Regardless of the circumstances in which it has occurred, a fatal accident is always going to be a traumatic event.
What’s more, if the death is the result of negligence, the trauma will only be made worse. Even though money will not repair the trauma, it will definitely help ease the financial burden.
Law Regarding Fatal Accident
In the UK, fatal accidents are covered by the Fatal Accident Act of 1976 whereby dependents of the deceased are entitled to make a claim if the death is the result of someone else’s error or negligence.
Under these conditions, the following people are allowed to make a claim:
• The spouse or former spouse of the deceased
• A person who had lived with the deceased as a wife or partner for a minimum of 2 years prior to the death
• Any children whether they are blood-children or adopted children.
• Parents, grandparents or great-grandparents
• Extended family members such as nieces, nephews, cousins, aunties and uncles
What can you claim for in a fatal accident
Because the claim depends on the circumstances of the accident and a multitude of other factors, every claim is different.
However, following a fatal accident, you are able to claim for the following:
• If the death is the result of an illness or disease for example following an industrial accident, the deceased’s dependents are able to claim for the suffering incurred as a result. The same would apply in the case of medical negligence.
• Actual losses can be claimed if expenditures were incurred in the caring for the injured person. A claim for actual losses would also cover any administrative costs that are involved in the demise of the deceased’s estate.
• If the death did not occur immediately following the accident, it is possible to claim for the loss of earnings over the period during which the victim was still alive but unable to work.
• It is also possible to claim for losses for dependency if the deceased is survived by dependents who depended on their income. This could, for example, be the children or the wife of the deceased. However, in this case, the amount that can be claimed will depend on the deceased’s income. The loss for dependency is generally the largest part of a fatal accident compensation claim.
It is important to note that in the case of a successful claim, the bereavement award is due payable by the negligent party.
How to make a fatal accident claim?
Even though it is possible for the deceased’s depends to make a fatal accident compensation claim by themselves, it is best to get in touch with a solicitor.
The legalities surrounding these claims are complex and their grieving state could make it even more difficult, as you will have to navigate through the legality and answer questions about the deceased which can be very difficult emotionally.
Therefore it is always advisable to hire an experienced accident and personal injury solicitor who will be able to explain all the legalities and provide you with the much-needed support. If you choose to go ahead you will need the police complaint and doctor’s notes so we can build a strong case.