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How Much Compensation For A Fatal Car Accident?

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 19th June 2024. In this guide, we’ll explain death due to dangerous driving compensation. The death of a loved one can be a painful and traumatic experience. With so much to think about, the very thought of compensation claims might never have crossed the minds of the friends, family, or loved ones of the deceased. But a claim might be necessary. This fatal car accident claims guide will explore the issue in great detail.

In some instances, fatal car accident victims are not at fault for the road accidents that claim their lives. If someone is killed in a car accident and another party is to blame, then someone close to the deceased victim may potentially be able to claim compensation on their behalf.

This fatal car accident claim guide examines the issue in great detail and will try to answer all the questions you may have thought about. If you have any questions, you can contact our legal advisors on the phone by calling 0800 073 8804. Alternatively, you can reach us online using our contact form or our 24/7 live chat service.

You can also watch our video below which explains the key takeaways from our guide:

Jump To A Section:

  1. How Is Compensation Calculated In A Fatal Car Accident Claim?
  2. What Is A Fatal Car Accident?
  3. What Could Cause A Fatal Car Accident?
  4. Can I Make A Fatal Accident Claim On Behalf Of A Family Member?
  5. What Evidence Can Support A Fatal Accident Claim?
  6. Make A No Win No Fee Fatal Car Accident Claim
  7. Learn More About Personal Injury Claims

How Is Compensation Calculated In A Fatal Car Accident Claim?

As previously discussed, the estate can claim for the physical pain and mental suffering caused by the fatal accident. This is known as general damages. Additionally, a settlement may also include compensation for the deceased’s financial losses incurred between the date of the fatal accident and their death. For example, their lost wages, care costs and the money spent on their medication. This is known as special damages.

To help calculate general damages for a fatal car accident claim, those tasked with doing so may refer to the compensation guidelines from Judiciary UK, otherwise called the ‘JCG’. The JCG contains a list of injuries, including those that could be fatal, along with guideline compensation figures for each one.

In our table below, we look at how compensation could be awarded in a successful fatal injury claim. The first row looks at how compensation could be awarded for the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased, plus other costs (we will discuss more of these next).  The following rows look at a few figures from the JCG. It should be noted that the figure in the top row is not from the JCG.

As all claims are assessed on their own merits, the table is only provided for guidance and as such, should only be used as a guide.

Fatal InjurySeverityGuideline Amount
Fatality Plus Add On ClaimsAwards may include the compensation for the deceased person's pain and suffering as well as any losses affecting dependents, such as loss of income.Up to £550,000 and over
Brain Damage Very Severe£344,150 to £493,150
ParalysisTetraplegia/Quadriplegia£396,140 to £493,000
ParalysisParaplegia£267,340 to £346,890
Death Full Awareness£15,300 to £29,060

Can I Claim For Funeral Expenses?

As we discussed earlier in this guide, the dependents can be awarded compensation for different costs. These could include:

  • Funeral expenses.
  • Loss of services. This can cover past losses (from the time of the deceased’s accident that caused their death) and future losses. For example, if they provided childcare and you now need to employ a childminder.
  • Dependency. This is the loss of the deceased’s income, including future income.
  • Loss of consortium, or loss of a special person. This covers losses that cannot be financially quantified elsewhere, such as lost companionship.

Can I Get A Statutory Bereavement Award?

When making a fatal accident claim, you may also be entitled to receive a statutory bereavement award. However, not everyone is eligible to receive bereavement compensation. It’s important to check if you meet the criteria before you begin your claim for fatal car accident compensation.

Those who can claim the award under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, include:

  • Spouse or civil partner
  • Parents whose child was under 18
  • Unmarried partner who was together with the deceased for at least two years prior to death

If you would like to check your eligibility to make a fatal car accident claim, speak to our advisors at any time. They’ll be able to verify whether you are eligible for bereavement compensation at no extra cost to you.

What Is A Fatal Car Accident?

A fatal car accident is a type of road traffic accident where a car collision results in one or more fatalities. In order to claim for a fatal car crash, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You were owed a legal duty of care. The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that road users must take reasonable care when using the roads to avoid causing accidents and harm to others.
  • This duty of care was breached. For example, the defendant was driving over the speed limit when the car crash fatality occurred.
  • You were injured as a result.

Something else to keep in mind is that there is usually a time limit for starting a fatal car accident claim. Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for starting a fatal car accident is three years from the date the victim died or three years from the date a report on the victim’s death from a coroner or inquest is published.

Emergency services attend a car crash involving two vehicles.

If you’re looking to claim for a car crash fatality, we recommend you seek legal advice. Our advisors can provide you with a free eligibility check and compensation estimate. Our advisors may be able to put you in touch with our specialist car accident solicitors if you have a valid claim. Get in touch using the contact details found in this guide.

What Could Cause A Fatal Car Accident?

There are several ways a fatal car accident could occur that may be linked to negligent behaviour by at least one party involved in the incident. Examples of potential causes that could potentially lead to a fatal car accident claim include:

  • A negligent driver may have been distracted (because they were texting or another reason) and therefore were driving without due care or attention
  • The driver who caused the fatal car accident was speeding or drove dangerously in another way.
  • The guilty party was drunk driving or driving under the influence of other drugs.
  • Fatal car accidents can also happen due to the conditions of the road at the time. Factors such as the time of the day or if it was raining or snowing on the road at the time may be taken into account when determining if anyone was liable for a fatal car accident. If the road the accident occurred on has been poorly maintained then issues such as potholes could contribute to the incident. This could potentially lead to a claim against the organisation (such as the local council) responsible for maintaining the road.

You can contact our advisors if you’re seeking advice on establishing negligence and whether you can start a claim if a loved one has died in a car accident.

Can I Make A Fatal Accident Claim On Behalf Of A Family Member?

When claiming compensation for the death of a family member, it is important to remember that only certain qualifying parties can make a claim. Firstly, in fatal accident claims, only the deceased’s estate can make a claim on behalf of the deceased for their pain and suffering. They can also make a claim on behalf of the deceased’s descendants. They are the only party who can make a claim for the first 6 months after the deceased’s death.

After this point, the deceased’s dependents can make a claim for how the death has impacted them. The following people qualify as a dependent under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976:

  • A civil partner, wife or husband (current or former).
  • Someone who lived with the deceased for two years before their death and who lived together during this time as spouses.
  • A parent or someone who was treated as the parent of the deceased.
  • A child or someone treated as a child of the deceased, such as a stepchild.
  • A sister, brother, aunt or uncle of the deceased.

Certain relatives can also make a claim for a bereavement award. This is a lump sum and is split if more than one person claims. It can be awarded to:

  • A wife, husband or civil partner.
  • Someone who lived with the deceased for two years prior to their death as a husband or wife.
  • The parents of the deceased if they were an unmarried minor.

Direct any questions about claiming fatal accident compensation for death in a car accident to an advisor from our team. Our team is available 24/7 and could offer you free legal advice regarding your specific claim.

a smashed up car thats been involved in a death due to dangerous driving compensation case

What Evidence Can Support A Fatal Accident Claim?

There are certain key pieces of evidence that could help you in establishing negligence. We have included a few examples below. However, this is not a comprehensive list. There are other forms of proof that you could acquire.

  • Medical evidence – Coroner’s reports can be presented during the process of your claim. Documents such as these will contain important information such as the cause of death, and how long after the injuries it took for the deceased to pass away. This can also assist those responsible for calculating a fatal accident claim. For example, it can help them calculate how much compensation is owed to the person after dying on impact in a car accident.
  • Visual evidence – Footage from sources such as CCTV cameras and dashcams can be obtained. These can be helpful forms of evidence when establishing who was responsible for the fatal accident.
  • Witness contact details – For example, there may have been people who saw the accident. If you gather their contact information, a solicitor can contact them at a later date to see if they are willing to submit a witness statement.

Get in touch if you have any questions. It can be difficult to know what happens when someone dies in a car accident, from a legal standpoint. However, we are here to inform you about making a claim.

Make A No Win No Fee Fatal Car Accident Claim

Making a claim for compensation for death in a car accident can be difficult in many ways. As well as the grief and the upheaval in your life, we have found that one of the major hindrances for people is the lack of funds to pay legal fees from the claimants. This financial burden in the event of a death can be particularly trying.

This is why we offer a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), also known as a ‘No Win No Fee’ arrangement. If you have a valid claim to make, we could potentially provide the services of one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. We only charge you when the case is successful and we take the fees from your compensation amount. If the case is not successful, we will not charge you.

This can greatly reduce the financial burden placed on those who have recently lost a person close to them and it can ensure that you’re able to work with the best legal team available, without the monetary risk.

Start A Claim Or Get Legal Advice

Making a claim for compensation does not need to be difficult. Even in the most arduous moments, following the death of a loved one, you can turn to our team for expert, informed assistance. We can answer questions such as “does car insurance pay for death?” and “how much compensation am I owed?”

You can either call us now on 0800 073 8804 or you can contact us online by using either our 24/7 webchat or by filling out a contact form. Whichever method suits you best, we’ll arrange a consultancy session for you. Get in touch now and find out how much we can offer you and your claim.

Learn More About Personal Injury Claims

If you’d like to learn more about personal injury claims, you may find these links below useful:

The Citizens Advice on What to do after a death

This Citizens Advice page also has useful information about what to do after the death of a family member or loved one.

Car Accident Claims – Compensation Amounts?

LegalExpert.co.uk general page on Car Accident claims and compensation amounts

Motorcycle Accident Claims How Much Compensation Can You Get?

Death caused by a car crash that has hit a motorcycle causing the motorcyclist to die for more information and free advice contact us today.

Who Is Liable In A Multi-Car Pile Up?

Read this to learn more about claiming if you’ve been injured or a loved one has passed away from being involved in a multi-car pile up.

Other Useful Compensation 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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