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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Wrongful Death and Fatal Accident at Work?

By James Vincent Updated on 12th January 2021: 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 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.

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A Guide to Claiming for a Fatal Accident at Work

Throughout this guide, we will provide you with the information you need in order to make an informed decision concerning a wrongful death at work claim. For example, this guide will include information outlining the general context for wrongful death at work cases, such as common causes of fatal accidents at work, as well as potential issues that could come about as a result of your fatal accident compensation claim.

However, if you find yourself requiring more information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our trust claims we would be more than happy to address any concerns you may have regarding a wrongful death at work claim.

What is a Fatal Accident at Work?

If you do not have a great deal of experience working in the British Legal System, you may be unaware of how fatal accidents at work are handled and the classification system used.

In short, an accident at work is an accident 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.

Fatal work accident

Fatal work accident

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.

Claiming for a Fatal Accident at Work Caused by a Fall

One of the most common causes of fatal accidents at work is slipping or falling over, particularly slips and falls that result in injury to the head. These accidents are common in both manual and non-manual labour, mainly due to the omnipresent danger that slipping and falling represent, although it may be more common in manual labour.

For example, a fatal fall at work could occur as the result of a fall from scaffolding after it was improperly covered during a storm. However, a fatal accident caused by a fall could equally occur as the result of slipping on a wet floor in an office building and suffering from a serious head injury. In addition to seeking medical assistance, reaching out and gaining some legal assistance after such an accident can be hugely helpful.

Claiming for a Fatal Accident at Work Caused by Electrocution

Another common cause of fatal accidents at work (particularly in practical professions) is electrocution. Fatal accidents can be considered to be commonplace due to the ubiquity of electrical power supplies. For instance, when working in a modern building, there is an inherent danger that comes with working with such power.

However, fatal accidents at work caused by electrocution most commonly affect electricians. In some cases, accidents of this nature could be considered the fault of the employer, especially in cases where the risks of the particular job were not adequately explained or where proper tools or training was not provided to the employee in question.

For example, if the electrician was provided with improper tools to complete the job they were assigned – such as inadequate safety equipment or the wrong tools – this could be considered negligence on behalf of the employer. As a result, they could be considered liable for the fatal accident in question.

Claiming for a Fatal Accident at Work Caused by Being Struck by an Object

A different, but still common cause of fatal accidents at work is being struck by an object. More specifically,  an object that has been dropped from a height. While this is particularly common in manual labour and large-scale construction sites, minimal danger does still exist within non-manual labour roles.

Most commonly, fatal accidents at work caused by being struck by an object occur in manual workplace environments, particularly construction sites. This is due to the large number of different objects that are carried and used in construction, particularly scaffolding. In these situations, the height of the structures and the weather is an additional factor.

For example, a fatal accident at work could occur at a construction site as the result of a severe head injury. This may come about through a tool or certain amount of material being dropped from scaffolding or being blown from its position if improperly secured during adverse weather. These objects could then fall onto the head of a worker below. However, this could also occur through an individual simply being hit with something someone else is carrying. Clarifying the issue of negligence in this matter will be important for any claim.

Other Common Causes of Fatal Accidents at Work

Though they may present a general view of how fatal accidents at work most commonly occur, this list of the typical causes of fatal accidents is not comprehensive. In reality, there are many different ways that a fatal accident at work could happen. Therefore, you should not be discouraged if the cause of the fatal accident that has affected you is not listed here. For example, additional accident causes could include:

  • Being struck by a vehicle – a common example of a work accident causing death, particularly in construction, but also in careers which necessitate vehicular travel, such as the courier industry.
  • Becoming trapped by an object – another common cause of fatal work accidents, again particularly affecting those in construction. It is, however, not particularly common outside of the construction industry.
  • Exposure – this typically occurs as a result of individuals conducting construction work at altitudes detrimental to their health but can also occur as a result of sun exposure (resulting in illness) or exposure to a toxic or dangerous material, such as asbestos.

Unfortunately, there are many different ways in which a fatal accident can happen in the workplace. However, this list should be regarded as a general observation of the most common causes rather than any sort of comprehensive information bank. If you believe that that a loved one was subjected to a wrongful death at work due to negligence, then please reach out and speak to our team today.

The UK’s Top 9 Most dangerous jobs

Waste collection – around twenty waste disposal workers die each year in the UK. Making it on the most dangerous job in the country. Yet despite this, with a salary of less than £18,000, it is the lowest-paid job on the list of top 10 most dangerous.

Civil engineering – major civil construction projects expose civil engineers to a high risk of fatal accidents. Almost 20 civil engineers die each year, with being struck by some type of heavy machinery the most common cause of death.

Electricians, plumbers and other fitters – installing electrical, gas and other infrastructure is a risky profession, each year and an average of 26 fitters die in the UK.

Mechanics and vehicle repair workers – on average, 26 people working in the vehicle repair sector die each year in the UK.

Joinery, decorating and painting – unsurprisingly, an average of 28 deaths occur each year in these professions, primarily caused by falling from a height.

HGV drivers – a very high-risk occupation in the UK, with more than 40 HGV drivers being killed each year in road traffic accidents.

Scaffolding and roofing – as we would expect from a profession that involves working at often extreme heights, deaths encountered in the scaffolding and roofing trades account for 29% of all work-related fatalities in the UK.

Building and construction – the second most dangerous profession in the UK. Construction sites are dangerous places, as shown in the fact that over 100 people in the UK die each year working on them.

Farming and agriculture – the single most dangerous occupation to work in in the UK. On average, almost 170 people die in the UK due to farming and agricultural accidents.

Fatal Accidents at Work Facts and Statistics

Unfortunately, there are various factors that could ultimately contribute to a wrongful death accident. Within this section of our online guide, we wanted to take a moment to provide you with some work-related statistics. However, please note that all of the statistics we are going to provide are not directly caused by negligent factors.

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1978, employers have a direct duty of care to ensure the workplace meets a certain health and safety code. Understandably, this is a large task to fulfil, but thankfully, there are various measures that can make the task manageable. For instance, an employer could carry out:

  • Risk assessments of the workplace.
  • Carry out a rigorous housekeeping regime.
  • Routinley inspect all areas of the workplace to ensure it meets the required code.
  • Provide all members of staff with up to date and relevant training.
  • Enure members of staff are provided with Personal Protective Equipment. (PPE) when needed

Despite all of the safety precautions previously listed, there are circumstances where mistakes are made. In return, an accident can occur. For example, it was reported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that there were 111 workers fatally wounded in 2019/20 – the statistics do not outline whether they were unfortunate accidents or caused by negligence. The HSE provided a further analysis of this status which showed the fatality rate per industry, which goes as follows:

  • 6 – Wholesale, retail, motor repair and food.
  • 5 – Waste.
  • 20 – Agriculture, forestry and fishing.
  • 40 – Construction.
  • 6 – Admin and support services.
  • 11 – Transport and storage.
  • 8 – Other.

What to do if You Have Suffered the Loss of a Loved One due to a Fatal Accident at Work

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 Fatal Accident at Work?

There are mainly three different legal entities that are entitled to make a fatal work accident claim, which are:

  • Dependents of the deceased: given the highest priority with fatal work accident claims, as they depend on the income of the deceased and are most immediately affected by the accident.
  • Non-dependent family members of the deceased: also of high priority but significantly less than dependents, as they are closely related to the deceased and are likely strongly affected but not dependent.
  • The estate of the deceased is able to make a fatal work accident claim if no family or dependents are claiming but this process is demonstrably more difficult and confusing.

In all of the above categories, we recommend working with a legal team to ensure your claim is handled in the best possible manner.

What can be Claimed for After a Fatal Accident at Work?

If you are considering whether to make a fatal accident at work compensation claim, one of the aspects that we have learned is most important to you as a claimant is the amount of potential compensation that you could receive.

A vital aspect when making a claim is how much compensation you’ll receive. The majority of people who make a wrongful death at work claim believe that they can only claim for only the most minimal of costs and damages incurred as a result of their loss. This typically includes any medical costs that occurred or funeral costs. But that isn’t the case.

You could have grounds to claim compensation for almost any cost that you have endured as a result of your loss, such as:

  • General damages – includes damages difficult to measure exactly, especially emotional suffering as a result of the loss of your loved one.
  • Special damages – includes damages that are more easily measured, such as loss of property stemming from the accident and loss of future income, particularly if you are a dependent of the deceased.
  • Medical costs – includes any costs incurred before the death of your loved one, particularly any private healthcare.
  • Funeral costs – includes costs directly related to organising the funeral for your loved one, such as the cost of a coffin and tombstone, as well as the costs of the funeral ceremony.

As you can see from this list above, there are many different costs and damages related to the loss of your loved one that you could claim. While the amount of compensation you receive does typically rely upon the exact circumstances of the accident, it is important to consider every kind of cost or expense.

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.

We truly care about those who need our services and our ‘No Win No Fee’ policy is the perfect illustration of this.

How Much Can I Claim for a Fatal Accident at Work?

You are probably interested in how much compensation for the death of a loved one you are entitled to receive. However, any given amount would be an estimation. Due to the inherently unique nature of every wrongful death at work case, any compensation that is awarded will take into account the unique circumstances. Therefore, it is challenging to provide generalised compensation amounts.

However, if you would like a general estimate before making any further enquiry into your claim, the below table contains a basic list of the average compensation amounts, organised by type and severity of the accident. * Starred amounts displayed in the table below are not for the death itself but are elements of a fatality that may be factored into the overall compensation amount if the deceased has suffered in any of these ways:

Injury/SeverityAmountNotes
Death £12,500 - £300,000A basic amount for general death.
Minor Anguish£8,000 - £10,650*Death after unconsciousness with limited awareness.
Moderate Anguish£1,050 - £2,125*Death after total unconsciousness within a period of one week from the initial injury.
Severe Anguish£6,400*Death after total unconsciousness within a period of six weeks from the initial injury.
Very Severe Anguish£15,950 - £18,100*Death after total awareness from the initial injury.
Mental Trauma£3,550Intrinsically linked to severe death; the emotional pain caused by awareness of oncoming mortality.
Funeral costs£3,000 - £10,000The costs of the funeral, including ceremony and burial.
Punitive damages£1,000 - £275,000Damages awarded for punishment of the defendant if behaviour is particularly egregious.
Pain and suffering£1,000 - £200,000Emotional/physical pain endured by both the deceased and their survivors.
Loss of benefits£5,000 - £500,000The loss of benefits of the survivors of the deceased.
Loss of anticipated earnings£10,000 - £400,000Loss of potential future earnings, particularly if in the near future and easily measurable.
Loss of care, protection and companionship for family members.£2,000 - £100,000An extension of emotional suffering, particularly dealing with family.

As you can see from this table, there is variety in how each death compensation can be awarded. As such, you will need the support of a Claims Service to ensure you are receiving the compensation you deserve rather than being undervalued by the legal system. In order to receive a more accurate amount, why not speak to our team for a free consultation?

How to Start a Fatal Accident at Work Claim

With all of the information that has been provided by this guide, as well as any other sources you may have used, you may still be uncertain about the exact process of making a wrongful death at work claim on behalf of a loved one.

The first step to make a claim will be collecting the evidence that you need to support your case. Thankfully, there are various forms of evidence you and provide, such as witness statements, medical reports, and much more.

If you contact our company, we can provide you with a free consultation session regarding your compensation claim and give you our honest evaluation of its chances of success and how much compensation we believe you could receive.

After this consultation, if you choose us to represent you as your Claims Service, we can additionally provide assistance in evidence gathering to further solidify your fatal work accident claim. This includes further fact-finding regarding your claim, such as investigating any possible CCTV footage of the fatal accident in question. Once you work with a Claims Service, you can trust them to handle all of the hard work.

Why Choose us as your Claims Service for a Fatal Accident at Work Claim?

Our company is the best choice for your fatal work accident claim for a multitude of reasons. We can provide you with the factual and honest support that you will need to get through the claims process. We can also provide you with advice prior to you beginning your claim, as our experienced team of advisers are well versed in personal injury law – which means they can offer free legal advice of no obligation.

We have at our disposal a team of legal experts who have spent years dealing with fatal work accident claims, whose experience in dealing with such claims places them in a perfect position to assist you in the process and to advise you on how you should proceed.

Our position as an ethical company is demonstrated by our ‘No Win No Fee’ policy. This policy highlights our commitment to providing you with a premier service that always treats you with the respect to which you are entitled, whilst also getting you the best chance of receiving the compensation that you deserve.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Wrongful Death at Work Claim

We can provide you with the advice and support that is vital to your claims process. It does not matter if you believe your claim has any chance of success, receiving a free consultation session from our company can provide the best possible start to your claim.

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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.

NHS Coping with bereavement

This NHS link is about coping with bereavement explains about help and support and what to do after a death.

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

A very useful guide on accident at work compensation claims also call us for free advice.

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