A Guide To Fatal Accident At Work Compensation Claims – Who Can Claim? – How To Claim Guide

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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, however, especially after the funeral, you may then have a period of reflection on what has happened, which 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 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 to know that the same accident will not happen again. This is often what leads people to seek fatal accident at work claims, both to redress the financial imbalance a loved one’s death has caused, and to ensure that another family does not have to go through the same terrible situation than you have.

Wrongful death compensation can be filed by a number of people after a 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 you love. However, doing so will not only help you face the future without your loved one with fewer financial problems, but also with the knowledge that steps will be taken to prevent the same thing happening to someone else. Please read our guide to see how a Claims Management Company, such as Legal Helpline, can help you.

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A guide to fatal accidents at work

When dealing with the death of someone close to you, especially after an unforeseen accident at work, it can be hard to see a future without them. You may require counselling and your financial situation may change because of their passing. This can also be hard to come to terms with. One of the most difficult things to face after an accident at work causing death, however, is the feeling that your loved one’s death could have been avoided. If your loved one’s employer has been negligent in their duty of care to your relative, then you may also struggle with your feelings towards them. This is why it is important to have someone to talk to that can advise you on the best course of action to take. Here at Legal Helpline, we have dealt with many types of fatal accident at work cases, and our sympathetic, highly trained team can offer expert advice, whatever your question or query about taking things further and making a claim. This guide takes you through the process of making a claim, and gives advice on who can make a claim and what you need to know to get started.

Causes of fatal accidents at work

Every year, people are seriously injured or killed in the course of carrying out their work. The numbers in certain industries are higher than others, and with at least 2.2 million reported fatal accidents within the construction industry every year worldwide, a construction site is one of the most dangerous places to work. However, there are other types of work that see higher numbers of fatalities each year too, with agricultural and recycling and waste sectors also showing high numbers of fatalities than others.

According to statistics, 438 thousand deaths are caused by hazardous materials, with Asbestos causing around 100 thousand deaths annually. Startlingly, this figure is on the rise. In addition to this, silicosis, a fatal disease of the lungs causes many deaths annually in stone cutter, miners and slate pencil workers who have been exposed to silica.

Although these figures are worldwide, the national statistics also make for sobering reading. According to the Health and Safety Executive’s statistics for 2016-17, 137 people were killed during the course of their work. Whilst the largest number was predictably in construction, the transport and storage sector, manufacturing, and agriculture industries also fatal accidents in the workplace. The majority of these accidents were due to having been struck by a vehicle that was moving, whilst falls from height and moving objects also had high numbers (25, and 20 respectively). Other deaths were caused by collapsing or overturning items, contact with a moving piece of machinery and electricity contact.

Whilst this is a lower number of fatal accidents at workplace than previous years, continuing a downward trend of events occurring that lead to fatal accidents in the workplace, these statistics do not matter when your family has been affected, especially if the accident could have and should have been prevented. Fatal accidents at work are commonly the employer’s fault whereupon they have failed to provide either suitable training, a risk assessment, a safe place of work or the protective equipment needed to do the job safely. Because it is the duty of an employer to ensure their workers safety while undertaking their duties, if they fail to do so, they are legally liable to pay compensation for death of their employee.

What should people know about fatal accidents at work claims?

Making a fatal accident at work case can be complex, but there are a few things that apply to most cases, which we attempt to clarify here. Firstly, it is a common misconception that these claims are dealt with along with the criminal charges that the liable person/s are up against. Making a fatal accident at work action is not part of a criminal case. Any criminal charges levied against the person/s liable for your loved one’s accident will be dealt with by the criminal court.

In most cases, where an accident at work has caused a fatality, you may be able to claim what is known as bereavement damages. This is a fixed amount of money, payable to a civil partner, spouse or the parents of children that are under 18. Alongside this, you may also be able to claim for suffering and pain that your loved one has gone through between the time of the injury and the time of their death. As well as this, costs incurred for the funeral, as well as other costs incurred between the time of injury and time of deal could be compensated for.

The next main claim for fatal accident at work compensation would be referred to normally as a dependency claim. This takes into consideration what your loved one would have contributed to the family. Spouses, both current and past may be eligible for this type of fatal accident at work compensation, as well as the bereavement damages mentioned above.

It is also important to know that there is a time limit on fatal accident at work compensation claims. As with most personal injury claims, the time limit is three years. This will mean the family can lodge a fatal accident at work case up to three years after their loved one has passed away.

Am I legally allowed to claim?

According to the law, if you were dependent on your loved on 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 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.

I was financially dependent on the deceased

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 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.

What can a dependent claim in fatal accident compensation?

When a person passes away, their dependents not only lose a loved one, whether a spouse or parent, but they also lose the wage that a loved one brought into the home to help take care of them. This does not just have an effect on one dependent. If, for example, a wage that supported a wife/spouse/partner and also one or more children, then the effects would be felt by a number of people.

The calculation of the dependency claim for a fatal accident at work case is usually divided up in a specific way. If, however, there is a specific pattern to how the income was divided up before a loved one passed away, the pattern would be taken into account. The calculation looks firstly at how much income is likely to be lost over what would have been the natural course of a person’s life. This takes into account pensions, also considering the probable promotions and pay increases that would likely have happened should a loved one have continued to work in the role they did before their passing.

This sum is then divided up between the dependents of the person who has passed away.

The deceased’s estate and fatal accident at work claims

If a person has already launched a compensation claim for an accident at work, then passed away before the claim could be completed, then they may well have a will in place. The executors of this will are classed as the deceased person’s estate, and have the right to continue the deceased person’s claim after the event of their death.

If you are not sure how to proceed with a fatal accident at work compensation as part of a deceased’s estate, then do not hesitate to contact our team, who will be able to provide helpful advice on how to proceed.

Criminal injury fatal accident at work bereavement claims

It is not always the fault of an employer that a worker can be the victim of fatal injuries while carrying out their work duties. Sometimes a criminal injury can occur as the result of a violent crime committed by someone else.

If a loved one was fatally injured due to a criminal injury that happened while they were at work, then it may be possible for dependents to make a fatal accident work compensation claim to CICA, which is the government’s criminal injury compensation authority. These claims would be slightly different to making a claim against an employer, but our legal experts have years of experience in handling CICA claims and can guide you in the right direction when it comes to claiming for bereavement, loss of income and suffering and pain as well.

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 claims 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 what no win no fee entails, 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.

Why choose Legal Helpline?

With years of experience dealing with fatal accident at work claims similar to yours, we know how traumatic the experience of losing a loved one due to the fault of someone else can be. Our highly-trained, sympathetic staff will listen to what you have to say with the upmost of respect for your situation, and we will do our best to take any stress off your shoulders. We know you have been through an awful experience, and in some ways are still going though this, and we take care to put your feelings first at every step of the claims process. We also know that you will want to know more about what happens during the fatal accident at work claims process, who will be expected to provide evidence to support the claim, and how long these claims may take to conclude. Whilst the answers to these questions differ dependent on the specific details of your loved one’s accident, we will make sure we provide the answers you need, explaining any legal jargon in plain English so that you fully understand the answer.

Fatal accidents at work are not common, and finding the right experts to handle your claim is not something that should be taken lightly. We would, however, be happy to speak to you to reassure you that we will be able to handle your fatal accident at work case with all the respect and attention it deserves.

Call us for free advice and to start a fatal accident at work compensation 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.

Helpful Links

HMRC Bereavement Guide

If you are dealing with bereavement after the passing away of a loved one, HMRC’s guide will tell you what the tax implications of your loved one’s death are, and how to inform HMRC of their passing.