Death and Fatal Accident Compensation Claims in London
Losing a loved one is hard enough, but when it’s at the hands of a negligent party, grief turns to anger, confusion, and stress. When people important to you suffer a Fatal Accident, the consequences don’t end with them, they ripple across the whole family. Accidental deaths put a significant strain on the emotional and financial health of the entire family. Trying to hold those responsible to account can be almost impossible while trying to cope with losing another breadwinner, and/or suffering psychiatric distress from the death. This is where our legal experts for London can help.
Claim for a fatal accident in London with our legal experts.
We will seek to make sure your family are looked after through a compensation award that reflects your needs, and the mental support you need to keep your head above water. Contact us on 02039930516^ to get a free case assessment and to hear how our no win, no fee* personal injury claims can work for you.
Fatal Accident Claims – What Are They?
A Fatal Accident claim can be brought when someone you love dies in London because of the negligence of others. This can be from an individual, or an organisation. The aim of the claim is to hold those responsible for the Fatal Accident to account, as well as provide the family with compensation to ease the burden losing a family member can have on their finances.
Are all Accidents in London Claimable when they are Fatal?
If any type of accident that is the result of a negligent party leads to a death, be it instant or delayed – such as when in a coma – then a claim can be brought. However, not all wrongful deaths in London occur because of accidents. Many industrial diseases can result in death, especially when developed overtime. Medical negligence is also a potential cause. The leading cases of wrongful death claims are:
- Road Traffic Accidents, namely Car Accidents
- Workplace Accidents, especially falls from height
- Medical negligence, including birth injury and stillbirth
- Industrial Disease, such as Mesothelioma and Lung Disease
- Public Place Accidents
- Suicides whilst in psychiatric care
Whilst the circumstances of the wrongful death can vary dramatically, when you claim with us, we will take the time to understand your individual case and provide your family the best support possible. Even if the cause of the Fatal Accident is unclear, we will work tirelessly to see that you are compensated for your loss, and those who acted negligently are punished for their actions.
What is the process to claim for a Fatal Accident?
If you need to make a claim for a Fatal Accident in London, the process makes this tricky, which is why we offer our help under no-obligation. We guide you on how to source evidence, who in the family can claim and when, and dealing with the courts, if it comes to that.
Who is Entitled to File a Claim for a Fatal Accident in London?
The executors of the deceased’s estate – appointed by their Will – are responsible for filing a Fatal Accident claim, as well as managing their finances and assets. They claim on behalf of the deceased for the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Expenses occurred, such as probate (executry in Scotland) and funeral costs
- Damaged property
- Income lost, if the deceased wasn’t killed straight away
Dependants can also claim for losses incurred from the death of their loved one. This can include loss of financial dependency, as well as loss of services, funeral expenses, and a statuary bereavement award. Although who can claim what will depend, those who can claim are limited to the deceased’s immediate family (including stepchildren), spouse or long-term partner, provided they have been together for more than 2 years.
The executors need to claim before the dependants can, and the executors are given 6 months to file a claim before the family of the deceased can in adherence with Probate laws.
Evidence in Fatal Accident claims
The most significant piece of evidence will be from the coroner, who will determine cause of death and likely time and location of the Fatal Accident. Should this information point to foul play or negligence, your panel solicitor for London will gather evidence to support your claim. This may be records in accident books, visual evidence – such as photos and CCTV – witness statements and anything to determine a history of negligent behaviour.
If at this point the party considered to be at fault accept liability, a compensation award will be offered. Should they not, however, the case may require the courts to intervene.
Will I need to go to court after a Fatal Accident?
It’s unlikely your Fatal Accident claim will end up in court. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court and are paid by the negligent party’s insurer. If, however, there is a dispute of fault or there is a criminal trial, you may need to attend court.
Criminal trials and Fatal Accident Inquiries
A trial of any kind, be it a civil or criminal case, can be a stressful and complicated affair. If your Fatal Accident claim comes to a court situation, our panel solicitors for London will be able to guide through the process. The good news is that a criminal conviction does not need to happen in order to pursue compensation for your family. This is similar to how Criminal Injury Claims are processed.
In the unlikely event that your case goes to a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI), then the ramifications for your Fatal Accident claim would be large and could affect the wider laws of the country. Should and FAI be necessary for your case, your panel personal injury solicitor will be there to support you.
What is the time limit for making a Fatal Accident claim?
Most personal injury cases allow up to three years for the wronged party to make a claim. Fatal Accidents claims in London are no different. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, anytime after this 3-year window, claims will be prevented from being made.
Wrongful death cases can take, sometimes, several years to settle. So, it’s worth speaking to a member of our team as soon as possible if you feel like you make have a case. We can offer our guidance under no-obligation, and provide claims on a no win, no fee* basis. Call 02039930516^ today to get started.
How much compensation can I claim for a Fatal Accident?
Claims for Fatal Accidents will vary in value. This is due to how the deceased leaves their family behind, particularly when it comes to dependants. To make this easier for families who are waiting for their claim to settle, certain elements of the compensation package can be released earlier, such as funeral expenses. There are multiple factors taken into account when calculating the compensation award, such as:
Statuary Bereavement Award
Starting with the fixed compensation, the Statuary Bereavement Award is a lump sum designed to compensate the suffering of a lost loved one. This can be claimed by the spouse, civil partner, or cohabitation partner of the deceased. It can also be claimed by the parents of the deceased, if the child was younger than 18.
This Fatal Accident award is fixed to £15,120. That might seem like a low number for the cost of life, when other personal injuries, such as head injuries, can accumulate hundreds of thousands in compensation. However, like most accident claims, the compensation award is designed to fill the void left by the injury. In the case of wrongful death claims, the loss of earnings forms a larger part of the overall compensation package than this award.
Financial Dependency and Loss of Services
Financial dependency on the deceased is usually what amounts to the majority of compensation. Think how difficult it is to raise a family alone, and the lack of access that could bring to a child’s life. The loss of family earnings could be from salary, a pension entitlement or even business income. This part of the award can be claimed by anyone in the family financially dependent, such as those mentioned above, as well as children.
In a harder to quantify award for Fatal Accidents, Loss of Services looks to provide damages where the deceased fulfilled a role that the family are now without. This could include childcare, where the surviving spouse would likely need to pay for instead of fill that role themselves. It can even include roles such as DIY, managing finances, shopping, animal care, and gardening. This part of the compensation package will look to determine what quality of life is missing and affix a value to it.
Funeral Expenses and Probate Costs
It’s no secret that dying is expensive. But when the deceased is lost to another party’s negligent actions, it isn’t fair that the family should suffer such an expense, along with the emotional cost of grief. The compensation award will cover the funeral, and associated costs – but not the wake/memorial held in London.
Probate in England and Wales, or Executry in Scotland, can be an expensive part of the process of dealing with your loved one’s estate, depending on your choice of solicitor, and particularly if they had a complicated estate to manage. Your compensation award can cover the costs of this legal process, which again, wouldn’t be needed without the Fatal Accident.
General Damages and Financial Expenses
Like most personal injury claims, there is an element in the compensation packet that covers the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased, as well as loss of amenity, if they did not die immediately.
In this event, financial expenses may also be claimed. This could be for travel to the hospital, the lack of earnings during the deceased time spent in hospital before death, or any other expenses accrued.
Care and support for the deceased
If, like the above, there was a period of time that you had to provide care for the deceased after their Fatal Accident or wrongful death, then you can claim for Gratuitous Care and Support.
Loss of intangible benefits
Perhaps the hardest of awards to quantity, but by no means the least important, is the loss of companionship as a result of the Fatal Accident. Love is by no means an easy thing to find and is certainly not replaceable. It’s for this reason, that more intangible benefits can be awarded for the absence the loss of a loved one leaves in your heart, rather than just your wallet.
Estimate for Fatal Accident Compensation
As a whole, the entire package of compensation for Fatal Accidents is particularly difficult to assess. This is why we make no attempt to guestimate a generalised figure for all people. We instead provide a no-obligation claim assessment for cases in London to determine how much compensation you are due depending on your unique circumstances. Call us on 02039930516^ to speak to a friendly expert.
It’s more than the money
Beyond the obvious benefit a compensation award brings to your family, the justice a penalty or criminal conviction can bring matter significantly to easing the grief. It is our aim to use our London panel solicitor’s talents to see negligent parties brought to justice for your suffering. If they are suitable reprimanded, it may help to save the lives of others.
Claim for a Fatal Accident with our team today
When dealing with something as tragic as losing a loved one to a Fatal Accident, it’s important that you have an empathetic legal team by your side. By contacting us, you’ll be speaking to personal injury experts, who will explain in plain English your case and what compensation you could be due. Call us on our London line – 02039930516^ – to get started.