999 and Fatal Accident Claims

Fatal Accident Claims & 999

The Emergency Ambulance service are causing almost 2 deaths per month for failing to get to the accident scene on time and or failures to recognised the severity of the patent’s symptoms.

In a damming acknowledgement by the Coroners in England and Wales it is reported that Coroners have had to notify the ambulance service since 2013 86 times warning them that changes have to be made to avoid possible fatal accident claims.

Fatal Road Traffic Accident


Of the Coroners’ warnings to the Ambulance service 48 of them related to delays in getting to  the patient in a reasonable time.  A former whistle blower said that the volume of reports suggest that:

‘a significant decline in ambulance safety in recent years.’  The whistle blower added ‘action is needed to rectify underfunding, related to workforce and skill mix issues…’

Coroners Duty under Fatal Accident Claims

Under Regulation 28 of the Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013 a Coroner  has a duty to write a report if it appear there is a risk of other deaths occurring in similar circumstances.

An analysis into Regulation 28 reports on deaths by the Chief Coroner had revealed that delays were caused by slow handovers at Accident & Emergency Hospitals which findings were similar to the National Audit Office earlier this year.  Further reading on delays and underfeeding of the ambulance service resulting in possible fatal accident claims please click here: Emergency Paramedics



Fatal Accident Claims – Clinical Negligence

The importance of contracting sepsis has taken a new twist when the Health Secretary in the Times on 11 March 2017 has advised that anyone who has contracted the infection should be treated within the hour.  The guidelines take on board the little know dangers of the infection that can lead to death.

However failing to spot the signs of the infection can lead to fatal accident claims against the NHS for medical negligence or against others who may be liable for instance sepsis contracted during the course of your work – fatal accident at work claims or a recent blog we discussed where a dog owner caused or allowed his dog to bite a carer who contracted sepsis and subsequently died.

Sepsis Patients to be Treated Within the Hour

The Health Secretary has now advised that sepsis patients must be treated within the hour.

What is Sepis?

Sepsis occurs when the body’s immune system goes into over-drive as it tries to fight the infection that damages tissue and interferes with the blood flow.  Patients can die if the infection is not treated early.  We have seen in recent blogs by the fatal accident solicitors that in some cases the bereaved family may have a legal right to claim compensation for fatal accident claims should there be a fault on behalf of the employer and/or person who caused the infection.

Further, if the sepsis is not treated quickly by the NHS doctors or at all, a clinical negligence claim may also be made.

What are the Signs of Sepsis?

According to Health Line the following are the signs of sepsis infection:

  • patches of discolored skin.
  • decreased urination.
  • changes in mental ability.
  • low platelet (blood clotting cells) count.
  • problems breathing.
  • abnormal heart functions.
  • chills due to fall in body temperature.
  • unconsciousness.

A recent study has estimated that there are 260,000 people in the UK would develop the condition annually.

Affected By This Story?

If you wish to seek advice or legal support please contact the fatal accident solicitors as soon as possible.  There is a limited period of time to make a claim and whilst it is a difficult time there is a lot we can do to help bereaved families to help get to the truth of what happened and seek some form of justice to what has tragically happened.

Fatal Accidents Claims and Mobile Phone Usage

It is reported that there are 10,000 motorists have been caught twice for being distracted whilst driving a motor vehicle on UK Roads over the last 4 years.

Many such incidents go without tragic results such as:

  • quick look at who text
  • texting
  • making a call
  • receiving a call
  • checking emails
  • sending emails
  • playing music
  • the list is now endless with smart phones.

However using mobiles phones behind the wheel are distracting to the extent they are akin to a drink driving charge.  Of almost 240,000 motorists that have been caught since 2012, only 284 have received a ban.

Fatal road accident claims

Put Your Mobile Phone Away In Your Car

To prevent you being distracted but your mobile phone away so that you cannot get access to it such as your glove box.  One tragic loss of concentration can result in a fatal road traffic accident.  You could kill somebody.  It is not worth it.

Police Will Check Your Phone

As is routine in any serious accidents the police will check your mobile phone records to see if you were using your phone immediately prior to a any accident including a fatal accident claim.  If there is not a great deal of evidence as to the cause of the accident, if you were using your mobile phone it may be suggestive that you will be at fault and you could be charged with causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving the former can lead to a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

The fact that your own life could be spent behind bars for a long time, you also have the guilt of having to live with yourself for killing someone on the road.  Just to check your texts or emails.  It is not worth it.

Fatal Accident – Can I Claim Compensation?

As fatal accident claim solicitors we are often approached by family members and friends of the family who have lost a loved one for guidance and advice.

Often fatal accident compensation is often secondary to finding out the truth of what happened to the deceased and to obtain justice.

Fatal Accident Claims and Probate

Fatal accident solicitors can help with the investigations by the Police by liaising  with them and the Coroner in respect of the Inquest that is often held following an untimely death.

Compensation for Fatal Accident Claim

There are many different types of losses that a qualifying member of the deceased can claim such as:

If a person dies as a result of a violent act, then a claim can be made through the Criminal Injuries Scheme of which please click on this link: Criminal Injuries and Bereavement Award.

This website offers a wealth of information and pointers to help family members and concerned friends but you should contact us for advice with one of our fatal accident solicitors to make a claim or simply to obtain some advice and support.





Fatal Accident Compensation – Can I Claim?

This question is often asked by family members who have lost a loved one. Usually common sense plays a part as to who can claim compensation following a fatal accident.  The person is usually the next of kin, who is the wife or husband (or surviving partner in a same sex marriage) of the deceased.  That obviously makes sense.

But who can make a claim will also be dependent upon whether the deceased left a will and that the person who is legally entitled to claim was also dependent upon the deceased at the time of death.

This can lead to unjust consequences not only as to who is entitled but also if the family member who wishes to make a claim for fatal accident compensation is also dependent upon the deceased in any way, that could be financial as well as non-financial such as being cared for by the deceased before death.

Non-married partners can also claim however.  This is sanctioned in the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, providing that the couple were living together as ‘husband and wife’ for a period of at least 2 years prior to the death of the other partner.

The harshness of this rule is brought into focus by the recent decision of Swift v Secretary of State.  In this case, an unmarried couple where the wife had gave birth to the deceased’s child just weeks after his death were unable to bring a fatal accident compensation claim due to the fact that they had only been living together for just 6 months prior to the tragic accident.

The Deceased was unlawfully killed at work due to an accident to which his employers admitted fault.  However the fatal accident claim valued in the region of over £400,000 could not be made due to the fact that they did not live together for 2 years prior to death despite the fact that the his partner was pregnant and having his child.

Fatal accident solicitors challenged the unfair law under the Human Rights Act but despite the Judge expressing sympathy for the surviving partner, with the inevitable unjust law that had to be applied to this particular tragic circumstance, there was nothing with the Judge’s power to change the law and grant any fatal accident compensation at work.

The fatal accident claim was therefore dismissed.

The law is totally unjust in this area and outdated like many of the laws following the untimely death of a loved one due to the fault of another.  It is time the law is updated and changes to avoid the tragic consequences that follow.

Why Did The Courts Got It Wrong Over Many Years? (Part 3)

Why Did The Courts Got It Wrong Over Many Years?

The Ogden Tables were used to compensate future awards of compensation for fatal accident dependents and victims of life changing injuries.  The Ogden Tables use what are called ‘multipliers’ that is a calculation to apply a fixed lump sum award the claimant would received today and ‘discount’ the compensation lump sum due to the fact that the claimant would get the money now rather than piece meal over what can be many years into the future.

In fatal accident claims, however, the Courts in the 1970’s (see case of Cookson v Knowles [1979] in particular where Lord Fraser stated:

‘In a personal injury case, if the injured person has survived until the date of trial, that is a known fact…But in a fatal accident case, the multiplier must be selected once and for all as at the date of death because everything that might have happened to the deceased after that date remains uncertain…’

Thus to calculate the future compensation for dependants from the date of death rather than the date of trial (which happens as a matter of routine in life changing injury claims) has the effect of under-compensating the dependants of the deceased.  Why?  This is because the Odgen Tables used to calculate the future awards were designed to calculate the ‘multiplier’ from the date of trial not the date of death.

So if there is a long delay between the date of death and date of trial or settlement this will lead to injustice and under-compensation to the dependents.  This has been a known fact for many years but the Courts have done nothing about it until the decision in Knauer v MOJ 2016.  The mis-use by the Courts of the Ogden Tables was considered in White v ESAB Group (UK) Ltd [2012] and Aths v Ms [2002] EWCA Civ 972 and criticised in Corbett v Braking HA [1991].

Just one good fatal accident decision in many years has taken place where the Supreme Court in the case of Knauer v MOJ 2016 decided to change the law so that the multiplier must run from the date of trial, not the date of death.  This can add thousands of pounds for bereaved families who have been under-compensated and let down the the Government and the Judiciary.

[Author Ronnie Hutcheon – Principal Solicitor in the Firm of R James Hutcheon Solicitors]

But the Courts thought they were bound by the past judgement and thus the law could not be changed without the Government changing the law.

Even the Law Commission Report entitled Claims for Wrongful Death suggested to the Government that the law should be changed (among other issues) so that compensation for fatal accident claims for future awards should be used the same way as lift changing injury claim, that is The Ogden Tables for future awards for compensation should be from the date of trial not the date of death.

Fatal Injury Law Commission Report – [Click to View]

Common sense has played a part here with practical know how of the change in times but lest not forget the injustice to victims in the past whose fatal accident claims have been vastly under compensated by the slow changing pace of the Judiciary and the constant strength and lobbing of Government by insurance companies who  continue to influence the Government.  The losers are the victims.  Help us change the law and sign our Government E-Petition on bereavement awards.

Further reading

Fatal Accident Compensation – Calculate Future Awards (Part 1)

Fatal Accident Compensation – Calculate Future Awards (Part 2)

Fatal Accident Compensation – Calculate Future Awards (Part 3)

There are time limits that apply to make a fatal accident claim so please do not leave it late. If you are reading this website to help a family member or friend who has not yet obtain advice you can contact us to discuss options.  Whatever the circumstances, contact us.

Click on our CONTACT US to call or email us via our Online Form.


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Child Sues Mother For Serious Injuries

Fatal accident claim solicitors have issued court proceedings earlier this year to safeguard the well-being of a child who sustained life changing injuries.

It is reported that the fatal road accident happened when the mother lost control of her vehicle and hit a brick wall.  The child was in the back seat.

However there is an allegation to suggest that the the child was not correctly strapped and secured in the “child seat” and therefore may have caused greater harm to the child.

The mother tragically died from brain injuries several days after the tragic fatal road accident.

Fatal road accident

How Can a Child Sue His/Her Mother?

What will happen is that as the fatal crash may have been caused by the mother, the solicitors acting for the child will argue that as it was the mother’s fault, she must pay any compensation to the child.  The compensation is usually paid for by her motor insurer policy, not the other hence the requirement of compulsory motor insurance. This will apply even though she has tragically died in the accident.

The mother’s insurance company will instruct specialist fatal road accident solicitors to investigate the claim for compensation to establish fault and test the claim for a compensation award.

The Child’s solicitors will need a responsible adult to take instructions from.  An adult in law is over 18 years of age.  It will usually be from a parent, but in this case it can be from the child’s father (if available), grandparent, uncle etc who will have the best interests of the child at heart. This person is called a litigation friend. If there is no responsible adult to represent the child the Court of Protection can be appointed.

For further advice and support please contact us, the fatal car accident claims solicitors.

52 Year Old Dies from Forklift Accident

52 Year Old Dies from Forklift Accident

The deceased, 52-years-old died due to his forklift truck being knocked over by a heavy goods vehicle.

It is believed the deceased works for a well-known distributor when he was working in the factory at the time of the accident which consisted of him picking goods from pallets and putting them into a HGV lorry in order for it to be delivered to supermarkets.

The deceased was in process of loading goods onto the lorry when the truck rolled back causing the deceased to be crushed on the forklift truck which he was operating at the time of the accident.

An investigation took place were it was found that there was no horns fitted into the forklift truck which could of prevented the accident and near misses in the past was not reported which is explained as an “fatal accident at work waiting to happen”.

At the coroners court inquest it was found the deceased died of crush asphyxia.

It is believed the company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay the council £199,943 in costs.

Fatal Accident at Work Claims

Currently there is nothing we can do about such tragic and heart breaking events that occur at our workplace. Bereaved families are left to pick up the pieces.  As fatal accident at work claims solicitors we will help you uncover the truth, speaking and liaising with the police and the Coroner.  If need be, to obtain expert evidence to establish the cause of the death and ultimately the truth.  Thereafter this is the issue of compensation.  Yes no about of compensation will ever be enough but that is the only thing that society has to offer the bereaved families following such tragic circumstances.  Even here the amount of bereavement in our respectful view is truly pitiful, currently called a bereavement award.  For more information on how much “life is worth” please click here bereavement award following a fatal accident at work.

Agency Worker Died Due to Accident at Work

Agency Worker Died Due to Accident at Work

A young agency worker died due to an accident at work.

The 20-year-old agency construction worker was one of five other workers to be standing underneath a crane which was carrying a metal cage containing materials for the work which was taking place on the building site when it tragically fell caused the worker to lose his life.

Following a post-mortem examination it was confirmed the worker died of multiple injuries which include multiple fractures to his head and body after the metal cage slipped from the chains connecting it to the crane.

HSE took out an investigation and the company was fined for serious safety failings within the construction site and it was confirmed that the workers was under time pressure and this could of been a possible cause to this tragic accident.

“Who can claim?”

If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal accident at work there is only a few people who can claim compensation on behalf of the deceased if there is blame.

Not only can the family get fatal accident at work compensation, they are able to claim bereavement award and dependency claim which includes funeral expenses, serious loss due to being dependant to the deceased.


Help and Assistance by Fatal Work Accident Solicitors?

Questions - Contact Us

If you need help following a death that has occurred at work, as fatal accident at work claim solicitors we will guide you every step of the way.  Advice on Inquests, getting to the truth of what happened and compensation for the death, dependency and the cost of funeral expenses.

We appreciate that compensation for a fatal accident at work compensation claim is not everything, but we can help reduce the stress and paper-work required following a death at work claim and the compensation will help reduce the financial strain when a family loses close relative that they were financially dependent.

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For more information, click the following links:
Fatal accident at work compensation claims
Dependency Claim
Bereavement award

Diver Died on Off-Shore Wind Farm

Diver Died on Off-Shore Wind Farm

The worker, 48 was working as a off-shore mechanical diver when he suddenly lost his life.

It is believed the worker was planned work to go under water and fix a wind farm when he was heard to be struggling for breath only 4 minutes into his dive.

The deceased was to have been complaining about his neck ring being too tight around his neck- (which is worn around his neck to stop water going into his helmet). An emergency diver went down to the sea bed to see if he was ok when it was unable to find a clip on ring in order to pull him back up to the vessel.

After 15 minutes, the deceased was finally pulled up to the vessel and was pronounced deceased by a doctor who was flown out to the vessel after about an hour of resuscitation attempts.

Due to this incident, a coroner’s inquest took place and a post-mortem revealed there was bruising found around his neck and found the cause of death hypoxic induced cardiac arrest, due to compression of his neck by an over-tight neck dam ring.

They also found that he had an undiagnosed heart condition and he had a slight heart attack which contributed to his death.


Fatal accidents at work solicitors

Employers are under a duty to provide a safe working environment.  Fatal accidents at work are on obvious hazard that employers must safeguard against. All employers must ensure that the place of work is safe for all employees. They must provide any safety equipment, clothing, breathing apparatus etc. to protect employees who are undertaking work that may cause them harm.  Working at heights is an obvious danger and employers must provide not only the relevant safety equipment, but also training.

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Sympathy Advice

Here at R James Hutcheon solicitors we understand that loss of a loved one can cause pain, grief and suffering and that no amount of fatal accidents at work compensation can recover this loss. However, the award of fatal accident compensation can help with the stress loved ones still having to pay the mortgage and bills such as funeral costs, loan repayments and general household expenses. A bereavement award can also be awarded to the deceased’s Spouse or Parents. For your information we have set up a fatal accident compensation guide. Anyone needing any more information please contact us.

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