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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For a Fatal Accident or Wrongful Death?

By Olivia Rattan. Last updated 29th March 2021. Welcome to our guide on how to claim death compensation on behalf of a loved one.

If a family member or loved one is involved in a fatal accident or suffers death through a wrongful cause, then there is every likelihood that a compensation claim can be made against the party at fault. In short, if a person dying as a result of a third-party can be proven, compensation could be claimed.

There are three distinctly different legal entities that can make a wrongful death or fatal accident compensation claim. These are the dependents of the deceased, family members of the deceased, and the state of the deceased. In the case of dependents and the family of the deceased, the reason for a compensation claim is clear-cut and obvious. The situation becomes more complex when it is the estate of the deceased who is making the claim.

Death Compensation Claims

Death Compensation Claims

Regardless of whether your claim for death compensation is clear-cut or more complex, you are going to need an experienced legal firm to assist you in pressing your claim. We are well-established solicitors who have decades of experience in helping people successfully claim compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. We leverage our experience and expertise to ensure that the maximum amount of compensation is claimed.

A family with dependents that suffers the death of a family member through a fatal accident will often face serious financial hardship, especially if the deceased was the major breadwinner. We aim to help such families by assisting them in securing adequate compensation.

Furthermore, there are ad-hoc expenses that will likely be incurred due to the death of a family member. Funeral costs, and other out of pocket expenses are unavoidable. A death compensation claim needs to factor in these costs, and we do our best to make sure these costs are covered as part of a compensation claim.

A Guide To Fatal Accident Compensation Claims

Part of the service that we offer is to evaluate any potential fatal accident or wrongful death compensation claim for our clients. We offer this as a free legal consultation service. This means our clients receive the best advice on how to push their claim forward, and what steps need to be taken next.

We understand that the unexpected death of a loved one is a traumatic event and that for many people the last thing they wish to be doing at such a troubling time, is dealing with legal factors. Therefore, we make this evaluation process as simple and efficient as possible. Judging each case on its merits, and offering any advice we can. In most cases, this free legal consultation results in us taking on the claim as a No Win No Fee agreement.

Most of our clients come to us with the expectation of us being able to give them some indication of the level of fatal accident compensation they will receive. Unfortunately, this is an extremely difficult question to tackle. Each compensation claim is different, and the situation leading to the claim is likely to be entirely unique.

If you’re looking for a free consultation with our specialist legal advisors, you can get in touch today, anytime:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Use our live chat feature on your screen
  • Fill out a contact form on our website for a call back

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What Is a Fatal Accident?

A fatal accident is a death that is caused by a third party, that is not the fault of the deceased, yet full blame cannot be attributed to the third party in some cases. Examples of this could be road traffic accidents, deaths that occur through accidents at work that are not the fault of the deceased, and deaths that occur due to the execution of criminal activities.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a death that occurs due to the negligence of a third party that is no fault of the deceased.

There is a subtle difference between a fatal accident and wrongful death. In the case of wrongful death, there is a clear indication of who was to blame for the death and why. Examples of this could be medical negligence or death through operating equipment at work that does not conform to safety standards.

No Win No Fee Fatal Accident Compensation Claims

Pursuing a fatal accident or wrongful death compensation claim can be a long-winded process. This means that there are likely to be significant legal fees to pay for the execution of the claim.

For many people, finding the money to pay for legal expenses can actually create an unavoidable obstacle that prevents them from making a claim. We offer a No Win No Fee type of arrangement to help in these situations. If we don’t win you any compensation, we don’t charge you a thing. If we do win compensation on your behalf, our fee is deducted from the compensation pay-out.

This kind of No Win No Fee arrangement is also often termed a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This kind of legal agreement has been set up to help people who may lack the finances to pursue a fatal accident or wrongful death claim gain access to the legal assistance to make a claim they are entitled to. Legal costs are tightly controlled in this case, meaning there are no upfront or hidden costs over the claims process.

Success fees applied as the result of a fruitful No Win No Fee fatal accident or wrongful death claim are capped by law, so you don’t have to worry about any out-of-pocket legal costs if your solicitor fails to win your claim.

Who Can Sue for a Fatal Accident in the Behalf of the Deceased?

There are three separate parties that could be able to make a successful death compensation claim for a fatal accident or wrongful death of a person. These are:

  • Dependants of the deceased – children, spouse, partner or other family members who were directly provided for financially by the deceased.
  • Family members of the deceased – family members who were not dependent upon the deceased financially, yet have endured hardship due to death.
  • The estate of the deceased – this covers entities that have suffered some form of hardship through the death of the deceased. This could include entities such as a small business that has suffered financially due to the death of the business owner.

What Types of Circumstances That Can Cause Wrongful Death?

There are a multitude of different circumstances that can lead to wrongful death. It is impossible to draft an exhaustive list. However, here are the most common types of accidents and events that could establish grounds for a wrongful death compensation claim:

  • Fatal road and traffic accidents including:

  • Car accidents resulting in the death of the driver or a passenger.
  • Vehicle accidents resulting in the death of a pedestrian.
  • Cycling accidents.
  • Motorcycle accidents.
  • Fatal accidents that take place at work including:

  • Slip or trip accidents resulting in death.
  • The operation of machinery that results in death.
  • Work vehicle accidents that result in death of the driver, passenger or pedestrian on work premises.
  • Roofing accidents resulting in death.
  • Cancer deaths caused by work exposure to asbestos.
  • Mesothelioma contracted due to work exposure to asbestos.
  • Medical negligence resulting in death, including:

  • Negligence during an operation resulting in the death of the patient.
  • Misdiagnose leading to the death of the patient.
  • Cancer misdiagnosis, leading to incorrect treatment and death of the patient.
  • Negligence in maintaining sufficient healthcare for a patient resulting in death.
  • Death through badly carried out cosmetic surgery.
  • The death of a mother or child during childbirth due to negligence.
  • The death of a care home resident due to negligence.
  • Fatal public accidents, including:

  • Accidents in the street or another public place.
  •  Accidents in retail stores such as shops, supermarkets, and shopping malls.
  •  Accidents at leisure venues such as theme parks, funfairs, and water parks.
  • Accidents within holiday venues such as holiday parks and campgrounds.
  •  Accidents at private leisure venues such as gymnasiums, golf courses, swimming pools or other public sporting venues.

How to Make a Claim for a Wrongful Death

Making a fatal accident or wrongful death compensation claim for the loss of a loved one is something that nobody wants to have to face. So, we make actioning your claim as simple as we can, to keep the emotional cost as low as possible.

The first thing to do is to get some good legal advice. In many cases, you should do this before you contact a solicitor or legal firm. We can help with this, by offering a free legal consultation. We will discuss your compensation claim with you, and give you the best advice we can on moving your claim forward.

When you contact us, we will ask you all the key facts of the wrongful death or fatal accident, this will include questions such as:

  • How did the accident occur?
  • Where did it take place?
  • Who do you believe is at fault?
  • Details of your right to claim as a dependent, family member or representative of the estate of the deceased.

Once we have listened to your account, we will be able to advise you on the next step. We can arrange legal representation, and begin seeking a compensation claim on your behalf. In most cases involving wrongful death, this will be under a No Win No Fee type of agreement.

What Can I Claim for in a Fatal Accident or Wrongful Death Claim Case?

When it comes to fatal accident or wrongful death compensation claims, the amount that can be claimed differs widely from case to case. It also differs based on the claimant and their association with the deceased. As a rule of thumb, such claims could be able to be made for the following:

  • General damages – this covers items such as loss of family income, pain, and suffering caused by the death of a loved one and negative effect upon future life.
  • Punitive damages – this covers additional damages that are levied against the party responsible for the fatal accident or wrongful death as a form of punishment.
  • Medical expenses – this covers medical expenses incurred by the deceased prior to their death, and also medical expenses incurred by family members as a direct result of health issues that emerged as a direct result of the death of a loved one.
  • Funeral expenses – the financial cost of burying or cremating the deceased.
  • Bereavement award who can claim? – Bereavement damages compensate families for their pain and suffering.

Other Expenses Associated with Death

The above types of damages that could result in wrongful death compensation being awarded are some of the most common. However, no two cases are the same and there could be any number of additional reasons why compensation may be payable such as:

  • Long-term adverse effects upon the family members and survivors of the deceased. Here we are covering things like a loss of potential future inheritance (due to loss of long-term earnings and savings), as well as loss of ongoing care and protection.
  • Emotional pain and mental suffering encountered by the family and survivors of the deceased, having a negative effect on their lives.
  • Future loss of earnings by the victim negatively affecting family and survivors through to expected retirement age.
  • Loss of benefits such as disability payments and pension payments due to the death of a family member.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for Funeral Expenses After a Fatal Accident or Wrongful Death?

wrongful death compensation claim

wrongful death compensation claim

In general, a wrongful death compensation claim for a fatal accident will include covering funeral expenses. Funeral expenses are a catch-all term to cover out of pocket expenses incurred as part of the process of burying or cremating the deceased, such as:

  • Purchasing a burial plot in case of burial.
  • Undertakers fees.
  • Purchasing of a coffin or casket in the case of burial.
  • Purchasing of the funeral urn in the case of cremation.
  • Payment of crematorium fees in case of cremation.
  • Hiring a hearse and other funeral vehicles.
  • Food served as part of the funeral service.
  • The actual funeral service itself.
  • Flowers, wreaths and other funeral decorations.
  • The wake after the funeral service.
  • Sending out invitations prior to the funeral.

Fatal Accident Compensation Amounts

If you’re wondering what type of payout you could be entitled to, you may be tempted to use online tools claiming to be personal injury copensation calculators. However, in our experience, these can be inaccurate and misleading. Therefore, we instead advise that you get in touch with our team for a free and accurate consultation, tailored to the specific circumstances of your case.

The Judicial College Guidelines is an independent organisation that releases accurate estimates of how much compensation personal injury claims, including those for death compensation, could yield.

In this section, we’ve included some examples from these guidelines to give you an idea of how much you could be eligible to claim.

Updated March 2021.

Reason for CompensationTypical Compensation AmountComments
Death (baseline)£12,500 - £300,000Actual real world values for average compensation payments for all types of death listed above.
Death (unconsciousness following a brief period of awareness)£8,000 - £10,650Severe burns and/or lung damage causing serous pain and followed by full unconsciousness after 3 hours and death within two weeks; or very severe chest and extensive orthopedic injuries from which recovery was underway made, but complications supervened causing eventual death.
Death (unconscious death within six weeks)£6,400Unconscious following injury, death within six weeks of injury.
Death (unconscious death within one week)£1,050 - £2,125Unconscious following injury, death within one week of injury.
Death (full awareness)£15,950 - £18,100Severe burns and/or lung damage causing serous pain and followed by full unconsciousness after 3 hours and death within two weeks; or very severe chest and extensive orthopedic injuries from which recovery was underway made, but complications supervened causing eventual death.
Mental anguish£3,550Fear of death and expectation of end of life.
Psychiatric Damage Generally (less severe)£1,440 to £5,500Cases falling short of developing phobias related to trauma.
Psychiatric Damage Generally (moderate)£5,500 to £17,900Marked improvement with trauma-related issues.
Psychiatric Damage Generally (moderately severe)£17,900 to £51,460Optimistic prognosis but prevalent trauma-related issues.

Why Choose Us as Your Claims Service?

Our goal is to help every client gain access to the legal advice and representation they need, regardless of their financial position. We are service driven, with a customer-focused business ethic. Put simply, we keep the needs of our clients at the forefront of everything we do.

We always attempt to consider every aspect of a claim or case. We won’t jump to conclusions, we will always ask every question we need to be answered in order to advise our clients the best way. No two claims for a fatal accident or wrongful death compensation are ever the same. There is always a myriad of factors that affect any claim for compensations. We see it as our responsibility to ensure that we cover every angle, to make sure we have the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome for our clients.

Furthermore, we always try to claim the highest amount of compensation we can. So that each and every client receives the maximum benefit of our service., we do this in a professional manner, with the best intentions of achieving exceptional results for all of our clients.

Wrongful death compensation claim FAQs

What is wrongful death?

There is a subtle difference between a fatal accident and wrongful death. In the case of wrongful death, there is a clear indication of who was to blame for the death and why. Examples of this could be medical negligence or death through operating equipment at work that does not conform to safety standards.

Do you need advice about a fatal accident or wrongful death compensation claim? Are you a surviving family member who has suffered due to the unexpected death of a loved one?

If you believe you have any grounds for pursuing a wrongful death or fatal injury claim, then we are here to help you. Simply reach out to us, and we will deal with your inquiry in a simple, efficient manner, designed to cause as little emotional and mental anguish as possible at this troubling time. There’s no need to worry about any hidden or upfront fees to pay, as we always work on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you’re looking for a free consultation with our specialist legal advisors, you can get in touch today, anytime:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Use our live chat feature on your screen
  • Fill out a contact form on our website for a call back

Help With Bereavement

Thank you for reading our wrongful death compensation claims guide. We wish you luck in your pursuit of the payout that you deserve.

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