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How to Make a Fatal Accident Claim

23rd September 2019

We understand that making a Fatal Accident Claim can seem daunting, and it can be difficult to know where to start. We explain what a Fatal Accident Claim is, who is entitled to make a claim and how the claims process works.

For free initial advice call our Fatal Accident Solicitors on 0330 606 9587 or contact us online and we will call you.

What is a Fatal Accident Claim?

If a person dies because of an accident that was caused by the actions or negligence of someone else, then it may be possible to make a Fatal Accident Claim for compensation. This allows the family and dependents of the deceased person to obtain an element of justice for their loss. This applies to many types of situation, including accidents at work, road accidents, accidents in a public place, slips, trip and falls, industrial disease and medical negligence.

While the compensation received from a Fatal Accident Claim will never be able to make up for the devastating loss of a loved one, it can go some way to relieving the additional burden placed on families as a result of this loss.

The purpose of a Fatal Accident Claim is to:

  • Establish who is at fault for the fatal injury and see that they are held to account for their actions
  • Highlight where measures need to be taken to reduce the risk of a similar accident occurring in the future
  • Relieve the financial consequences the deceased's family may be suffering as a result of their loss - e.g. the costs of a funeral and related expenses
  • Compensate the family for the loss and trauma that they have suffered, and minimise the financial impact, as far as is possible, of their loss - e.g. the loss of earnings of the deceased

In the short term, it may be possible to secure funds to help with funeral costs and related expenses, reducing some of the immediate stress on the family.

Who Can Make a Fatal Accident Claim?

A person who has died obviously cannot bring a legal claim, but the Executors or Administrators of their Estate can bring a claim on behalf of the deceased. The Executor or Administrator is the person responsible for dealing with the deceased's worldly belongs, including any legal claims.

They can bring a claim for:

  • The pain and suffering of the person who suffered the injury before their death
  • Costs due to the Estate, such as the funeral costs and related expenses
  • Items damaged in the accident, where appropriate
  • Any losses that were suffered by the deceased prior to their death, if there was a protracted period after the injury was suffered, (e.g. loss of earnings)

In addition to the Executors or Administrators of an Estate certain individuals are entitled to make a claim for the loss of services and financial dependency they received or had from the deceased. These claims should be brought at the same time as any claim brought by the Executors or Administrators.

The individuals entitled to make a claim for loss of services or financial dependency are the following relatives of the deceased:

  • Current or former spouse or civil partner
  • Cohabiting partner, as long as they'd been living together for 2 years or more
  • Parent or grandparent, or someone who they treated as a parent
  • Child or other descendant (including step children)
  • Brother, sister, aunt or uncle, or their children

For more information, see Who Can Claim Compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act?

How to Make a Fatal Accident Claim

We understand that at a time when you have lost a loved one, seeking legal advice may not necessarily be the first thing on your mind. But it can help you to better understand the process and what might be involved. That's why we're here to guide and support you through every step of the way, including coroner's inquest advice and possible representation. Contact our Serious Injury Solicitors or Medical Negligence Solicitors for initial advice as well as a free, no obligation assessment of your claim.

If you do instruct us to take on your claim, you will have a dedicated Solicitor who is experienced in Fatal Accident and Serious Injury Claims. Your Solicitor will support and guide you through the process, from start to finish. They will gather all the evidence to support your claim and they will negotiate with the other side to achieve a fair compensation settlement for you. If the other side denies liability, then your Solicitor with begin litigation.

In many cases, we are able to secure interim payments before the case has settled, to help ease the financial burden on you and your family. We can also handle most Fatal Accident Claims on a no win no fee basis.

For free initial advice call our Fatal Accident Solicitors on 0330 606 9587 or contact us online and we will call you.

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All the staff at Co-op have been beyond amazing - supportive, informed, empathic and... it's helped. It's really truly helped. Truly, thanks to you all V.R., Hampshire

The claim was set up quickly and everything was explained to me properly. L. H., London
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