Fatal Accident Claims
Fatal accidents usually occur as a result of road traffic accidents, medical negligence or accidents at work. All claims depend upon establishing fault. If a member of your family or a friend or contact has been a victim of an accident you need to know what can be claimed.
There are two types of fatal accident claims:
The Deceased's Estate claims
The Estate can claim under the Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934 (the LRMPA). The main types of claim are:
(a) pain suffering and loss of amenity from date of injury to date of death;
(b) special damages from date of injury to date of death eg loss of earnings, care, medical expenses etc;
(c) funeral expenses;
(d) probate fees;
(e) various one-off expenses and losses.
A claim by the dependents of the deceased
Fatal Accident Act 1976 claim on behalf of dependants. There are three possible heads:
- an award of bereavement damages, currently £12,980;
- dependency claim for financial losses suffered by the dependants of the deceased, both past and in the future (eg loss of income and pension and one-off losses such as a claim for inheritance tax payable from the Defendant where death of the donor occurs within seven years of a gift); and
- a claim for funeral expenses if paid by the dependants.
However a claimant has to be a 'dependant' i.e.
- A surviving spouse
- Surviving civil partner (who lived with the deceased for 2 years)
- Parent (if the child is under 18)
- A sibling, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew or cousin of the deceased
The definition of 'a dependant' is complex and is predicated upon relationships of blood and marriage.
Broadly speaking the dependency claim in relation to a deceased husband or wife's income would be approximately 75% of the pre-death joint income where there is a dependent spouse with one or more children. Where there are no dependent children the dependency claim is usually valued at approximately two thirds of the joint income.
Complex calculations of both past and future loss of income, pension and other benefits will be undertaken in preparing a schedule of loss.
The Coroner may be involved. Please see the link below for a guide to a Coroner's inquest and how we may be able to help.
Where a loved one is terminally ill there may also be a claim for 'lost years'. This claim needs to be brought very quickly before death as this claim ends with the person's death. This can occur in asbestos and mesothelioma claims.
If you would like to discuss a claim relating to a fatal accident, you can contact us for free, discreet and impartial advice on 0800 0730140.
Nina, our dedicated nurse paralegal, will take the details of your enquiry and if we feel that we can help, one of our specialist lawyers will be in touch to discuss the options available, including methods of funding a claim.