fatal accident claim

Fatal Accident Claim: Compensation for death caused by negligent act, failure to act or criminal act

Find out what a fatal accident claim is, when you can claim compensation with examples of the most common types of negligent act in the UK which can cause death

Remember – deaths caused by negligent act, negligent default (failure to act) or as a result of a criminal endeavour, can give rise to compensation claims by dependants, a limited number of close relatives and the deceased’s estate (for funeral expenses and if the deceased survives for a period of time before death).

What is a fatal accident claim?

A fatal accident claim is a claim for compensation made for the death of an individual in either England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland caused in an accident, by negligent act or default, industrial illness or by criminal act.

The UK currently has three legal jurisdictions – England and Wales (the same jurisdiction), Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The legal process, the persons entitled to claim and the amount of compensation that can be recovered may vary between these different legal jurisdictions.

Be careful – the lawyer you choose to help you claim should be a specialist in the correct legal jurisdiction as the country in which fatal accident occurred.

When can you claim fatal accident compensation for the death of another?

For you to be able to make a fatal accident claim  you must do what is known as “stand in the shoes of the deceased”.

If the deceased could have made a claim for injury if he had survived the accident you too (if you are legally entitled) can make a claim.

In other words – to be able to make a claim you must be able to show that someone was legally at fault for the accident that was not the deceased and that you are a dependant entitled to make a claim.

See our fatal injury dependent and bereavement loss article for an explanation of who is entitled to claim compensation for death of an individual.

Can the deceased’s estate make a claim?

We need to distinguish between a fatal accident claim for the death of another and a claim by the deceased’s estate for pain, suffering and financial loss before death.

For example – if the deceased survived an accident for a period of time before death – his estate via the executor (if a will was made) or administrator (if he died intestate) could still claim for his pain, suffering, loss of amenity and financial loss for the period between the accident and death.

Be aware – either a dependant or the deceased’s estate can claim for the funeral expense of the deceased.

What are common types of fatal accident claims?

There are many different types of fatal accident claim – some of the most common include:

fatal road accident claim
Fatal Road Accident Claim

Fatal road traffic accidents

See our  road traffic accident article explaining all the steps in making a road accident claim.

Fatal road traffic accidents might include:

Car accidents

Due to the protection provided in modern vehicles fatal car accidents normally occur at high speeds such as on motorways. In a very serious car accident – casualties might include the driver, passengers, other road users or pedestrians.

Coach and bus accidents

Fatal accident claims from collisions involving coaches and buses can include: coach drivers,  other vehicle users as well as pedestrians and passengers on the bus.

See our coach and bus accident guide to see how to claim for all manner of coach and bus accident.

Motorcycle accident claim

If you are a driver of a motorcycle you will know that not only are accidents more common, but also the injuries in motorbike accidents are often more serious.

A motorcyclist is not only much less protected from the force of an impact in a RTA than other vehicle drivers, but being smaller a bike’s presence on the road is often missed.

Fatal truck accident

Trucks, lorries or wagons, call them what you will, are extremely large vehicles weighing many tonnes and as such the force involved in a collision can lead to serious injury and death, Frequently it is the smaller vehicle involved in the RTA with the truck which will absorb the force of the collision and come off worse giving rise to a fatal accident claim.

Fatal industrial accident claims

Some types of industrial disease once contracted can prove to be fatal – an example of this is an asbestos related disease known as mesothelioma. This type of disease can take many years to develop, but once diagnosed death can follow quickly.

See our industrial disease claim article explaining all about the common types of industrial disease and how to claim compensation from an employer.

Accidents at work causing death

Some workplace accidents occur due to an employer disregarding their employees health and safety duties. If a death at work occurs the health and safety executive should investigate the accident circumstances as well as the coroner at the deceased’s inquest.

Sometimes an employer can be found criminally liable for an employee’s death.

See our accident at work claims process article setting out how to make a work accident claim.

Fatal clinical negligence claim

NHS hospitals and GP’s as well as private doctors can caused death from negligent treatment, misdiagnosis and negligent default (failure to do something).

See our medical negligence compensation article for a detailed description of how to claim compensation from clinical negligence.

Fatal sports accident claim

See our sport injury guide setting out various types of sports injury and how best to make a compensation claim. In the UK some sports can be quite dangerous, such as rugby or horse riding, and can lead to a fatality to the accident victim.

Death by criminal act

An act of violence can cause death – in such cases a claim for criminal injury compensation should be made.

See our criminal injury compensation article to know how to make a claim for criminal injuries in the UK.

Fatal accident claim summary

You have learned which accidents can commonly cause death in the UK and when such accidents give rise to a fatal accident claim for compensation.

Click fatal accident compensation claim to find out the types of compensation and how much you are entitled to in a UK fatal accident claim.

Our Specialist Solicitor Free Help

We understand how traumatic the loss of a loved one can be and how to difficult it can be to decide how best to proceed.

With this in mine, we offer free online help and telephone assistance – you can arrange for a specialist solicitor callback, have your claim assessed or ask a question.