomach cancer.  She was only 32 years of age with 4 young children.  The cancer was terminal and even if spotted in time, it would not have prevented her from dying.

Fatal accident claims - sitting on hill

Spotted Cancer In Time – She Would Have Lived for About 2 Years Longer

The evidence in the case was that had the correct treatment been underway at the right time, she would have underwent extensive intrusive treatment, in other words pain and suffering.

Therefore the fatal accident claim solicitors in this case tried to claim compensation for her and her family for her suffering due to the late diagnosis.  However the Defendant insurance company solicitors argued successfully that she would have experienced pain and suffering in any event due to her terminal cancer.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the Defendant Insurance legal advisers.  It will take into account any pain and suffering she was would have suffered without the Defendant’s negligence. The pain and suffering was no different in a fatal accident claim than where a person sustained injury that is not life-threatening, the Judges rejecting a “conceptually different’ argument put forward by the deceased Claimant solicitors.

So What Can Be Claimed – Life is Worth £Nothing In England & Wales?

Well here, Court of Appeal has stated that the Government has prevented any compensation to the unlawful killing to the deceased if the deceased did not die immediately but at a later time, say weeks or months later.

Here if the deceased was aware that the fatal injury would curtain his or her life, not matter how upset that may be, NO FATAL INJURY COMPENSATION is payable thanks to Government Law found under the Administration of Justice Act 1982 (the 1982 Act)



The Act does have an exemption as referred to by Lord Justice Laws, where he said:-

“if the injured person’s expectation of life has been reduced by the injuries, the court, in assessing damages in respect of pain and suffering caused by the injuries, shall take account of any suffering caused or likely to be caused to him by awareness that his expectation of life has been so reduced.”

In this case the Court, as the fatal accident solicitors have said earlier in this Article, the Court’s are ‘chipping away’ at a unfair legal precedent that stops bereaved families being compensated fairly.  Here the Judge advised that the claimant did suffer by her awareness that her life was cut horribly short.  She had four young children.  The Defendant insurance company tried to stop an award but they lost.

The Judge found that for her ‘mental anguish’ of knowing her life was cut short in her prime at the age of only 32 years and with 4 young children awarded what is considered an nominal amount but a step forward.  The Courts awarded the grand sum of £3,500.  Yes just:


Such a petty amount anyone who is aware their life will be cut short by some 40 years or more.  Compare this to Celebrities who have been awarded six figure sums for ‘hurt feelings.’  It is unjust.  Please help change the law so that a bereavement award can compensation families who have lost a loved one.

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 does not help and neither does the The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934

Contact the Fatal Accident Claims Solicitors

Please if your family or you know someone who needs advice or assistance please contact the fatal accident compensation solicitors for specialist advise and help under our no win no fee solicitors service.


Fatal Road Accidents – A49 Worst Road In UK

It has been reported in 2016 that the A49, which runs from Whitchurch to Ludlow, was named the county’s deadliest road after figures show a third of fatal accidents had happened on the trunk road over a three-year period.

In 20015 it was reported that 2 road deaths on the same stretch between Hadnall and Preston Brockhurst within 2 months.

Many witnesses refer to many driver’s being “idiots” on the road, often speeding or racing ignoring the speed limit and road signs generally.

Ambulance Driver Seriously Injured – Fatal Road Accident

An ambulance driver with a patient on board was tragically involved in a fatal road accident when vehicle overtaking in the opposite direction, came into the on-coming path of the Ambulance.

The Ambulance driver could not avoid the head-on collision.  whilst the driver of the Ambulance survived the driver sustained multiple injuries.  The patient in the Ambulance did not sustain any injury.

Unfortunately the driver in the on-coming vehicle sustained fatal injuries and did not survive the fatal road collision.

Compensation for Road Traffic Accident Deaths

As specialist fatal road accident solicitors we are best placed to advise families who have lost a loved one.  Expert advice will help bereaved families get to the truth of what has happened and advise on all aspects on the law and paper-work that needs completing.  Finally the matter of compensation will be addressed to stop the family left behind financially suffering from the tragic loss.

Death at Work – Asphyxiation

A reported fatal work accident on a farm killed a young man when he was cleaning out some a blockage from a grain silo.

The death at work occurred when the employee was required to clean out a grain bin which had become blocked.  Rather than the employer having a correct procedure to deal with the blockage the young employee had climbed into the grain bin to deal with the blockage.

However, there was still a quantity of grain inside the bin when, during his attempt, he became immersed in the grain which resulted in asphyxiation.

Health and Safety Investigations Into The Death

It has been reported by the HSE that the system of work adopted by the employer of the young man who was killed was unsafe.  The tragic fatality at work was unavoidable by applying simple health and safety systems of work.

Compensation for Death at Work?

If you have lost a family member or friend and wish to seek free independent advice from solicitors to specialise in fatal workplace accidents please do not hesitate to contact us.  No matter how big or small your query we will be pleased to help you find the answers to law issues or factual issues.

If you are to attend an Inquest or Court we are well equipped to advise.

Contact us now for advice on compensation for deaths at work.

Man Dies Due to Fatal Car Accident

The 23-year-old deceased was believed to be driving down a busy road in his Vauxhall Insignia when a Citroen which was driving “partly sideways” on the wrong side of the road travelling in the opposite direction collided with him head on, which caused both vehicles to plough into a field causing the road death.

It is believed the Citroen driver was doing 80mph in a 50mph speed limit zone.

The deceased, died instantly due to internal injuries, along with a fractured skull and trauma within the brain which was unsurvivable.

Fatal Car Accident Support

For help and support following a road fatality to a close relative please contact us.  We will hold your hand and provide expert sympathetic advise throughout this difficult time.   All our road accident claims are dealt with under our No Win, No Fee, Solicitor Service.

No Win No Fee Solicitors

Contact one of our highly experienced solicitors discuss all aspects of making a claim or click on the following links below for more information.  When you are ready we are.  Please be aware there is a 3 year time limit from the date of death to make a fatal car accident claim however.

Contact us now, the fatal car accident solicitors for any questions you may have, we are here to help you or why not try our Priority Contact Form of Live Chat facility on this website.

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Fatal Car Accident Compensation Claims
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