How To Claim For A Death Caused By Careless Driving

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How Much Compensation For Death By Careless Driving?

By Cat Way. Last Updated 22nd September 2023. Welcome to our guide to claiming death by careless driving compensation.

Car accidents are a serious problem in the United Kingdom. According to the Department for Transport, just under 2,000 fatalities occur throughout the UK annually as result of car accidents and careless driving; over 100,000 traffic accidents were reported to the police during 2016.

Of all fatal road accidents that occur in the U.K. each year, fatalities involving car drivers on the road account for 44% of these fatalities, the rest being made up of pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists who are clearly still at major risk.

death by careless driving compensation

How To Claim Compensation For Death By Careless Driving

If a member of your family has had their life claimed by a fatal car accident caused by careless driving, you could be entitled to receive compensation for death in car accident situations. If you are in this situation and are considering claiming compensation for the death of family member or loved ones, you should read this guide in order to receive the information that you need.

If you’d like to learn about the key points from this guide, why not check out our video below:

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The Criteria For Making A Death By Careless Driving Compensation Claim

If a loved one has suffered fatal injuries in a road traffic accident, you may be interested in knowing whether you could make a fatal accident claim.

To be eligible to make a fatal car accident claim, you will need to prove that your loved one suffered their fatal injuries due to another road user breaching their duty of care.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, road users owe each other a duty of care. Per this duty, they must navigate the roads in a way that avoids causing harm to themselves and others. Furthermore, they must adhere to the rules set out for them in the Highway Code to promote road safety. If they were to breach this duty of care, and a loved one suffered fatal injuries due to another road user’s reckless driving, you could be eligible to make a fatal accident claim.

A claim for your loved one’s physical pain and mental suffering caused by their fatal injuries can be brought by their estate under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934. In addition to this, certain qualifying relatives can claim for the impact the death had on them under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. We look more at who qualifies as a dependent later in this guide.

The Limitation Period In Fatal Accident Claims

Additionally, if you are making a claim for a fatal accident on behalf of a loved one, you will need to start the claiming process within the relevant time limit. This is typically three years from the date of death. Alternatively, it could be three years from the date of knowledge and can be formed on the date of a post-mortem or inquest.

It is also important to note that for the first six months following the deceased’s death, only the estate can bring forward a claim. After this time, the deceased’s dependents can then bring forward their own claim for how the death has impacted them.

If you have any questions about making a fatal accident claim for death by careless driving compensation, you can contact our advisors.

Death By Careless Driving Due To Intoxication

Another common reason for an individual’s careless driving can be intoxication. While this is commonly associated with alcohol, intoxication can occur as result of alcohol consumption, illegal drug consumption, or as a side effect of an illness or legally-prescribed medication.

Fatal accidents caused by intoxication are usually the result of individuals misunderstanding their limits and tolerances for such substances, or even a lack of knowledge about the effects of ingested substances. This can lead to odd results regarding liability in such cases.

For example, an individual who drives carelessly as result of drinking alcohol prior to driving would be considered entirely responsible for any accident that they caused through said careless driving. However, if an individual is affected by prescription medication and has not been warned about the side effects, the responsibility – and therefore, the liability – may lie with their doctor or pharmacist.

Other Common Causes of Death Due To Careless Driving

However, there are many other common causes of fatal accidents due to careless driving that should not be ignored. These can include (but are not limited to):

  • Becoming distracted is a particularly common cause of such accidents, particularly in relation to the driver’s phone or GPS, as well as other passengers who may be inside the vehicle.
  • Driving whilst your vehicle has a fault is another common cause of fatal accidents, as faults can easily become worse without the driver’s knowledge if they fail to have the proper safety inspections of their car on a regular basis.
  • Loss of eyesight from injury or illness is a common cause of fatal accidents due to careless driving, especially in individuals over the age of 65. Degenerative eye disorders can affect individuals over a long period of time and, as such, can cause incremental change that is not easily noticeable.

Clearly, many different factors can be involved in a fatal accident. This is why the individual attention that you will receive if you choose our company as your Claims Service is so important; every case is different and if not treated as such your claim may not succeed.

Claiming for a Death by Careless Driving at Work

If the fatal accident that you are claiming compensation for occurred when either individual was working, the responsibility for the accident may lie with the employer. If the employer can be considered to be acting negligently, in relation to the health and safety standards that they should be considering, they could be responsible for the accident and the payment of your compensation.

Employers are inherently liable for any accident that occurs as result of their employee’s conduct, especially conduct that results in severe injury or death. However, other related parties such as an equipment supplier or a manager may also be responsible.

For example, if the car accident occurred as result of the individual being untrained in dealing with large vehicles, a service that an employer should at least investigate if not provide themselves, the employer could be considered responsible.

However, if the accident occurred as result of a fault with the vehicle provided to said employer by an equipment supplier, they could be considered to be acting negligently and thereby be responsible for the fatal accident and for paying your compensation.

Death By Dangerous Driving – Do I Need Evidence To Claim For The Loss Of A Loved One?

When making a fatal accident claim on behalf of a loved one for their death by dangerous driving, presenting sufficient evidence could help support the claim. This evidence will need to prove that your loved one suffered a fatal injury due to another road user breaching their duty of care.

Examples of evidence you could collect to support a fatal accident claim include:

  • Visual evidence of the vehicle collision, such as CCTV or dash cam footage.
  • The contact details of any witnesses to the accident who could provide a statement of the events at a later date.
  • The results of a post-mortem stating the cause of death.

To learn more about the evidence that could be collected to help support a fatal accident claim for death by careless driving and the compensation that could be awarded, you can contact our advisors.

Death By Careless Driving – Compensation Payout Examples

For the first six months following a death caused by dangerous driving, only the deceased’s estate can make a claim for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced.

When calculating settlement awards for general damages in a fatal accident compensation claim, solicitors can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that provides guideline compensation brackets, some examples of which you can find below.

Injury Compensation Bracket Notes
Death with additional claims £550,000 This can include the pain and suffering of the deceased, as well as additional claims, such as loss of income or loss of consortium.
Quadriplegia £324,600 to £403,990 In this bracket, the effect on the senses is considered, as well as the extent of any pain and whether or not the person is aware of their disability.
Paraplegia £219,070 to £284,260 Depression, pain, and the extent that the person depends on others are all considered in this bracket.
Very Severe Brain Damage £282,010 to £403,990 There is a constant need for professional care in this bracket, with little to no language function or response to surroundings.
Severe Psychiatric Damage £54,830 to £115,730 In this bracket, the prognosis will be very poor, and there will be severe problems in coping with day to day life.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £59,860 to £100,670 There is an extremely poor prognosis, and no remaining ability to function or work at the level the person would have before the trauma.
Death with Full Awareness £12,540 to £23,810 There is a period of full awareness, but this falls to a fluctuating level of consciousness for a few weeks before ultimately resulting in death within three months.

If you want information specific to your case then you need to contact our Claims Service. We can provide you with an honest opinion regarding how much compensation we believe you could receive.

More Examples Of Death By Dangerous Driving Payouts

If the deceased’s estate does not claim on behalf of the dependents within the first six months, the dependents can make their own claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. Dependents can potentially claim fatal accident compensation for:

  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of consortium or loss of a special person
  • Loss of services
  • Financial dependency
  • Bereavement award for certain qualifying dependents

To learn about who qualifies as a dependent under the FAA, get in touch with our team. Alternatively, to learn who you could claim against for causing death by careless driving, continue reading.

No Win No Fee Death by Careless Driving Claims

The death by careless driving compensation claims process can seem complex, and you might be interested in seeking out legal representation. There are many benefits that come with working with a solicitor on a claim; for example, a solicitor can help gather evidence and explain any complex legal jargon that may come up. 

One of the benefits of working with our solicitors on a death by careless driving claim is that they work on a No Win No Fee basis. They do this by working under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under this kind of contract, your solicitor won’t take a fee to start working on your claim, nor will they take a fee for their continued services. Likewise, if your claim does not succeed, then your solicitor won’t be paid for their work. 

However, if your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a success fee. This fee comes directly from your compensation as a percentage, but it is legally capped. The legal cap helps to make sure that the larger share of your compensation stays with you. 

To find out if one of our solicitors could help with a fatal accident claim, contact our team today. Our friendly advisors can answer your questions and evaluate your potential claim for free, and may be able to pass you on to a solicitor. To get started:

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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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