death compensation claim

Death Compensation Claim Payout For Surviving A Fatal Accident For Days / Weeks Before Death

In this article we explain how to claim compensation for pain and suffering between a severe accident and death; we explain the difference between instant death claims and death a short time period (a few days or weeks) thereafter .

We set out how to calculate the amount of compensation with solicitor payout examples of compensation amounts for consciousness and unconsciousness before death.

Lastly – we give access to our free online and telephone legal assistance – direct with our solicitors.

Payouts Table of Death Compensation Claims In 2024

Our payouts table describes compensation for the deceased’s pain and suffering between the accident (or negligent act event) and death. This claim can be made the injured party in life or the estate of the deceased after death.

Additional Compensation For Family And Dependants
Certain close family members and dependants of the deceased may have a claim in their own right for additional compensation. For example – bereavement loss, financial dependency, etc.
Symptoms / Time Before DeathClaim Payout
Immediately Unconscious
Death In A Week
£1,400 – £2,800
Immediately Unconscious
Death After 6 Weeks
£3,800 – £4,400
Severe Burns & Lung Damage
Initially Conscious With Extreme Pain
Death Within 2 Weeks
Severe Burns & Lung Damage
Initially Conscious With Extreme Pain
In And Out Of Consciousness
Death Within 5 Weeks
£12,500 – £23,800
Bereavement Loss
Financial Dependency
Funeral Expenses
See fatal accident compensation

What is a death compensation claim?

If you are injured in an accident (or as a result of a negligent act or omission) that does not cause immediate death (but death follows shortly thereafter as a result of the injuries sustained) and someone (other than yourself) is considered legally-at-fault – typically you will be entitled to make a death compensation claim.

Your death compensation will include a sum for the pain and suffering you experience from the accident date until death.

Claim by your estate when you pass away

This claim can be made by the your estate – should you pass away before your claim can be commenced.

Death Compensation Claim -v- Fatal Accident Claim
Another of our articles looks at fatal accident compensation – which is a claim for compensation made by family members and dependents in their own right.
Both a death compensation claim and a fatal accident compensation claim can be made separately.

What is a claim for personal injury if you survive an accident?

This article deals with how much compensation you can claim when you are not killed instantly, but your injuries are so severe as to cause death a short time after the accident event.

It is however important to appreciate what a normal personal injury claim is so a comparison can be made in the claim’s process.

Certain injuries may not be so severe as to lead to an imminent death in which case you can make a personal injury claim from the person considered legally-at-fault.

Therefore, a personal injury claim is a claim for compensation for the pain and suffering your injuries cause you to experience and the financial loss and expense you incur as a direct result.

See our pain and suffering calculator and financial loss calculator for more details.

In such instances – you as the injured individual will make the claim for your own personal injury.

Effect On Life Expectancy
Some injuries may have an effect on your life expectancy, which should be taken into account when determining your compensation payout.

What happens if your injuries are so severe that they cause death?

Some accidents may lead to injuries so severe that they cause death instantly or death a short time-period thereafter.

Instant death

If you are killed instantly in an accident – the law considers that you experienced no pain and suffering. Therefore, neither you nor your estate (your estate being your legal presence following your death) would typically have a claim for personal injury compensation.

Funeral Expenses And Dependency
Your estate may still have a claim for funeral expenses – if you are killed instantly in a fatal accident.
In addition – other family members may still have a claim in their own right for their grief for your death (bereavement loss) and financial dependency (on your income).
See our fatal accident compensation article – for more details on who can claim for death, when and how much can be claimed.

Death a short time-period after an accident

When you survive a serious accident you may be conscious or unconscious and in a significant amount of pain before passing away from your injuries.

You are clearly entitled to claim compensation from the personal legally-at-fault for your accident. Albeit, the claim will be for your relatively short-lived pain and suffering (death may be in hours, days or weeks after your accident).

Unable to commence your claim before death

You will likely have been in no state to commence a claim before passing away.

Your estate’s claim

Here – your estate can make a claim for your pain and suffering from the accident event until death.

Remember – family members and dependants may still have the right to claim compensation for your actual death in addition to your estate’s claim for your pain and suffering before death.

Who can claim if you survive an accident for a period of time before dying?

You can claim before death

If you survive an accident, but your injuries are such that you die a number of days or weeks thereafter (whether you are conscious or unconscious following the accident) – then you are entitled to compensation for the intense pain and suffering albeit for a short time period.

Your estate can claim following your death

When you die, your estate can continue a claim already commenced or commence a claim on your behalf.

Grant of probate

If you died leaving a will – a grant of probate would be necessary to make or continue a claim.

Letters of administration

If you passed away without a will – letters of administration would be necessary.

Grants of representation

Both a grant or probate and letters of administration are classed as grants of representation. Grants of representation allow the deceased’s estate to be administered.

EXAMPLE – Road Accident Death Compensation Claim
Imagine you made a will and you were involved in a road accident, survived a number of weeks and then died.
The executors of your will could make a death compensation claim for the pain and suffering you experienced following the accident until death. To do this they would first need to apply for a grant of probate – which is in essence confirmation that they can act for your estate following your death.
If you left no will – clearly you have not allocated any executors that could get a grant or probate.
However, family entitled under the intestacy rules could apply for “letters of administration”.
death compensation claim
Road Accident Death Compensation Claim

Can your family claim compensation for your actual death?

If you are killed instantly in an accident – your estate would not have the right to claim for pain and suffering for your death.

As we explained earlier – the law considers that you did not suffer pain. Your estate is entitled to claim only funeral expenses.

Close family members who can claim for your death

But, certain very close family members may have a right to claim compensation for their own pain and suffering (known as bereavement loss) for the loss of a loved one (and a financial dependency loss).

Under the Fatal Accidents Act certain individuals (such as a spouse, civil partner, child of the deceased, etc.) are entitled to make a death compensation claim for your death and for any dependency on your income or other financial contribution you might have made.

Compensation payouts family members can claim

See our fatal accident compensation article explaining the amounts of compensation that can be claimed by family members.

What factors influence the amount you can claim between accident and death?

The amount of compensation you can claim for an accident which causes death depends on several factors including::

  1. The severity of your pain before death.
  2. How aware you are that you are about to die.
  3. How long you survive after the accident until death.
  4. Whether you were conscious or unconscious before death

Examples of death compensation claim payouts

Some examples of the average settlements for a death compensation claims in 2024, include:

Immediate unconsciousness before death

An accident causing you to be unconscious straight away, from which you never regain consciousness and die within a week. You can expect an average payout of between £1,400 – £2,800.

Unconsciousness with death after 6 weeks

You are rendered immediately unconscious and survive more than 6 weeks. Your death compensation claim payout is likely to be calculated between £3,800 – £4,400.

Severe burns and lung damage

If you suffer injuries such as severe burns and lung damage causing extreme pain for an initial few hours whilst you are conscious and pass away within 2 weeks – your average claim payout would likely to be around £10,700.

Extreme pain whilst conscious for a period of time before death

Your injuries are severe (such as burns); you are conscious initially for a period of hours or lapse into and out of consciousness before dying within 5 weeks. Your estate will likely receive an average death compensation claim payout between: £12,500 – £23,800.

Free Online And Telephone Personal Injury Solicitor Help

We offer free online and telephone solicitor help in the case of fatal accidents. You can ask a question, arrange for a solicitor callback or have your claim assessed online.