fatal accident claims
If you have lost a loved one in an accident we know how difficult it can be to cope on your own. The loss itself will be causing you pain and suffering but it may also place severe stress on your finances and place limitations on your lifestyle. Our specialist fatal accident solicitors can help you with everything, from claiming for your bereavement and recovering your losses, such as funeral expenses, to reviewing your financial dependency and then making the necessary claim in this regard. Pursuing compensation for a fatal injury is not something you have to do on your own, you need specialist advice. Trust us to help you.
About Fatal Accident Compensation Claims
Fatal accident claims are thankfully quite rare in this country however when they do occur they have far reaching effects on the family and friends of the deceased. If this is a parent it can lead to their children suffering from a lack of care and worrying about financial instability. If, on the other hand the fatality is a child, then the trauma suffered can be overwhelming. This is in addition to the fact that such accidents may require you to attend at an inquest into the accident and or to be involved with a coroner who may prepare a report. The European Transport Safety Council has reported that fatal accidents on the road in Europe have decreased from 54,000 in 2001 to 39,000 in 2008. Although rates are falling, Eastern European countries still have a high ratio of fatal accidents in comparison with Sweden, the Netherlands and Britain who were calculated to have the safest roads. That is obviously good news for those of us who live and drive in this country.
We understand that this is the most difficult type of compensation claim to make as no matter how much we can help, we are limited by the laws we operate under. The complicated rules governing such cases are found in the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 which has recently been amended to broaden its scope. This is because traditionally there has been little room for negotiation as the Act sets out what is covered, such as an award for bereavement (a fixed amount of £11,800) or the recovery of funeral expenses, and also limits who can claim and the amounts of compensation. A full breakdown is provided below:
Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934
Claims under this act are made by the deceased's estate and can include claims for the following:
- Funeral expenses including the headstone where the Executor or Administrator of the estate is not a dependant of the deceased.
- Probate fees - they are not strictly recoverable but some insurance companies will pay them.
- Losses from the date of the accident to the date of death such as lost earnings, medical expenses and damage to personal property.
- General damages - this is a claim for the pain, suffering and loss amenity from the date of the accident to the date of death. The amount of compensation depends on how severe the suffering was and the length of time between the accident and the date of death.
Fatal Accidents Act 1976
Claims under this act are made by any dependants of the deceased and can include claims for the following:
- A bereavement payment - this amount which is set by the government and is currently £11,800 for deaths before the 1 April 2013 and £12,980 for deaths occurring after 1 April 2013.
- Any claim where there was a reasonable expectation of pecuniary benefit and this may include money, property and services. For example: loss of money brought into a household, loss of fringe benefits e.g. company car, loss of anticipated gifts, loss of pension, Loss of gratuitous services e.g. DIY
Fortunately as these are the most serious type of accident, the police or the Health and Safety Executive are normally involved from the start. They will investigate what went wrong, gather all the relevant evidence and then make a decision whether to prosecute the person or company who is responsible. As such when we take the matter on we often have to wait until these investigations are complete before then approaching the insurer of the responsible party and proceeding with a fatal accident claim.
So if you have lost someone in a fatal accident and you want free advice on claiming compensation from a fully qualified personal injury solicitor then please contact us now. Using one of our specialist solicitors ensures that you have a better chance of winning your claim and receiving all of the compensation and help that you are entitled to all on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you won't have any legal costs to pay if your claim is unsuccessful so No Win No Fee = No Risk To You.
Some legal firms don’t use qualified solicitors to deal with fatal accident claims anymore, at PSR Solicitors however we believe that your case deserves special attention from a dedicated solicitor. We have offices throughout North Wales and Cheshire and you can contact us safe in the knowledge that one of our expert solicitors will take care of everything for you on a No Win No Fee basis allowing you to carry on with your life whilst we proceed with your legal case.
Mr U, Staffordshire
Miss G, North Wales
Mr J, Cheshire
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