If you have a loved one who has been involved in a fatal accident, then making a personal injury claim is not an immediate concern. It is difficult to contemplate the prospect of making a claim and other priorities such as funeral arrangements and Wills will initially take precedence.
If the accident was the fault of a third party and when the time is right for you, our experienced and understanding team at Jefferies Solicitors will be able to help you through the legal process of making a fatal accident claim. We have successfully helped clients with different fatal accident claims including; road accidents; working place accidents; accidents abroad and industrial injuries.
Please note: this guide has been written to offer general advice and assistance to people who have recently experienced a fatal accident. It has not been written to provide legal advice. If you need specific legal advice regarding your situation, then please get in touch with a qualified legal expert.
Do I Have A Valid Fatal Accident Claim?
If you have a relative, friend or loved one who was fatally injured in an accident that was not his/her fault then you could have a valid claim. If you are financially or physically dependent on the person who has died then these factors will be reflected in the amount of compensation you will receive.
Who Is Considered A Dependent?
A Dependent is a person who was reliant upon the person who died; this could be a partner (they must have lived together for two years), children, a husband, wife; ex-husband or ex-wife. It could also be a civil partner or a sibling, aunty, uncle, niece, nephew or cousin.
What Am I Able To Claim For?
You can bring a claim on behalf of the estate of the person who died if that person left a Will. If there is no Will, then representatives are appointed so that a claim can be made.
You are able to claim for income that you have missed as a result of the person dying; you can also receive compensation to reflect the support and help the deceased provided to you when he/she was alive.
Funeral expenses can be paid for by the estate as well as any property damage that occurred – e.g. a damaged vehicle. Any loss of earnings can also be acknowledged in a fatal accident claim.
How Long Will A Fatal Accident Claim Take?
This depends on the complexity of the case and firstly, how quickly the fault of a third party is established. Usually, the sooner third party blame is established and agreed, the sooner your case will be dealt with. Time will also be taken to prove the extent of your claim; this can include information and evidence gathering from various sources. Six months is the general time period advised in fatal accident claims where there are no obvious complexities involved. However, this is not always the case and sometimes, the process can take a few years to resolve.
What Documentation Will I Need To Make A Claim On Behalf Of A Loved One?
You will need to have the relevant documentation which will entitle you to make a claim on behalf of the person who has died. Your solicitor will help you to get this and the cost of obtaining it can be claimed via the blameworthy party.
In some cases, it is possible to pay for a fatal accident claim under a no win, no fee agreement with your legal services provider. At Jefferies Solicitors, we can look into this for you when we have more details about your claim. Also, in some instances, it is possible for us to arrange interim payments so your immediate and necessary costs are taken care of straight away.
Statutory Bereavement Award
If you were the husband or the wife of the person who died then you can receive a statutory bereavement award; also, if your child was under 18 when he/she died, you can also claim. The fixed amount is currently £12,980.
Every fatal accident case is different. The pain and suffering of the person who died; the cost of funeral expenses; probate costs and compensation in respect of the services provided by the person who died, e.g. housework and/or DIY will all be taken into account.
** Disclaimer** These guides do not represent legal advice and are intended for initial, unofficial guidance only. You should always seek the help and advice of a professional personal injury lawyer for clarification.