By Stephen Bishop. Last Updated 26th April 2023. 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.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide To Fatal Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims
- What Is A Fatal Road Traffic Accident?
- Dangerous Driving Leading To Fatal Road Traffic Accidents
- Evidence To Support Fatal Road Accident Claims
- Careless Driving Leading To Fatal Road Accidents
- Work Vehicle Fatal Road Traffic Accidents
- Who Is Eligible To Claim Compensation After Fatal Traffic Accidents?
- Death Compensation Calculation UK
- Special Damages Applicable To Fatal Accident Claims
- No Win No Fee Claims For Fatal Road Traffic Accidents
- Start A Fatal Road Traffic Accident Claim
- Road Accident Resources
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.
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.
Death By Careless Driving Compensation – How Long Do I Have To Claim?
In claims for fatal accidents in the UK, you typically have three years from the date of the death to claim on behalf of the victim. However, in some cases, you could potentially claim
However, we would recommend starting a claim for death by careless driving compensation as soon as you can.
If you are concerned about how long you have left to make a claim for fatal road accidents, our advisors can help you out with any queries on a road traffic accident. Just pop up via our free online chat service.
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.
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.
Evidence To Support Fatal Road Accident Claims
Claims for fatal road accidents require evidence that proves neglgience occurred. For those looking to make fatal accident claims on behalf of someone else, the types of evidence that could help support their claim include:
- Medical reports that state the person’s fatal injuries.
- CCTV or dashcam footage of the accident.
- The contact information of any eyewitnesses so that they can provide a statement.
- A coroner’s or postmortem report confirming the person’s cause of death.
If a solicitor is supporting your claim, then they can assist with the process of gathering evidence.
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.
You could claim for a road accident if your loved one was killed or passed away due to the negligence of another road user. For instance, if a careless driver caused an accident and your loved one passed away, you could pursue death by careless driving compensation. Death compensation calculation in the UK takes into account all the relevant factors to each specific case.
Your death by careless driving compensation could comprise general damages and special damages. General damages addresses the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to their passing and, in some cases, the suffering caused by the death to eligible loved ones.
The compensation amounts in the table, taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), give examples of the part of the compensation known as general damages. The figures shown are not a guarantee of what you would receive in a successful claim, as every case is different.
|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)||£12,540 to £23,810||This 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)||£10,510 to £10,670||The 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)||£3,760 to £4,390||In this case, the victim will fall unconscious immediately and death will occur after about 6 weeks.|
|Fatal Injury (immediate unconsciousness)||£1,370 to £2,790||In 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.
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.
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.
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:
- Road traffic accident compensation claims
- Claiming for tinnitus after a car accident
- Passenger injury claims
- How to claim for nerve damage after a car accident
- How long after a car accident can you claim compensation?
- Stolen car accident claims
- I was hit by a stolen car, can I claim compensation?
- I had a car accident without wearing a seatbelt, can I still claim?
- Child car accident claims
- Car accident caused by mud on the road
- How to claim compensation for a back injury after a car accident
- Tennis elbow after a car accident
- How to claim compensation for anxiety after a car accident
- I was hit from behind in a car accident, can I claim whiplash?
- Roundabout car accident claims
- I was hit from behind in a car accident, do I need to pay my insurance excess?
- How to claim for road traffic accidents caused by animals
- How to claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau
- Merging into traffic accident claims
- Motor vehicle injury claims
- Taxi accident claims
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.
Article by BH