How Much Compensation Can I Claim For a Fatal Accident or Wrongful Death?
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.
There are three distinctly different legal entities that can make a wrongful death or fatal accident compensation claim. These are dependents of the deceased, family members of the deceased, and the state of the deceased. In the case of dependents and 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 which is making the claim.
Regardless of whether your claim for wrongful death or fatal accident 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 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 which are unavoidable. A 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 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 99% of 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.
Select a Section
- What is the definition of a fatal accident?
- What is the definition of a wrongful death?
- No Win No Fee fatal accident compensation claims explained.
- Who can sue for compensation for a wrongful death or fatal accident?
- What are some of the circumstances that can cause a wrongful death?
- How to start making a compensation claim for a wrongful death.
- What you can expect to claim for in a wrongful death or fatal accident case.
- Other expenses that are incurred due to a death.
- How much can be claimed for funeral expenses following a wrongful death or fatal accident?
- Typical compensation amounts for a fatal accident claim.
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.
A wrongful death is a death that occurs due to the negligence of a third party, and that are 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.
Pursuing a fatal accident or wrongful death 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 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. Currently, legal fees applied as the result of a No Win No Fee fatal accident or wrongful death claim are capped a total of 25% of the amount of compensation that is awarded.
There are three separate parties that can expect to make a successful compensation claim for a fatal accident of 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 the 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.
There are literally hundreds of different circumstances that can lead to a wrongful death. It is impossible to draft an exhaustive list. However, here are the most common types of accidents and events that can lead to a successful wrongful death claim:
Fatal road and traffic accidents including:
- Car accidents resulting in the death of the driver or a passenger.
- Vehicle accidents that result 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 or 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 which take place in the street or another public place.
- Accidents which take place in retail stores such as shops, supermarkets, and shopping malls.
- Accidents which occur at leisure venues such as theme parks, fun fairs, and water parks.
- Accidents which take place within holiday venues such as holiday parks and campgrounds.
- Accidents which take place at private leisure venues such as gymnasiums, golf courses, swimming pools or other public sporting venues.
Making a claim for a fatal accident or wrongful death event that is responsible 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 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, this will be under a No Win No Fee type of agreement.
When it comes to compensation claims for wrongful death or fatal accident, 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, a wrongful death compensation claim can 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. England and Welsh law values this at a maximum of £12,980.
The type of compensation and damage claims outlined above are 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.
In general, a compensation claim for fatal accident or wrongful death will include covering funeral expenses. Currently, the minimum amount that can be awarded as part of a claim for funeral expenses is £3,000. The maximum is typically £10,000 but it can be higher in some cases.
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 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.
|Reason for Compensation||Typical Compensation Amount||Comments|
|Death (baseline)||£12,500 - £300,000||Actual real world values for average compensation payments for all types of death listed above.
|Death (unconsciousness following a brief period of awareness)||£8,000 - £10,650||Severe 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)||£6,400||Unconscious following injury, death within six weeks of injury.|
|Death (unconscious death within one week)||£1,050 - £2,125||Unconscious following injury, death within one week of injury.|
|Death (full awareness)||£15,950 - £18,100||Severe 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||£3,550||Fear of death and expectation of end of life.|
|Funeral costs||£3,000 - £10,000||Possibly more than £10,000 in certain cases.|
|Punitive damages||£1,000 - £275,000||Possibly higher maximum payout in certain cases, dependent upon the complexity of the claim.|
|Pain and suffering||£1,000 - £200,000||Maximum payout driven by level of pain and suffering experienced.|
|Loss of benefits||£5,000 - £500,000||Possibly higher maximum payout in certain cases, calculated based on actual lost income.|
|Loss of anticipated earnings||£10,000 - £400,000||Potential for higher maximum payout based upon cases with higher future earning potential. Based on calculation of current pay grade and future prospects.|
|Loss of care, protection and companionship for family members.||£2,000 - £100,000||Possibly higher maximum payout in certain cases driven by number of family members and level of loss encountered.|
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 fatal accident or wrongful death 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.
Contact Legal Expert Today
Do you need advice about a potential fatal accident or wrongful death 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.
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