Death and Fatal Road Accident Claims Explained

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How Much Can I Claim For A Fatal Car Accident?

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated11th October 2023. When someone dies in a fatal car accident, the untimely death of a loved one or a close family member can be incredibly traumatic.

This situation gets even harder to deal with when the death has been caused by careless or dangerous driving by another party. Often, the dependents or close family members of the deceased may suffer financial loss due to the sudden death and will have to seek legal advice to claim financial compensation for the loss of family income.

In cases where the deceased may have many dependents or an estate, a compensation claim can get more complicated. As fatal road accident claim solicitors, we provide essential support to bereaved families so that they get justice and maximum compensation.

To find out more about our services, or for free legal advice, you can get in touch with us at any time using the methods below.

Fatal Car Accident Claim

Fatal Car Accident Claims Guide

Select a section:

  1. Can I Make A Fatal Car Accident Claim On Behalf Of Someone Who’s Died?
  2. Fatal Car Accidents Caused By Careless Driving
  3. Fatal Car Accidents Caused By Dangerous Driving
  4. Other Causes Of Fatal Car Accidents
  5. What To Do If A Loved One Has Died In A Fatal Road Accident
  6. Make A Fatal Accident Compensation Claim With Legal Expert’s No Win No Fee Solicitors
  7. Compensation Payouts For A Fatal Car Accident

Can I Make A Fatal Car Accident Claim On Behalf Of Someone Who’s Died? 

If your loved one died in a road traffic accident, you might be able to seek fatal accident compensation on their behalf. Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, certain qualifying relatives can make a fatal car accident claim for the impact the death had on them. These relatives include:

  • The deceased’s current or former spouse or civil partner. 
  • A person who cohabited with the deceased for two years before they died as spouses. 
  • The parents, other ascendants of the deceased or anyone treated as a parent by the deceased. 
  • The deceased’s children, stepchildren, or anyone treated as a child by the deceased, such as stepchildren from a previous marriage. 
  • Other relatives, including the deceased’s siblings, uncle or aunt, or their cousins. 

Additionally, under the Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934, the estate of the deceased can bring forward a claim on behalf of the deceased for their pain and suffering. 

However, if you are seeking fatal injury compensation on behalf of the deceased, the circumstances of their passing must meet certain eligibility criteria. This means that you must prove that your loved one was owed a duty of care, and a breach of this resulted in their death. 

While using the roads, road users must navigate in a way that prevents injury and damage to themselves and others. This is their duty of care. To uphold this, they should adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code

If you have any questions about fatal accident claims, please speak to one of the advisors from our team.

Fatal Car Accidents Caused By Careless Driving

Fatal car accidents are usually caused either by careless driving or dangerous driving. This section describes common situations which might be classified as careless driving, while the following section describes common situations which might be described as dangerous driving.

According to Section 2B of the UK Road Traffic Act 1988, which has been amended by the Road Safety Act 2006, s 20, examples of careless driving can include:

  • Driving while talking on a mobile phone or listening to the radio.
  • Recklessly driving through a red light.
  • Driving too close to another vehicle.
  • Overtaking on the wrong side.
  • Intercepting the path of another vehicle.

The Road Safety Act 2006 also talks about what is involved in claiming compensation for death by careless driving, though this process can be clarified with legal consultation, should you prefer.

If you would like to know more about the law surrounding claiming for deaths after a car accident in the UK, get in touch with our expert advisors today.

Fatal Car Accidents Caused By Dangerous Driving

Fatal road accidents, as stated above, can also occur as the result of dangerous driving. According to Section 1 of the UK Road Traffic Act 1988, examples of dangerous driving can include:

  • Driving a faulty or malfunctioning vehicle.
  • Racing or driving above the legal speed limit.
  • Driving through red lights or ignoring traffic signals.
  • Dangerously overtaking another car.
  • Driving while reading, listening to the radio, or talking on the phone.

Many of the above situations bear some correspondence to those listed in the careless driving section. Dangerous driving, however, indicates “willful or negligent” driving while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. In these cases, the “criminal behaviour” of the driver causing death can be brought to light during a court case.

Other Causes Of Fatal Car Accidents

According to Section 3A of the UK Road Traffic Act 1988, other causes of fatal road accidents can include (but are not limited to):

  • Tiredness of the driver.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Excessive use of prescription medicine.
  • Illicit drug consumption.
  • Combined effects of drugs and alcohol.
  • Racing or excessive speeding.
  • Distractions such as phone calls, reading, text messaging, or listening to the radio.

Fatal road accident

Fatal road accident

Whatever the cause of a fatal road accident, close family members of the deceased will often be left with a confusing and terrible situation. They may also be owed compensation. Our law firm is available to provide legal support to such families in distress, helping you to make a car accident death compensation claim at a difficult time.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Fatal Car Accident?

If you are looking to claim compensation for the death of a family member or a loved one, you should be aware that there’s usually a time limit for claiming for a fatal road accident.

The time limit for starting a fatal accident compensation claim is three years. For fatal injury claims, this time limit may start either from the date of death or from the date of knowledge. The latter can be formed on the date of an inquest or the date of a post-mortem.

If you would like more advice on the time limit for claiming or other aspects of fatal road accident claims, please contact our advisors for free today.

What To Do If A Loved One Has Died In A Fatal Road Accident

In the aftermath of a fatal road accident, trying to determine what should happen next can be incredibly difficult. Once you are satisfied that any living persons involved in the crash have received medical attention, you may begin to consider legal action. If this is the case, we advise that you take the following steps:

  • Arrange a police investigation.
  • Contact the insurance companies to report the accident
  • Gather and document first-hand evidence from the accident site, including police reports, medical reports, and so on.
  • Estimate financial losses, including loss of income, funeral costs, medical costs, travel costs, and all other related expenditures. It is important to keep proof of these totals (such as receipts).

In many of these situations, you may have several questions that need answering. For example, if you are asking, “does car insurance pay for death?” and cannot seem to find an answer, our solicitor firm is here to help you at every step. We take care of all necessary paperwork and deal directly with insurance companies on your behalf, all while attempting to get you the right amount of car accident death compensation.

What Evidence Can Help Me Make A Fatal Car Accident Claim?

If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal car crash and want to make a claim you need to gather evidence to prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of another road user.

Here are some examples of evidence you could gather to support your claim for a road accident that caused the death of a loved one:

  • Medical reports – The nature of the deceased’s injuries and the cause of death will be recorded in this official documentation.
  • Visual proof – For instance, CCTV footage or video from a dashcam. Photographs of the scene of the accident can also be useful.
  • Witness contact details – If there were others who saw the accident, then they may be willing to submit a written statement detailing what they witnessed. Make sure you have a way of reaching them.

Our advisors can provide more information on what to do after fatal car accidents if you would like to make a claim. Both our advisors and our lawyers have been trained to treat your case with care and compassion. We are here if you have any questions. Get in touch with us today.

Make A Fatal Accident Compensation Claim With Legal Expert’s No Win No Fee Solicitors

If your loved one died due to injuries suffered as a car accident victim, you might be able to make a death on the road claim. A No Win No Fee solicitor, providing their services under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) could help you claim.

No Win No Fee solicitors typically do not charge upfront fees for their services when representing road accident claims. Should your claim on behalf of your loved one be successful, a success fee will be taken from the compensation awarded in the death on the road claim. The success fee is legally limited. However, if you are not awarded compensation, claimants typically won’t be asked to pay for their solicitor’s services.

Our advisors offer free legal advice about claiming for fatal road accidents. If your loved one suffered fatal injuries as a car accident victim, you could be eligible to claim. To get in touch:

Compensation Payouts For A Fatal Car Accident

When making a claim for a fatal road accident, you may be wondering how much your compensation could be worth. Your settlement could comprise a payment that takes into consideration the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before their passing.

Legal professionals use a variety of resources when calculating this figure. This can include the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The latest edition of the JCG was published in 2022.

If you are an eligible family member under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 or other relevant legislation, you could potentially make a fatal car claim for the suffering the deceased experienced prior to their death. The JCG includes figures for fatal injuries, however, these figures are only guidelines. You’ll find them in the table below.

Injury Notes Potential Compensation
Fatality plus add-ons Compensation may include losses related to financial dependency and loss of earnings as well as the deceased’s pain and suffering. £550,000+
Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia Compensation could be impacted by the pain and suffering experienced, the age of the deceased as well as their life expectancy and psychological impact. £324,600 to
Paralegia The compensation awarded could be impacted by pain levels, psychological suffering, life expectancy and age of the deceased. £219,070 to
Very severe brain damage (a) The fatal injuries resulted in the deceased’s inability to respond to their environment in a meaningful manner prior to their death. £282,010 to £403,990
Severe psychological suffering (a) Symptoms include an inability to cope with life and relationshps. £54,830 to £115,730
Death (a) Lung damage and severe burns with full awareness. £12,540 to £23,810

A fatal claim settlement could also include other payments. For instance, the deceased may have had dependents such as a spouse or children who required their income. If so, and their death was caused by negligence, then costs such as the income the family has lost may be included as part of a fatal injury settlement.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

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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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