A Guide About Who Could Make A Fatal Accident Claim

By Stephen Bishop. Last Updated 16th June 2023. This guide will explain who could make a fatal accident claim. If a loved one has lost their life in an accident caused by negligence, you could claim compensation. We will look at what making a fatal accident claim involves and the payments you could be entitled to receive for your loss.

Who Could Make A Fatal Accident Claim?

Who Could Make A Fatal Accident Claim?

If you lost a relative in a fatal accident that another party caused or contributed to through a breach of duty of care, a claim could be made for their pain and suffering. Furthermore, you might be entitled to compensation for your suffering, too.

Please call Legal Helpline to speak with a claims specialist. A skilled lawyer from our panel could start working on your case if you meet the criteria.

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What Are Fatal Accident Claims?

A fatal accident is an accident that results in the avoidable death of one or more persons. Below, we look at some of the relevant legislation that allows a claim to be made following a wrongful death:

  • The Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934 allows the person’s estate to claim compensation for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced before their death.
  • The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA) allows qualifying relatives of the deceased to claim for the impact the death has had on them. They can only make a claim under this legislation provided that the estate has not done so in the first 6 months following the death.

If you believe you are entitled to compensation for a fatal accident, please get in touch with Legal Helpline today. An advisor may be able to assign a solicitor to work on your case if you are eligible to claim.

What Is A Dependency Claim?

Below, we look at the different kinds of dependency that could entitle you to make a claim under the FAA.

Financial Dependency

Relatives could claim compensation if they are negatively impacted by the loss of the deceased’s earnings or financial contributions. For example, a spouse could claim for the loss of contribution to their husband or wife’s income.

Loss Of Service

Dependent relatives may also receive compensation for the loss of service. For example, if a relative is disabled and the deceased helped to care for them, the relative could claim compensation for the loss of care.

Furthermore, a loss of services payment could consider the following:

  • The deceased taking children to and from football practice
  • DIY that was carried out around the house by the deceased
  • Food shopping carried out by the deceased
  • Childcare that the deceased provided

Loss Of Consortium

This is also referred to as “loss of a special person”. It can take into account the loss of familial relationships, sexual relationships or companionship, for example.

If you would like one of our advisors to speak with you about your specific circumstances, and let you know what payments you could be entitled to, speak with an advisor today.

Who Could Make A Fatal Accident Claim?

Under the FAA, qualifying relatives of the deceased can claim compensation for the way that the death has impacted them.

Under the FAA, the following could be considered dependants of the deceased:

  • Children or step-children, including those from previous relationships
  • A spouse or civil partner
  • A former spouse or civil partner
  • Parents of the deceased or people they treated as parents
  • Someone who cohabitated with the deceased for two years or more before their death as spouses
  • An aunt, uncle, brother or sister of the deceased, or any of their issue

If you are still wondering, “who could make a fatal accident claim?” then our advisors could help. Get in touch today for free legal advice about your eligibility.

Who Could Make A Fatal Accident Claim Under Each Act?

The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 allows the deceased person’s estate to make a claim for the pain and suffering they experienced before they dies. For the first 6 months after the death, the estate is the only party that can bring forward a claim for the benefit of dependants, too.

Under the FAA 1976 (FAA 1976), if, after six months, the estate has not claimed for then dependents can claim. They can only do so for the way the death has impacted them, however; they cannot claim for the deceased’s pain and suffering in their capacity as dependents.

If you would like an answer to the question, “who could make a fatal accident claim?” then speak with an advisor today. They could connect you with a lawyer from our panel if you have a valid claim.

What Is The Time Limit For Fatal Injury Claims?

The time limit for starting a fatal accident claim is three years. This usually applies from the date of death of the party you are claiming on behalf of. Alternatively, the time limit may start on the date of knowledge, which could be formed on the date of an inquest or post-mortem.

It is also important to remember that for the first 6 months following the deceased’s death, only the deceased’s estate can bring forward a fatal injury claim. After 6 months, the deceased’s dependents can bring forward a claim for how the death has impacted them if the deceased’s estate hasn’t already brought one forward on their behalf.

If you would like to ask questions about making a fatal accident compensation claim, you can contact our advisors today.

What Can Claimants Receive After A Fatal Accident?

If you make a successful fatal injury claim, you can receive the following heads of claim. These are as follows:

  • Dependency award
  • A bereavement award of up to £15,120
  • A payment to cover funeral expenses

In addition, you could claim compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that the deceased experienced because of the accident before their death. You can use the table as an accident claims calculator to estimate how much compensation you could claim for the deceased’s injuries.

Reason For ClaimNotes On Harm CausedPayout Bracket
Death - with add-onThis award may include damages for the pain and suffering the deceased suffered prior to death. May also include damages for the dependents' losses.Up to £550,000 or greater
Tetraplegia (Paraplegia)The payout could account for factors including the age of the victim, how long they are expected to live and how much pain and suffering they experienced.£323,600 to £403,990
ParaplegiaThe payout may be dependent on the age of the person, how long they could live and their degree of independence.£219,070 to £284,260
Brain Damage - Very SevereVery severe degrees of brain damage which have left the person with little or even no meaningful response to environmental factors. The person needs full time care.£282,010 to £403,990
Brain Damage - Moderately SevereBrain damage leaves the person with a serious disability. The person is quite dependent on getting care from other people.£291,070 to £282,010
Psychiatric Damage - SevereThis person faces serious degrees of difficulty in managing education, work or relationships.£54,830 to £115,730

Please note the compensation amounts are based on 16th-edition guidelines from the Judicial College (released in 2022). The compensation brackets in the table are not guaranteed. The compensation claims process will determine the final settlement you receive.

Find Out Who Could Make A Fatal Accident Claim By Calling Us

We hope this guide has helped you understand who is classed as a dependent under the FAA and who could make a fatal accident claim.

If you believe you can make a fatal accident claim, please get in touch with Legal Helpline for your legal consultation. If our advisors see that you are eligible to claim, they can appoint a skilled personal injury solicitor from our panel to work on your claim.

Legal Helpline works with a panel of knowledgeable solicitors to handle fatal injury claims. The solicitors offer the option to make a No Win No Fee claim. Under this, you will generally only pay a success fee if you win your claim, and you won’t be asked to pay an upfront solicitors fee. Under The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, the success fee is capped.

Please contact Legal Helpline to see if you are eligible to claim compensation.

Check Who Could Make A Fatal Accident Claim

You may find these online resources helpful if you want to claim compensation for an accident.

Who To Notify If A Fatal Accident Occurs At Work

How To Make A Fatal Road Accident Compensation Claim

Death And Fatal Motorbike Accidents Claims Guide

An HSE guide to fatal injuries at work

A government guide on what to do after a death

Get help with grief after bereavement or loss – an NHS guide

Please don’t hesitate to contact Legal Helpline to find out more about who could make a fatal accident claim.

Written by HC

Edited by FS