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Fatal Accident – what can you claim?

When a loved one is involved in a fatal accident no money can ever compensate for that loss. Bereaved family members are often left not only suffering with the grief caused by the loss but also financial worries that can flow from the absence of that person.

Following a fatal accident a claim can be brought on behalf of the deceased’s estate or by a person in their own right (if that person is in some way financially dependent upon the deceased) against the person or persons at fault for the fatality.

The Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934 allows for claims made on behalf of the deceased’s estate which include but are not limited to the following:-

  • Pain and suffering and loss of amenity – can be included if there is a period of pain and suffering between the accident occurring and the death.
  • Any financial losses incurred by the deceased between the accident and the date of death. Examples include loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel expenses and damaged items.
  • Reasonable funeral expenses – this can include the cost of the wake and a headstone.

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows for a dependent of the deceased to make a claim for the loss of the financial support which would have come from the deceased’s earnings or pension. The dependent in the capacity of a Claimant must show that they had a “reasonable expectation” of such benefit but the fact that they did not have that benefit at the date of death does not prevent such a claim if it can be demonstrated that the chance of receiving a such a benefit is realistic one.

Alongside a loss of financial support the law recognises that the loss of a loved one results in the loss of so much more to their family. As such a claim for loss of services can be made. This can include DIY, gardening and household chores amongst other things.

In order to pursue a dependency claim a dependent has to fall into one of the following categories:-

  • Husband or wife or civil partner
  • Anyone cohabiting with the deceased for at least two years at the date of death
  • Parent or a person acting as a parent at the date of death
  • A child or a person treated as a child at the date of death
  • Brother, sister, uncle or aunt

In addition a very limited number of close relatives can claim compensation for bereavement. This is a one off set payment currently of £12,980. This can only be claimed by the spouse or the parent of a deceased child who was under the age of 18 at the date of death.

Here at Hudgell Solicitors we have a team of experienced lawyers who have vast experience in this complex area of the law and who will not only guide you through the process but offer any help and support that is required at such a difficult time.

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