Our personal injury lawyers are based in Leicester and often travel to meet clients at homes or hospitals across Leicestershire and the East Midlands, to discuss potential compensation claims. We regularly represent families pursuing compensation in fatal accident claims.
What is a fatal accident claim?
A fatal accident is an accident resulting in death. To make a claim for a fatal accident, the cause must be the negligence of another person or party. Fatal accident claims are different to personal injury claims that do not result in death.
Why is a fatal accident claim different?
A fatal accident claim differs from a personal injury claim in the following ways:
- The law relating to fatal accidents and what can and cannot be claimed is set out in the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.
- Only certain people (normally close family of the person who has died) can bring a fatal accident claim and there is an order in which different people are entitled to bring the claim.
- Even though the accident has resulted in the death of someone straightaway, if that person suffered between the accident and his or her death, a claim can also be made for that pain and suffering.
Is a fatal accident claim normally greater than a personal injury claim?
The answer to this is not necessarily. In fact, quite often fatal accident claims are very modest. This is because the biggest part of a fatal accident claim, is for what is called loss of dependency. If nobody was actually dependent upon the person who has died, whether financially or otherwise, then no loss of dependency claim can be made.
Are family members entitled to compensation for the death of a loved one?
- A bereavement award fixed by law in the sum of £12,980 can be claimed by certain family members. This is little compensation for the loss of a loved one, but is more than in previous years where the bereavement award was £11,800 (before 2013) and £10,000 (before 2008).
- Not only is the bereavement award very modest in amount, only certain people can claim it, including the wife or husband of the deceased. A bereavement award is not payable to the parents of someone who has been fatally injured if their child is over eighteen. This often surprises our clients and can be very upsetting. Often even more upsetting is the fact that a child cannot claim the bereavement award for the death of a parent.
How is a fatal accident claim handled?
You can rely on our expertise in fatal accident claims to guide you through the process.
- Where the circumstances of a fatal accident are unclear, there may be an inquest into the death. This is completely separate from any claim for compensation and the inquest is solely to find out how the death occurred. We can help you get answers to your questions about what happened and we can also represent you at the inquest as well as dealing with the Coroner’s Office and police on your behalf.
- We have specialist Probate lawyers who can help you deal with the estate of the deceased. We can also put you in touch with Independent Financial Advisers if required.
- Once it is clear from the circumstances of the accident that it was the fault of somebody else, then we will contact the responsible party’s insurer to commence the claim. We will be in very regular contact with you to provide updates as well as to obtain information from you, in order to properly and accurately value the loss of dependency claim.
Contact us to make a fatal accident claim
Call us to speak to an experienced personal injury solicitor today. We’ll be able to answer any initial questions over the phone and arrange for a meeting at your earliest convenience. If you are unable to get to our Leicester office, we are happy to arrange to visit you at home.
Bray and Bray has three main offices in Leicestershire, contact us to discuss an enquiry or a case you have or feel free to pop in and see us at your local office by clicking on the links below:
Leicester call us on 0116 254 8871.
Hinckley call us on 01455 639 900.
Market Harborough call us on 01858 467 181.