Fatal Accident Compensation


Fatal accident claims are emotionally difficult, but fatal accident compensation can be essential in providing financial stability for dependents. Having experienced a tragic event some people feel uneasy about making a compensation claim and we understand that. But we can assure you that making a claim following a fatal accident is appropriate and indeed, important.

Fatal accident compensation can help to reduce the financial strain that results from the loss of a spouse or partner who contributed to the household bills, giving you one less thing to worry about while you adjust to your situation.


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Who can make a Fatal Accident Claim?

There are restrictions on who can make a fatal accident compensation claim on behalf of the deceased. Generally a fatal accident claim can be made by close family members who were in some way dependant on the deceased prior to and at the time of death.

The law is specific about eligible relationships, broadly this may include:

  • A spouse or civil partner (including those where the marriage or partnership has been annulled or dissolved)
  • A person that had been living with the deceased
  • Children and stepchildren
  • Parents and siblings of the deceased

In some cases, where the deceased would have been entitled to make a claim themselves at the time of death, an accident claim can be made

Fatal Accident claims aren't just about money

Often the most important aspect of fatal accident claims is getting to the truth, finding out what happened and why. There's a sense that justice needs to be done, and as an innovative and leading solicitors we see the restoration of balance, and reparation, as a priority.

In fatal accident claims we're not sure it's ever possible to obtain true justice, but we'll work hard to bring you as close to that as you can get. If it's appropriate we can help you take action against the culprit and represent you or your family at an inquest where the cause of death may be investigated. While compensation is important we recognise that, in a fatal claim a sense of justice is likely to be as, or more, important to you.

Time Limits for Fatal Accident Claims

In fatal injury cases the dependant (next of kin etc.) has three years from the date of death to make a compensation claim; however an exception to this may be where the death was linked to a previous unknown incident.

For example in cases of industrial disease such as Mesothelioma, it may not have been known that a person had died due to their previous asbestos exposure until the post mortem was carried out. In this scenario the three year limitation (time limit) may start from the date of the post mortem.

Compensation after Death

If the deceased was the main breadwinner for the family the impact of their loss will be significant, but even if they were not the primary income for the household the there will still be serious financial consequences.

When dealing with fatal cases the courts look very closely at what the financial impact will be and award fatal accident compensation that is balanced against the financial consequences of your loss. A compensation claim may therefore include elements such as:

  • Compensation for the injuries of the person who has died
  • Statutory Bereavement Award (currently a fixed sum of £11,800)
  • Future loss of earnings
  • Future pension and state benefits
  • Compensation for their previous financial contribution to the household
  • Funeral expenses
  • Probate costs (expenses involved with dealing with the estate, Will etc.)

A Fatal Accident at Work

Following a fatality in a workplace, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will usually conduct a full investigation into the circumstances of the accident. This can take sometime; however will result in a comprehensive report into the accident and who may have been responsible for causing the death through any negligence.

The HSE investigation may be used as evidence at a full inquest, to start a criminal prosecution, or to support a civil compensation claim by the dependants.

A Fatal Road Accident

The police will lead an investigation following the death of a road user or pedestrian which will take several weeks to conclude, as evidence and statements will be collected from all relevant parties. A police liaison officer will usually be assigned to the investigation who will keep the family informed of their progress and if the incident leads to criminal charges (i.e. if they intended to formally charge the other party with dangerous driving etc.)

If it is believed that the fatal accident was caused by the negligence of another motorist, then a civil compensation claim may be able to be made.

Our Experience with Fatal Accident Claims

During the spring of 2008, Spencers secured a total of £1.2 million in compensation for a client who had lost her husband in a fatal road traffic collision whilst riding a motorcycle.

Our client instructed Spencers on the grounds that the Defendant had been negligent when pulling out of a side road. Following extensive liability investigations, our complex legal team were able to ensure liability was admitted by the driver at fault and that all potential future loss of earnings would be sufficiently covered.

A court will consider many things in relation to a death claim and we understand what they will bear in mind and how they will make their calculations for fatal accident compensation.

We make it our priority to explore all of the possibilities, and to include everything that dependants are entitled to claim for.

Sensitive and Professional Advice

We understand how difficult making a fatal accident compensation claim can be and we are ready to help you through it. You will find us supportive and unobtrusive as we work to secure the fatal accident compensation and reparation that you and your family need.

We'll give you any immediate advice we can, tell you about our no win no fee arrangements and suggest a way forward. If you are unsure as to whether you can make a fatal accident claim, or you would like to know if your relationship to the deceased entitles you to make a claim, please contact us.

We'll help establish whether the accident circumstances allow you to make a successful fatal accident claim and we'll answer any questions you have about the process.

How can we help?

Personal Injury Accident Guides

Our legal team at Spencers Solicitors are experienced in all types of personal injury claims, from road traffic accidents to workplace injuries. Please read through our bespoke "accident guides" which will help you understand and navigate through the injury claims process.


View Accident Guides

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