Fatal Accident Compensation Claims
Accidents can cause a multitude of different personal injuries and unfortunately, on some occasions, the results of an accident can be fatal. Fatal accidents can take place on the road, at the workplace, on a construction site, whilst serving in the armed forces and as a result of clinical negligence. Even slipping on a wet floor can result in fatal injuries if the victim takes a heavy fall and hits their head.
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident that was caused as a result of another person or company’s negligence, it is likely that you will be eligible to make a claim for compensation against the party at fault.
Who can make a fatal accident compensation claim?
There are laws in place that determine who is eligible to make a claim for compensation following a fatality in an accident. This means that it is not automatic that anybody seeking compensation in this area will be eligible. People who are entitled to make a fatal injury claim include family members and dependents. Family members and dependents can include the spouse, parents, grandparents, children, brothers, sisters, etc. Dependents are those individuals who were dependent on the deceased for financial support. Similarly, any person who had been living with the deceased as wife or husband for two or more years immediately before the injury or accident can also claim compensation.
To confirm whether or not you are legally entitled to make a claim for compensation following a fatal accident, contact an experienced solicitor for free advice. To arrange your free consultation, call 0800 678 1410.
Am I eligible to make a claim following a fatal accident?
There are a number of accidents that can result in a fatality, and as these are the most extreme and devastating cases that solicitors work with, it is important to ascertain the eligibility of making a claim from the outset. Injury solicitors understand that pursuing a personal injury claim after losing a loved one is a secondary thought. But you must understand that an accident claim can help you recover substantial compensation that can make a significant difference to your situation.
When fatal accidents involve the main bread winner of the family, the consequences can be devastating. Most of the time, the family members and the dependent’s of the victim are faced with financial strains which are not easy to overcome.
Personal injury solicitors have processed claims for fatal accidents in a number of different cases. They are experienced in offering an empathetic and diligent service that aims to protect clients from additional emotional stress and seeks to secure the highest possible compensation values on your behalf. Some of the most common causes of fatal accidents include:
- Road accidents – accidents on the roads can result in serious injuries. In some cases, they can be fatal. Fatal injuries during road accidents mainly include traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, injuries to internal organs and injuries that result in excessive bleeding.
- Work accidents – accidents at work are common, but fortunately they usually result in minor injuries. However, there are times when workers can sustain serious as well as fatal injuries in workplace accidents. Fatal injuries are mainly sustained as a result of falls from heights such as while working on scaffolding in construction sites. They can also be sustained in machinery accidents, as a result of being crushed by work vehicles such as forklift trucks.
- Clinical negligence – when we receive treatment or undergo surgery, we put our trust in the hands of medical professionals. Although such treatment is usually performed to a high standard, mistakes do still happen. Negligence during surgery can result in the perforation of organs, internal bleeding, wrong medication being given and other errors which can result in fatalities.
Compensation amounts for fatal accidents
The amount of compensation that you are awarded will depend upon factors that are specific to your particular case. When a fatal injury claim is made, the compensation award will consist of the following elements.
Actual losses – actual losses would include all the losses that incurred while dealing with the death of the individual such as funeral expenses or in providing care to the injured person before their death.
If the death was not immediate following an accident, there might have been travel expenses, the cost of nursing care and loss of earnings as well. Also, administrative costs including estate administration fees and applying for probate may also incur. All of these losses can be taken into consideration by your solicitor when pursuing your claim.
Bereavement award – this is a fixed amount set by the Government currently standing at £12,980, which most people agree is far too low. Compensation for bereavement is generally awarded to the husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased. It may also be awarded to the parents if the deceased was under the age of 18 and was never married.
Losses for dependency – if there are dependents that relied on the income of the deceased, compensation for loss of dependency will make the largest part of the award. However, the amount will depend on the income that was being earned by the deceased before their death.
Compensation for pain and suffering – if the individual did not die immediately following the injury or illness, compensation will be awarded for the pain and suffering they endured. This is usually possible when death is due to an industrial disease such as mesothelioma or asbestosis for example.
How long will it take to process my claim?
The amount of time that it takes to reach a conclusion on your claim for compensation following a fatal accident will depend upon the specifics of your case. Your solicitor will aim to process and progress cases as swiftly as possible so as to minimise further disruption and emotional distress on claimants and their families.
Some of the most prominent factors that influence the amount of time that it takes to process a claim include:
- Disputes relating to liability
- Delays caused by the defendant’s legal representatives
- Access to evidence
- Access to supporting documentations
- Availability and contactability of witnesses
- Delays in receiving medical proof and assessments.
Once your solicitors have gathered the information and evidence required to support your claim, they will work hard to build a strong case against the defendant and will negotiate the highest compensation award possible.