How To Make A Fatal Road Accident Compensation Claim

By Marlon Redding. Last Updated 14th July 2022. Welcome to our fatal road accident compensation claim guide.

The death of a loved one in a fatal road accident can be devastating. Whatever the circumstances of the accident, your initial concern will be about dealing with your loss.

At some point, though, it might become apparent that the accident was caused by somebody else’s negligence. You might also begin to realise that your loss caused financial losses.

This guide looks at fatal road accident compensation claims if somebody else’s negligence led to the death of a loved one. We look at different accidents that could lead to a claim, how a claim is made and the potentially fatal accident compensation amounts that could be paid.

How Do I Make A Fatal Road Accident Compensation Claim?

At Legal Helpline, we understand that going over what happened is going to be very difficult and stressful. Therefore, our team of friendly advisers can provide free legal advice on the claims process at a speed that suits you. They’ll also offer an initial, no-obligation, assessment of your claim. If they suspect your case might be won, they could introduce you to a personal injury solicitor from our panel. If they decide to take your claim on, it’ll be on a No Win No Fee basis.

To get in touch and begin your claim right away, you can call our team on 0161 696 9685. Alternatively, to find out more about claiming following a fatal road crash, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Fatal Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims

It’s an unfortunate fact that road traffic accidents happen every day in the UK. In fact, statistics show that on average there were over 4 fatal road accidents per day in 2018. We’ll look at more statistics later.

Fatal road accident compensation claim

Fatal road accident compensation claim

While your first thought might not be about compensation, there might come a time when you realise what financial impact your loss could cause you. In some cases, the dependants and immediate family members of the deceased person could be eligible to claim compensation.

Generally, to make such a claim, you’ll need to demonstrate to a solicitor that:

  • You’re loved one was killed in a road traffic accident, and
  • That it was caused by the negligence of another road user

The types of negligence we look at include dangerous driving, careless driving and tiredness. However, there are many other types of negligence that could lead to a claim. Therefore, if you’re thinking of making a claim, please call to discuss your options with a member of our team.

Importantly, personal injury claims must be made within the personal injury claims time limit. In a normal claim, you’d have 3 years from the date of an accident to file a case against a responsible party. However, in the case of a fatal road accident the time period will begin from the date the victim died. Although that might seem a long time, you should begin as soon as you’re able t so your solicitor has enough time to review the case and gather necessary evidence to support the claim.

When you’ve read our guide, if you require any support with claiming or have any questions, please get in touch. We provide free legal advice even if you don’t go on to make a claim.

What Is A Fatal Road Traffic Accident?

So, what is a fatal accident? When we talk about a fatal road accident, we’re talking about those which could lead to a compensation claim because a road user was killed and the accident was caused by the negligence of another road user.

Claims could be made on behalf of drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians who’ve been killed by negligent driving. Negligence can take on many forms. Claims could be possible for accidents caused by drink driving, drug driving and other forms of dangerous driving as well as those acts which might lead to criminal charges. Claims are also possible for accidents caused by careless driving. These could include when a vehicle pulls out at a junction too early, or when a collision is caused because a driver failed to spot a cyclist.

As we go through this guide, we’ll look at what happens when someone dies in a car accident in the UK and when you could be eligible to claim compensation.

Statistics Highlighting Fatal Road Traffic Accidents

According to government statistics, there were 153,158 casualties of road traffic accidents on British roads in 2019. Although this is down annually by 5%, it’s still a massive number.

Of this figure, 1,752 people were killed in fatal road traffic accidents. The most vulnerable road user types were cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians, accounting for their physical vulnerability. 

Dangerous Driving Leading To Fatal Road Traffic Accidents

To differentiate between dangerous and careless driving, the style of driving needs to be shown as willful or deliberate. In many cases, this could lead to the criminal charge of death by dangerous driving being levied against a responsible party. Cases of deaths caused by drug or drink driving could fall into this category.

In the Road Traffic Act 1998 for which there’s a link to this legislation at the end of this guide, some examples of dangerous driving include:

  • Driving a fault, un-roadworthy or faulty vehicle
  • Ignoring traffic signals i.e. driving through red lights
  • Racing or speeding above the legal speed limit
  • Dangerously overtaking another vehicle
  • Driving while using a phone or being distracted

If your loved one was killed as a result of dangerous driving, we could help you begin a fatal road accident compensation claim. Generally, compensation for a car accident death would come from an insurance payout. However, in some cases, we could still help you claim if the other driver was uninsured or untraceable (hit and run claims), so please get in touch today to discuss your options.

Tiredness Leading To Fatal Road Accidents

When you drive along motorways and major roads of the UK, you’ve probably seen signs warning of the dangers of driving while tired. There have been TV and radio adverts to raise awareness too.

However, according to further government statistics, fatigue contributed to 4% of road fatalities in 2018.

There are many reasons why a driver might be fatigued such as lack of sleep, driving for too long, being on medication which makes them drowsy, and also stress. Whatever the reason, if a driver continues driving while tired, they could be found liable for any collision they cause.

That means that if your loved one was killed in a fatal road accident caused by a fatigued driver, you could claim compensation. Evidence that could support accusation could include statements given to the police, or witness statements confirming the other driver had apologised for being tired.

Please call to discuss your claim and we’ll review the evidence with you to decide whether you could make a fatal road accident compensation claim or not.

Careless Driving Leading To Fatal Road Accidents

Some forms of careless driving are very similar to those listed as dangerous driving. With regard to compensation claims, whether the driving is deemed dangerous or careless doesn’t matter too much, so long as the other road user is found liable for the accident.

Factors that could be considered as careless driving include:

  • Driving while tired or ill
  • Aggressive driving or driving at excessive speeds
  • Failing to spot traffic signals
  • Being distracted while driving like using a phone, MP3 player or sat nav
  • Ignoring medical advice not to drive

If the other driver is charged with the offence of driving without due care and attention or death by careless driving, you could be entitled to claim compensation for the loss of your loved one. Again, a claim for compensation for death by careless driving would usually be made against the other driver’s insurance policy. However, there is a government scheme which could help claim for some costs where the other driver was uninsured.

Work Vehicle Fatal Road Traffic Accidents

If your loved one died in a road traffic accident while driving a work vehicle, it’s possible, in some cases, to bring a claim against an employer. To claim in this manner, it must be shown that the employer had breached their duty of care towards staff safety in some way.

For example, it might be possible to claim if it can be shown that:

  • The employee was pressured into driving for long periods of time without sufficient breaks
  • An accident occurred because the vehicle owned by the employer had not been maintained properly
  • The driver hadn’t been trained on safe driving methods linked to their work

These cases can be tricky to prove and might require complex evidence. Therefore, we’d advise having a specialist on your side. Let our advisers know what happened and they could introduce you to a specialist personal injury lawyer to help make your fatal road accident compensation claim.

Who Is Eligible To Claim Compensation After Fatal Traffic Accidents?

When somebody dies in a fatal road accident, there are a few legal entities that could bring a compensation claim. These are:

  • The financial dependants of the deceased person
  • Their immediate family members
  • The estate of the deceased

Claims could be made by one, some or all of the above depending on the circumstances. If you believe you are eligible to claim, discuss the case with an adviser and they’ll provide you with further information on your options.

Death Compensation Calculation UK

This section acts as a guide to fatal accident claims compensation. Compensation in a fatal accident claim can take into account both the circumstances of the victim’s death and the claimant’s future needs. The needs are likely to be unique to each claim, so it can be difficult to give you a general estimate for compensation in a fatal accident claim.

We can offer some insight into part of the compensation, namely the compensation for the suffering the deceased experienced prior to the death. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) contain potential compensation brackets for injuries a person may have suffered before their death, with considerations made for their level of awareness or consciousness. We have included a table below using figures from the 16th edition of the guidelines.

TypeCompensation RangeDetails
Fatal Can be as high as £500,000 with multiple claims for example loss of earnings.This does include multiple claims related to death.
Fatal (Full awareness)£11,770 to £22,350This bracket is for when the victim is fully aware of the pain for a short period followed by fluctuating levels of consciousness for around 4 to 5 weeks. They'll also have to undergo intrusive surgery. Death will have occurred between 2 weeks to 3 months.
Fatal Injury (Followed by unconsciousness)£9,870 to £10,010The victim will suffer immediate excruciating pain but will then become unconscious after about 3 hours. Death will occur up to 2 weeks later.
Fatal Injury (immediate unconsciousness)£3,530 to £4,120In this case, the victim will fall unconscious immediately and death will occur after about 6 weeks.
Fatal Injury (immediate unconsciousness)£1,290 to £2,620In this case, the victim will fall unconscious immediately and death will occur between 1 day and 1 week.

Our advisors can offer you more information about how these types of injuries are valued and assessed and give you an estimate for compensation in your claim, along with information on costs you could include.

Special Damages Applicable To Fatal Accident Claims

As well as the figures listed in the road accident compensation calculator from the previous section (known as general damages), your solicitor could claim a number of special damages. These are compensation payments to cover financial losses, or future financial losses, caused by the accident.

Some examples of what you could claim under special damages include:

  • Loss of earnings
    In some cases, it’s possible to claim back the anticipated loss of earnings. The amount would depend on the age of the victim, their salary and their job prospects
  • Lost benefits
    In the same way, your solicitor could ask for any loss of benefit payments such as a pension
  • Funeral costs
    The cost of a funeral can be quite expensive. Therefore, if you’ve covered the cost yourself, you could claim the fees back
  • Travelling expenses
    Should you incur fuel costs and parking cost associated with visiting your loved one in the hospital, then you could be eligible to claim these back
  • Care costs
    If your loved one was cared for in between their accident and their death, you could claim back any associated costs. For instance, if a professional carer was paid for, then you could claim back their fees. Also, if you took time off work to provide support, you could claim back your time

To claim for special damages, you’ll need to provide evidence of your losses (and also potential losses). Therefore, you should try and gather:

  • Receipts that show your actual spending
  • Bank statements
  • Wage slips, P60s and employment contracts which demonstrate earnings
  • Pension documents or other benefit documents

Also, it’s a good idea to keep a diary of spending. In any personal injury claim, it can be difficult to remember all the facts. Therefore, keeping a diary can help when the solicitor asks you to justify amounts. To find out more about what can be factored into a fatal road accident compensation claim, please get in touch with our team. 

How We Could Help After Fatal Road Traffic Accidents

Here at Legal Helpline, we specialise in helping claimants process a compensation claim. We’d love to have the chance to help you begin yours. Here are some reasons why we believe you should choose us:

  • Our friendly team of advisers provide free legal advice about your claim
  • You can ask for a no-obligation assessment of your claim at any point as our claims line is open 24-7
  • Some of the solicitors on our panel have been handling compensation claims for nearly 30-years
  • When your case is taken on, you’ll be provided with regular updates as it progresses
  • Our panel of solicitors always try to ensure that any compensation paid is a full and fair amount
  • Also, the solicitors on our panel always try to work as efficiently as possible. Although claims can sometimes be lengthy, they’ll always try to ensure they’re not the reason for any delays

If you want more information about claiming for a fatal road traffic accident, please use the number at the top of the screen to get in touch.

No Win No Fee Claims For Fatal Road Traffic Accidents

We know that making a fatal road accident claim would be stressful. As well as going over what happened, you’ll probably worry about the cost of hiring a solicitor. To reduce some of the stress and financial risk, our panel of solicitors agree to offer a No Win No Fee service for any claim they handle.

When you begin, the case will be reviewed. If the solicitor agrees to take the claim on, they’ll give you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to read and sign. This document is a contract between you and your solicitor.

The CFA will clearly state that no solicitor’s fees need to be paid if the case is lost. It will also provide details of the ‘success fee’ you’ll pay if they win the case. This is shown as a percentage of your compensation before compensation is sent to you. Having this information in the CFA means there are no surprises when the claim is settled. Remember, you only have to pay the success fee if you receive compensation. Also, you don’t have to send funds to pay the solicitor’s fees as the success fee comes out of the compensation automatically.

If you’d like to check if you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis, please speak with an adviser today.

Start A Fatal Road Traffic Accident Claim

You’ve reached the end of our guide about making a fatal road accident compensation claim. We do understand how difficult it will be to discuss the loss of a loved one with a stranger. Therefore, if you do get in touch with us to discuss a claim, we’ll work at your pace and won’t put any pressure on you to proceed.

To contact us today you can:

  • Call our friendly team of advisers on 0161 696 9685 for free advice
  • Ask for a call back at a convenient time by completing our enquiry form
  • Alternatively, if you prefer, you could chat online with an adviser from any page on our site

When you contact us, we’ll review what happened and who was to blame for the accident. Then we’ll review the evidence with you. If the adviser thinks you have a chance of being compensated, you could be introduced to a personal injury solicitor from our panel.

If they decide to take your claim on, it’ll be on a No Win No Fee basis.  We do understand how difficult it will be to make this type of claim. Therefore, we’re happy to work in a way that suits you where possible.

Road Accident Resources

Thank you for reading our guide about claiming for a fatal road accident. Hopefully, you’ve found all of the information you need. To help you further, we’ve provided some additional guides and links to external resources below that we hope you’ll find useful.

Coping With A Bereavement – This NHS article provides support and advice for anybody who’s dealing with the loss of a loved one.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 – Government legislation that defines the rules that all road users must follow.

Brake – Road Safety Charity – Brake is a UK charity set up to campaign for safer roads in the UK.

Check out more car accident claims guides below:

If you require any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call. Remember, we’ll work with you, at a pace that suits you and we won’t put any pressure on you at all.

Fatal Road Accident Compensation Claim FAQs

Here, we’ll briefly address some common queries regarding making a fatal road accident compensation claim.

How much compensation do you get for accidental death?

As every case is unique, there is no such thing as a typical payout for accidental death. Often, claims can be made for potential future losses, in addition to any pain and suffering experienced by the victim prior to death.

How is death compensation calculated?

As part of a fatal road accident compensation claim, payouts are calculated depending upon the circumstances of each case. For example, if the victim suffered greatly as a result of their accident, they will likely get more compensation than a victim of a quick death. In addition, the pain and suffering that they experienced prior to death can be calculated according to the extent of it.

Thank you for reading our fatal road accident compensation claim guide.

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