Death and Fatal Accident Compensation
Accidental deaths are mostly sudden and totally devastate a family with no warning. This leaves those close to the deceased with a crushing sense of sadness, confusion, anger, and worry. Not only do the bereaved have to suffer the emotional distress of the Fatal Accident, but also the financial strain such a loss can take. All of this, whilst those responsible hope to get off scot-free.
Claim compensation for the accidental death of a loved one in Bristol.
We give your family the justice the deceased deserves, whilst compensating you to make sure your family can cope with the reality of the loss. Contact our Bristol personal injury experts to get a free claim assessment and to get accident compensation on a no win, no fee basis. Call 01174 534 375^ today to get started.
What are Fatal Accident Claims?
If someone you love has died due to injuries sustained from an accident – it is considered a Fatal Accident claim if the blame rest with a negligent party. Such a claim can see your family compensated for the loss, and hold those responsible to account, allowing you to seek justice for the deceased.
Which Types of Fatal Accidents can be Claimed for in Bristol?
Whilst no two cases of Fatal Accidents or wrongful deaths are the same, there are some unfortunately common types we deal with in Bristol.
- Workplace Accidents
- Road Traffic Accidents
- Medical Negligence
- Industrial Diseases
- Accidents in Public Places
We make sure, however the death happened, to pursue any case to the fullest extent possible, even if the circumstances of the accident are unclear. Our main goal is to support your family though this trying time and see that you are provided the financial damages needed to maintain your family.
What do I need to know to process a Fatal Accident Claim?
Whilst no Fatal Accident claim is the same, there are several parts to the process that makes pursuing a claim difficult. Our Bristol team of personal injury experts will help you through this legal jungle to get you a successful compensation result.
Who can Make Fatal Accident Claims?
The executors of the deceased’s estate – as appointed in their Will – are entitled to claim on behalf of them for the Fatal Accident. The damages they can claim include: pain and suffering, probate (executry in Scotland) and funeral expenses, property damage, and loss of income, if the deceased didn’t die right after the accident in Bristol.
The deceased’s family can also claim for a variety of awards, such as loss of financial dependency, loss of services, funeral expenses, and a statuary bereavement award. The immediate family is entitled to make these claims, as well as any stepchildren, and the spouse or long-term partner of the deceased (provided they have been living with them for over 2 years). The executors need to file their claims before the immediate family can, who are given six months to do so, but all those who wish to claim can do so at the same time.
What evidence is needed for Accidental Death claims?
A coroner will need to investigate the deceased to determine cause, time, and probable place in Bristol of death. Your appointed panel solicitor will use this, along with evidence collected, to paint a picture of the circumstances of the Fatal Accident. Evidence can include witness statements, photographic and video – such as CCTV – as well as accident book records.
When these have been collected, your panel solicitor will be able to attribute blame for the accident. If the negligent party admits fault at this point, a compensation award may be offered. However, if they refute blame, it is possible the case will go to court.
Do you have to go to court for a Wrongful Death?
You won’t necessarily need to go to court. Like most personal injury claims, Fatal Accident claims tend to settle out of court. This is often because the insurance company pays the compensation, rather than the individual or the organisation in Bristol you’re suing. There are exceptions to this, such as if the negligent party refutes blame, or in the event of criminal trials, but it won’t strictly affect where the compensation award is coming from.
Will my claim require a criminal trial or Fatal Accident Inquiry?
Criminal trials for Fatal Accidents in Bristol can often take a long time, not just because of the way in which the UK courts operate. The good news is that you do not need to wait for a criminal trial to be closed or a conviction to be made before claiming. Much like Criminal Injury Claims, the compensation isn’t dependent on the verdict – guilty or not. The trail maybe a criminal or civil case, which in themselves have different processes because of different laws, but we’ll make sure you’re fully informed of your circumstances.
In the event of a Fatal Accident Inquiry – or FAI – this wrongful death would have been so severe that it has knock-on effects for health and safety across the country. National bodies, like HSE, are designed to enforce regulations to prevent accidents, with many of these coming about from serious injuries and deaths that lead to FAIs. If your case necessitates a FAI, your appointed panel solicitor for Bristol will guide you on all aspects of making this claim, and how it may affect your Fatal Accident claim.
What is the time limit for making a Accidental Death claim?
There is – like most personal injury claims – a time limit of 3 years in which you can file your claim. If after this point you decide to push on without extenuating circumstances, you will be barred from filing your Fatal Accident claim.
Wrongful death claims can take a couple of years to complete, so it is worth acting as soon as possible. If you feel you are ready, contact our Bristol team on 01174 534 375^ now for a no-obligation discussion.
How much can I claim for a Fatal Accident?
Claims for Fatal Accidents will vary in value. This is due to how the deceased leaves their family behind, particularly when it comes to dependants. To make this easier for families who are waiting for their claim to settle, certain elements of the compensation package can be released earlier, such as funeral expenses. There are multiple factors taken into account when calculating the compensation award, such as:
Fatal Accident Compensation – Financial Dependency
If your loved one was a contributor to the household and had dependants relying on them, you can claim damages to cover this gap. This way, your family can manage – at least financially – without them.
Fatal Accident Compensation – Loss of Services
The deceased would have likely played a large role in the house, and their loss will leave you without certain “services.” These can be in the form of childcare, finance management, DIY and house care, cleaning, shopping – just about any value they brought to the house can be quantified. Especially with childcare, where paying childminders or for nursery will incur significant costs.
Fatal Accident Compensation – General Damages and Financial Expenses
Like most personal injury claims, Fatal Accident claims will account for the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased. In particular, if the deceased did not die immediately, there would have been a number of expenses accrued by the family as they sought to visit and take care of them. These costs can all be reclaimed.
Fatal Accident Compensation – Funeral and Legal Costs
It is only fair that the party responsible for the Fatal Accident pay for the funeral and legal costs. As such, the funeral – except for the wake – will be covered in the compensation award and can be released early to the deceased’s family to alleviate the pressure of their finances. Probate costs – or Executry in Scotland – are often expensive, and are required to wrap up an estate. These costs are also accounted for in the award.
Fatal Accident Compensation – Statuary Bereavement Award
There is a fixed award of £15,120 payable to the partner of the deceased known as the “Statuary Bereavement Award.” This part of the compensation package is earmarked for the suffering the partner experiences because of the loss of a loved one.
Fatal Accident Compensation – Intangible Benefits
Something more unquantifiable to calculate, but by no means not important, is an award for the loss of love itself. Love is a frightfully difficult thing to find and hang onto. As such, the “intangible benefit” that the deceased brought to your family is compensated as well. Although a payment for this will never replace the real thing, it is meant to acknowledge the positivity it brought to your life.
Fatal Accident Compensation – Calculating the Amount
With all of these elements of accounted for, it should make sense that estimating an award online without any knowledge of your family is of no value to you. This is why we offer our claim assessment under no-obligation to you. You can speak to us on 01174 534 375^ and if we feel you have a claim for the wrongful death, we will appoint you a Bristol solicitor from our panel to represent your family.
They will also help you receive another benefit, justice. Knowing that those responsible have been penalised should bring some comfort to you, as well as help prevent these kinds of Fatal Accidents occurring again.
Make your Fatal Accident claim with our team today
You need to make sure your Fatal Accident claim is handled by a team of empathetic experts, and we have the Bristol team to do that. Call us on 01174 534 375^ to start your claim on a no win, no fee* basis today.