A Guide To Fatal Accident At Work Compensation Claims

By Megan Stanley. Last Updated 8th March 2024. Welcome to our guide to making fatal accident at work compensation claims. If you have been faced with the death of a loved one through a sudden accident at work, it can be extremely traumatic for all the family and loved ones in their life. While you are grieving in the period after their passing away, you will likely be busy with tasks such as arranging a funeral and notifying the authorities of their passing away, as well as dealing with their possessions, care for their dependents and any other arrangements that need to be made.

After the initial period after a loved one’s death, you may have a period of reflection on what happened. This may lead you to question whether the accident was anyone’s fault. It may leave you with many questions, particularly when it comes to the details surrounding the accident that caused their fatal injuries.

We understand how devastating it can be to lose someone suddenly, particularly if the accident that led to their passing away may have been avoided. This may lead to feelings of anger and frustration that had the accident not happened, your loved one would still be there with you. Aside from the obvious financial implications of losing a loved one, such as funeral costs and loss of a household income, you may want reassurance that the same accident won’t happen again. This is often what leads people to make fatal accident at work claims, both to redress the financial imbalance a loved one’s death caused and ensure that another family doesn’t have to endure the same terrible situation as you.

Wrongful death compensation can be filed by a number of people after death at work. A family member, a dependent or the deceased person’s estate can launch a claim for compensation after an accident causing fatality at work. These cases can be difficult to go through, especially if you have only recently lost someone. However, making a claim can not only help you face the future with fewer financial problems but also with the knowledge that steps are being taken to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.

Please continue reading our guide to see how a Claims Management Company, such as Legal Helpline, can help you.

A worker checking their colleague's pulse following a fatal work accident

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Eligibility Criteria For Fatal Accident At Work Compensation Claims

All employees are owed a duty of care from their employer under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Per their duty of care, they need to prevent their employees from coming to harm by taking reasonable steps and measures. This could include:

  • Providing sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) when needed.
  • Performing risk assessments and maintenance checks regularly.
  • Providing all staff with sufficient training.

If your loved one has died in a fatal accident at work, to be able to make a fatal injury claim, the following will need to be proven:

  1. Your loved one’s employer must have owed them a duty of care.
  2. Their employer breached their duty of care.
  3. This breach caused your loved one to suffer their fatal injury.

To see whether you may be eligible to claim a death at work payout on behalf of your deceased loved one, you can contact one of the advisors on our team. They can help answer your questions regarding the claiming process and offer you free advice.

Who Can Make Fatal Accident At Work Compensation Claims?

When making a fatal accidents compensation claim for a loved one’s death at work, there are a few aspects you should consider.

Per the Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934, only the deceased’s estate can bring forward a claim on behalf of the deceased for their pain and suffering. The Fatal Accident Act 1976 allows certain relatives, known as dependents, to make their own claim for the impact the death has had on them. We will discuss later in this guide who can qualify as a dependent.

However, for the first 6 months following the death of the deceased, only their estate can make a claim. This includes a claim for the deceased’s pain and suffering and for the dependent’s grief. If, after 6 months, a claim has not been made, then the dependents can make a claim for how the death has affected them.

Contact our advisors today to see whether a claim could be made for compensation for the death of a family member in a fatal accident at work.

Who Qualifies As A Dependent?

According to the law, if you were dependent on your loved one financially, then you may be able to make a claim for fatal accident at work compensation. The following groups of people are often included in this type of claim:

  • A sister, brother, aunt or uncle who has cause to depend financially on their loved one
  • Someone who cohabited with their loved one (if they have lived together for over 2 years previous to the accident)
  • A dependent, or child – This does not have to be a blood relative if they were treated as a child resulting from a marriage
  • A former civil partner, or current civil partner
  • A former spouse or spouse
  • An ascendant or parent (as long as they were financially dependent on their loved one)

If you are not sure whether you would be classed as being legally able to lodge a fatal accident at work case for your loved one, then do not hesitate to contact our expert team, who will investigate the matter for you.

Causes Of Fatal Accidents At Work

There are various ways that a fatal accident could occur within a workplace. Some examples may include:

  • A piece of machinery in a factory has not been regularly inspected and maintained. Due to this, the machine overheats and explodes. An employee who was standing close to the machine at the time of the explosion suffered fatal burn injuries.
  • An employer failed to provide their employee a hard hat while working on a construction site. Due to this, they suffer a fatal head injury when some construction equipment falls onto them from a height.
  • An employee suffers a fatal injury after failing from a height due to being provided with a known faulty ladder by their employer within a warehouse.

If your loved one has suffered a fatal injury, and you would like to know whether you could claim a death at work payout on their behalf, you can contact our advisors today. They can assess the eligibility of your case and potentially connect you with one of the solicitors on our panel.

Death At Work – Evidence That Can Assist With Your Claim

As part of your claim, you will be required to provide evidence that shows that a breach of duty of care played a part in the death of your loved one.

As we have said, a breach of duty of care at work can mean that an employer was not taking reasonably practicable steps to provide a safe working environment. If you can prove that this negligence was responsible for the death, then you could be eligible to claim compensation for the death of your family member.

Evidence can come in many forms, such as:

  • CCTV, or similar footage, of the accident or the hazard that led to the accident
  • The contact details of colleagues or witnesses to the accident, or to the hazard that caused the accident
  • Emails, texts or other documents that show that safety concerns were raised to the employer
  • Work documents, or similar materials, that could show health and safety requirements were not being followed

You can also collect evidence and records of the financial losses you will be claiming compensation for. Whether in the form of receipts, bills or bank statements.

A solicitor can help you with collecting or requesting evidence. If you would like to learn more about how to claim for negligence that led to a death at work, or to speak to someone about the type of evidence you could collect for your claim, then please reach out to an adviser or member of our team.

A worker's legs from behind a forklift after they've been hit by it.

Fatal Accident Compensation – How Long You Have To Claim

As we have stated throughout this guide, claims can be made for fatal accidents, and compensation can be awarded for the deceased’s pain and suffering as well as to their dependents for how the death has impacted them. Regardless of whether your loved one died in a road traffic accident, or in an accident at work, a compensation claim could still be made.

However, you only have a certain amount of time to claim compensation for the death of a family member. These time limits generally are:

  • Within 3 years from the date of death.
  • 3 years from the date of knowledge. This could be the date of an inquest or post-mortem.

Do not hesitate to contact one of our advisors today if you have any questions about claiming fatal accident compensation. Our friendly team is available 24/7 and could answer any of the questions you may have about making a fatal accident claim.

Making A Fatal Accident Claim – Example Compensation Payouts

If you are eligible to make a fatal accident claim, then you may have questions about just how much compensation could be awarded. Fatal injury claims are treated on a case-by-case basis and there are no specific average or standard figures when it comes to the payouts. However, the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can provide some insight into potential compensation payouts for different injuries including fatal ones.

In the table included below are details of compensation brackets for different fatal injuries based on the 2022 edition of the JCG.

Type Of Fatal InjuriesNotesCompensation Bracket
Fatal Accident Plus Add On ClaimsThis could include compensation for the deceased's pain and suffering and any additional payments for dependency and loss of services.Up to and over £550,000
Brain Damage - Very SevereThe person will be able to follow some simple commands, but there will need full-time care and certain factors such as extent of physical limitations will affect how much is awarded.£282,010 to £403,990
Tetraplegia/QuadriplegiaThe higher end of this bracket is applicable where the person experiences physical pain and there was a serious effect on the person senses and communication skills.£324,600 to £403,990
ParaplegiaFactors such as the extent of pain, degree of independence and depression will determine how much compensation is awarded.£219,070 to £284,260
Psychological Damage - SevereThe person will have had serious problems with personal relationships and various aspects of social and working life. The prognosis will have also been poor.£54,830 to £115,730
Anxiety Disorder - SevereThe person will suffer from permanent effects that will affect all aspects of their life negatively.£59,860 to £100,670
Injuries Resulting in Death - Full AwarenessThis bracket applies to cases where the person suffered severe burns and lung damage which proved fatal. The person will have had full awareness for at least a short period during the final couple of weeks/months leading up to their death.£12,540 to £23,810

For assistance on getting a fatal accident compensation estimate that closely reflects your case, you can contact our advisors here at Legal Helpline.

Other Forms Of Compensation For Fatal Accident Claims

If you were financially dependent on your loved one, then their passing may have caused you to worry about your future financial situation. If it can be proved that your loved one’s employer was liable for their accident, then you may be able to lodge a fatal accident at work compensation claim to cover the following:

  • Financial support
  • Rights to a pension or the pension itself
  • Childcare/child-related expenses
  • Household tasks that the loved one would have taken care of such as DIY and gardening

If you are not quite sure whether some of your financial needs will be compensated within the remit of fatal accident at work compensation claims, then we will be able to advise you on this. Simply call us to check and we will talk you through what you may be able to claim for.

No Win No Fee Fatal Accident Claims

When a loved one passes away, it often plunges households into a financial situation that can be difficult to deal with. While in these circumstances, you may think that making a claim for compensation would be the last thing you would be able to afford. However, this is not the case when pursuing a claim for a fatal accident at work that is part of a no win no fee case. No win no fee lawyers do not require you to pay legal bills before launching a claim. Nor do they require you to fund legal costs should your case not successfully conclude with a compensation award.

This means that families, spouses or other dependents do not need to wait to take action to protect their financial future after a loved one has been subject to a fatal accident in the workplace. While we understand that no amount of money will truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, we do know that securing the future finances without your loved one will allow you to carry on life with the financial security that your loved one would have carried on providing you with should they not have passed away.

If you would like more information about working with a fatal accident solicitor from our panel, or want us to explain any aspect of the no win no fee agreement, we will be happy to explain. We prefer any clients we assist are well-informed of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to the no win no fee cases we deal with, and we will explain everything in plain English so you know exactly what to expect from us.

A solicitor explaining the fatal accident at work compensation claims process to a client.

Contact Us About A Fatal Accident At Work Claim

Whether you are looking for advice, are not sure whether you have cause to claim, or would like to start a fatal accident at work case after the passing away of a loved one who you were dependent on financially, we are only a phone call away.

By calling 0161 696 9685, you will be connected to one of our legal experts that can talk you through any aspect of the fatal accident at work claims process you would like to know more about.

We have dealt with difficult conversations such as this many times before and will be there to support and guide you every step of the way. We will never put pressure on you to begin a claim should you not be ready to. Instead, we will answer any questions you might have honestly, and we will listen to your story carefully to make sure we guide you in the right way.

If you are ready to begin a claim, we will be able to help here too. We aim to take the stress of making a claim off your shoulders, making the whole process easier to deal with, especially at such a difficult time for you and your family. Please do not hesitate to call us at any time to discuss your possible fatal accident at work compensation claim – we are ready to take your call.

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