If you’ve lost a loved on in a car accident, and someone else was to blame, you could be eligible to make a fatal car accident compensation claim.
Fatal car accidents are – unfortunately – more common than they should be. According to road safety charity Brake, someone suffers a serious injury or dies every 16 minutes due to road traffic accidents.
Accidents occur for many reasons, including driver negligence, road users that don’t consider others, and people driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
While no amount of money could ever replace your loved one, claiming fatal accident compensation can help you recover financially from the loss and hold those responsible accountable.
You can make a claim if your loved one died due to an accident, and they weren’t at fault. For more information on your eligibility, please call 0800 234 6438 and speak with a trained legal advisor. If they believe you have a claim to make, they’ll partner you with a specialist personal injury lawyer who will take on your case on a no win no fee basis.
All drivers have a responsibility to protect themselves and other road users. The Highway Code is designed to educate people about what to do while using the road, but that doesn’t mean accidents don’t occur.
Even one wrong move, or a few seconds where a driver loses attention can have potentially fatal consequences. If this happens and your loved one has been killed, you could be eligible to claim compensation to help you get back on with your life.
But what are the most common road traffic accident causes:
There are strict laws in the UK to prevent people from using their mobile phones while driving, but that doesn’t mean everyone follows them. When people use their phones to text or speak, they can’t give the road their full attention, which is why accidents are so common.
Food can also be a distraction – if a person is eating while driving, they can be distracted, reducing their reaction time.
The speed limit is there for a reason, but despite clear signs and the laws in place, some people refuse to respect it. There have been so many awareness campaigns by the government to highlight the dangers of speeding, but it’s still a common cause of road fatalities.
Speeding killed around 400 people in 2015 alone (ROSPA); failing to follow the legal limit results in slower reaction times, which leads to more accidents.
Unfortunately, many people use the road when tired, creating significant risks for themselves and others. According to Roadwise, driver fatigue results in an average of 300 deaths yearly.
If you’re driving your car early in the morning, or late at night and you feel sleepy, you have a responsibility to pull over and rest until you feel safe to drive again. It’s not just your life you’re putting at risk.
Dangerous driving doesn’t necessarily mean speeding or using a mobile phone on the road; many road users might act irresponsibly without realising their negative impact on other cars, bikes and pedestrians.
Tailgating is one of the most common problems, where a driver moves too close to another vehicle, along with overtaking and changing lanes too quickly.
Losing a loved one in a road traffic accident is difficult enough, but you have to decide if you want to claim compensation on their behalf. It’s essential to consider the impact of the loss, both emotionally and financially.
For example, if a spouse dies due to dangerous driving, their other half will have to consider the financial implications. For example, there might be dependents such as children, which means the family could lose their primary source of income.
Three factors will define whether you’re eligible to claim compensation:
The most crucial criterion for fatal accident claims is proving another party was negligent. It has to be as a result of dangerous driving, speeding or distraction, as the other party’s legal team will only settle the claim if you can prove negligence.
All fatal accident compensation claims have a three-year time limit, so you can only file for compensation up to three years after the accident. However, as these claims can take a while to settle, it’s best to file for compensation ASAP.
It’s also important to consider whether you can claim compensation for your loved one. The Fatal Accident Act 1976 offers clear guidance on who can claim in the event of an accident.
Eligible claimants include:
The best way to determine whether you’re eligible for compensation is to call for free on 0800 234 6438 and speak with a trained legal advisor, or fill in the form for a free callback.
A legal advisor will be able to assess your claim, and if they believe you have a claim to make, they’ll pass you on to one of the UK’s most reputable no win no fee legal firms, to represent you on a no win no fee basis.
Not only does seeking legal representation save time, but you’ll also be able to go into the claims process with no financial risks.
The first step of the claims process is to meet a no win no fee lawyer specialising in fatal accidents. Your lawyer will discuss the case and tell you whether they believe it will be successful or not.
While you can opt for the traditional legal route, a no win no fee lawyer only charges for their service if they win the case for you.
Losing someone you love is devastating enough, but risking your money with a traditional lawyer can cause further heartache, as you could lose the case and still be out of pocket.
Working with a no win no fee solicitor means there are no financial risks, and your lawyer will only take their fee out of the compensation amount.
No claim will be successful without evidence to prove the other party’s negligence. For example, there might be CCTV of the accident clearly showing dangerous or careless driving, as the root cause of your loved ones’ death.
Witness statements can also help your case, as can medical reports of the injuries incurred due to the accident.
Your lawyer will work hard to gather the necessary evidence, ensuring your fatal road accident compensation claim can go ahead.
Your lawyer will look at how much your fatal accident claim is worth and put a calculation together to present to the negligent party. While there’s no set amount available, your calculation will take into consideration dependency, funeral expenses and grief.
Some lawyers will claim one of these awards, or factor in each award for an overall total.
The dependency claim element factors in your loved one’s employment and how financially dependent you are. The salary and employment benefits, such as child and healthcare benefits, will make up a portion of your compensation calculation.
Your lawyer will also look at pension plans and other lost earnings due to your loved one’s death.
Some people can claim for financial losses relating to the individual’s estate and any administration costs of managing it. You’ll also be able to factor in funeral expenses, which might not seem like a big deal, but the costs of a funeral can quickly add up.
A bereavement award can be part of your insurance claim or a separate award for eligible people. The statutory bereavement award comes with a rate of £15,120 and it can help with future expenses and financial losses due to the fatal accident.
Only certain relations to the deceased individual can claim the award. They include:
Parents of a deceased child would split the award between them, while the mother would take priority if the parents weren’t married.
The new rate for bereavement awards was introduced in May 2020, so most people will claim the higher rate. However, if the accident occurred before that date, you might only receive £12,980.
Most fatal car accident claims are easy to settle – especially when you can prove negligence. However, your lawyer will have to negotiate with the other side, who will in all likelihood want to lower the compensation amount.
In some cases, the claim might go to court, but your lawyer will do everything in their power to negotiate the compensation as per your request.
Once you receive the compensation, your lawyer will take their success fee out of the final amount, and you’ll have financial security in the future.
Get the ball rolling today. The first step in making your claim is by calling 0800 234 6438 and speaking for free to a trained legal advisor, or filling in the online form and someone will call you back. If they believe you have a fatal injury claims case, they will partner you with specialist personal injury solicitors who will take on your case on a no win no fee basis.
Wrongful death should never happen, and most fatal accident claims are successful because there’s no excuse for negligent drivers. You have nothing to lose financially, and everything to gain.
You can claim for any road accident resulting in a fatality – not just cars. Pedestrians, motorbike users and bicycle accidents are all eligible for compensation.
Fatal road accident statistics worldwide, including those from the Insurance Information Institute, highlight that motorcycle accidents are more common than car accidents.
Cyclists are also at risk of dangerous driving, as are pedestrians. Simply put, anyone can claim for a deceased road user – as long as the other party was negligent.
Your compensation depends on numerous factors, so calculating an estimate is more complex than the average personal injury claim. As we mentioned, the bereavement award is a statutory amount, but you’ll also receive compensation based on financial losses and expenses.
It’s best to speak to a legal advisor and get access to a no win no fee solicitor experienced in handling these claims. That way, you’ll get a ballpark figure and decide whether you want to proceed.
It entirely depends on how long your lawyer will gather evidence and put your claim together. Also, the negligent party’s insurance company will want to review the evidence and decide whether they will settle the claim.
For these reasons, it’s best to claim as soon as possible, to avoid falling victim to the three-year timeline.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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