Advice On Fatal Accident At Work Claims

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Who Can Claim For A Fatal Accident At Work?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated On 19th June 2024. If you have suffered after the sudden death of a loved one or family member due to a workplace accident, you could be entitled to make a wrongful death at work claim if the accident was not the fault of your loved one.

Understandably, this process can be difficult and complex, especially considering the emotional and financial strain the accident itself is likely to have placed upon you. It is for that reason why our expert team of advisers is here to support you, however, they can. Not only can our team answer any questions regarding a wrongful death at work, but they can connect you to a personal injury solicitor with a wealth of experience.

If you want to make a fatal accident at work compensation claim, this guide will introduce you to many of the considerations and factors involved in making a claim. It will give you the information you need to make a well-informed decision about your potential claim and provide free legal advice.

There are plenty of ways you can reach out to our advisors. Choose from any of the methods below:

  • You can speak to us over the phone by dialling 0800 073 8804
  • Use the pop-up window in the corner to chat with us in real-time
  • It’s also possible to check your claim online to see if it’s valid

Select a section:

  1. What Is A Fatal Accident At Work?
  2. What To Do If You Have Suffered The Loss Of A Loved One
  3. Who Can Claim For A Death At Work?
  4. How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Death At Work?
  5. No Win No Fee Fatal Accident At Work Claims
  6. Helpful Links

What Is A Fatal Accident At Work?

In short, an accident at work is an incident that occurs, either by accident or due to negligence. As a result, the aftermath can have a devastating impact, resulting in serious physical injury, psychological trauma, financial loss, and in extreme cases, death.

construction worker lying on the floor due to a fatal accident at work.

Any fatal accident at work claim is, more often than not, considered to be a work accident claim rather than a personal injury claim. However, this does not include accidents that result in the death of a member of the public, as cases of this nature are exclusively dealt with by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the United Kingdom.

These accidents can result from falling, electrocution or even being struck by an object from a height. They are particularly common in jobs that involve manual labour or practical skills, such as electrical engineering or construction.

Potential Causes Of A Fatal Accident At Work

There are many different types of accidents that could potentially result in a death at work. Which accidents are more likely to occur to a certain employee largely depends on their work environment.

Examples of potential accidents that could lead to a fatal injury include:

However, in order to make a fatal accident compensation claim on behalf of the deceased, you will need to prove that they suffered their fatal injury due to their employer breaching their duty of care.

For more information regarding wrongful death at work claims, speak with a member of our friendly advisory team.

What To Do If You Have Suffered The Loss Of A Loved One

Knowing what to do after you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a fatal accident at work can be difficult and confusing. This is especially true if you are suffering emotionally or financially from said death. However, the process is actually simpler than you may think, and we are here to help.

First, you will need to gather evidence in support of any fatal work accident claim you may wish to make. The evidence that you will need can usually be split into three distinct categories:

  • Evidence in support of the accident – includes witness statements or even CCTV or camera phone footage. This evidence is needed in order to ensure that the occurrence of the accident itself cannot be called into question, especially as it is described in the claim you are making.
  • Evidence in support of negligence – includes police reports or personal testimony. This evidence is needed to support your claim that the accident occurred as a result of negligence on behalf of another party, as negligence is required in order to prove liability for compensation.
  • Evidence in support of costs/damages – includes any evidence supporting the various costs that you are claiming for, which will be described in detail later in this guide.

Evidence of all three of these categories is fundamental to your fatal work accident claim and necessary if you want to receive the compensation that you deserve after the loss of a loved one. If you have trouble organising or gathering the evidence that you need, a Claims Service such as our company can provide you with assistance.

Who Can Claim For A Death At Work?

When making a fatal accident claim, there are two essential laws that you need to be aware of:

  • The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934, states that the deceased’s estate has the right to bring forth a personal injury claim for a death at work payout after the fatal accident on behalf of the deceased. The estate will be able to claim general damages for the deceased’s pain and suffering as well as special damages for the financial losses they suffered before they passed away. Dependants of the deceased can also make a claim for the effects the death has had on them however not for the first 6 months follwoing the death only the estate can do this.
  • Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA), if six months pass without a case put forward by the estate either for the personal injury claim or on behalf of the dependents, then the deceased’s dependents can seek compensation for the impact of the death.

Qualifying dependents include:

  • A current (or former) husband, wife or civil partner.
  • A partner who lived with the deceased for at least two years prior to their death.
  • A parent or somebody similar to a parent.
  • A child or someone who was treated as one.
  • Brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts or cousins of the deceased.

To claim for a death at work payout as the deceased’s estate for their suffering or for how your loved one’s death has impacted you contact our advisors.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Death At Work?

A fatal accident claim made by the estate of the deceased can be awarded up to two heads of loss (or parts): general and special damages.

General damages cover compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering the deceased experienced because of the fatal accident. Special damages compensate for the financial losses incurred by the deceased between the time of the accident and their death. This head of loss can include compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings and any other out-of-pocket expense incurred by the fatal injury.

Those responsible for calculating general damages in a death at work claim may refer to the compensation guidelines published by Judiciary UK. This document, otherwise called the ‘JCG’, lists guideline compensation figures for various types of injuries, including fatalities.

In our table below, we look at how compensation for death could be awarded in a successful claim. The top row looks at how a settlement could include compensation for the deceased’s suffering and other claim add-ons (more on this next). In the following rows, we’ve provided a few JCG figures. Please be aware that the figure in the top row is not from the JCG.

As different factors go into reaching a final settlement, this table should only be used as guidance.

InjurySeverityCompensation Guideline
Fatality and Claim Add-onsThe settlement may include compensation for the deceased's injury, financial losses and dependency payments.Up to £550,000+
Brain DamageVery Severe£344,150 to £493,150
ParalysisTetraplegia/Quadriplegia£396,140 to £493,000
ParalysisParaplegia£267,340 to £346,890
Injuries Resulting in DeathFull Awareness£15,300 to £29,060

What Can The Dependents Claim?

Dependents could claim for:

  • Loss of service, including past and future losses. These are activities the deceased would have normally carried out. For example, if you need to employ a childminder because your spouse cared for the children.
  • Financial dependency. Families often rely on each other’s incomes to help with living expenses, such as paying the mortgage. If the claim for a death at work is successful, compensation can be awarded to cover these expenses.
  • Loss of consortium (loss of a special person). This covers losses that cannot be financially quantified elsewhere, such as lost companionship.

Additionally, dependents could also claim for the funeral costs.

Am I Entitled To A Bereavement Award?

Certain relatives may also be able to claim a Bereavement Award. This is set out in Section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act. It is awarded as a lump sum of £15,120 that will be divided if more than on qualifying relative claims. These relatives include:

  • The deceased’s spouse or civil partner or a person who lived with them for at least 2 years prior to their death as if they were married.
  • The parents of the deceased if they were an unmarried minor. However, if the deceased was born out of wedlock, then only the mother of the unmarried minor can claim this award.

Discuss how compensation for death could be awarded with an advisor from our team.

No Win No Fee Fatal Accident At Work Claims

If you want the best chance of succeeding when pursuing a wrongful death at work compensation claim, you will need the support of a Claims Service to give you advice and take you through the process itself. However, issues can arise from this as the result of the legal fees that many Claims Services charges.

Legal fees can devastate your finances, especially if they are charged against you before the resolution of your claim or regardless of whether you actually receive compensation. Our company wishes to avoid this kind of scenario, which is why we make a commitment to behaving in an ethically sound manner throughout our dealings with you.

One way that we accomplish this is through our No Win No Fee policy. This policy, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, promises that – if you choose our company as your Claims Service – we will not charge you any legal fees before the end of your claim and only if your claim is successful. In addition to this, there are no upfront fees to cover.

Fatal accident at work claim solicitor.

We truly care about those who need our services and our No Win No Fee policy is the perfect illustration of this. Contact us for information on work or car accident death compensation claims.

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Helpful Links

How Much Compensation Can Be Claimed for Death?

Find out the full amounts of compensation that you could claim for wrongful death at work.

What to do after a death – Citizens Advice

This Citizens Advice link has key points on what to do after a death to help you.

Accident At Work Claims

See the guide above for more information on claiming following a workplace accident claim.

Health And Safety Breaches Examples

Visit our guide on what to do following a breach of health and safety.

More Useful Guides

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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