Fatal Accident Compensation Claims in Reading
Losing a loved one is hard enough, but when it’s at the hands of a negligent party, grief turns to anger, confusion, and stress. When people important to you suffer a Fatal Accident, the consequences don’t end with them, they ripple across the whole family. Accidental deaths put a significant strain on the emotional and financial health of the entire family. Trying to hold those responsible to account can be almost impossible while trying to cope with losing another breadwinner, and/or suffering psychiatric distress from the death. This is where our legal experts for Reading can help.
Claim compensation for the accidental death of a loved one in Reading.
We will seek to make sure your family are looked after through a compensation award that reflects your needs, and the mental support you need to keep your head above water. Contact us on 01182 177 704^ to get a free case assessment and to hear how our no win, no fee* personal injury claims can work for you.
What is a Fatal Accident Claim?
When someone dies because of negligence from a company or another person in Reading it is possible to bring a claim for Fatal Accident compensation.
What Accidents in Reading are Considered Fatal Accident Claims?
If any type of accident that is the result of a negligent party leads to a death, be it instant or delayed – such as when in a coma – then a claim can be brought. However, not all wrongful deaths in Reading occur because of accidents. Many industrial diseases can result in death, especially when developed overtime. Medical negligence is also a potential cause. The leading cases of wrongful death claims are:
- Road Traffic Accidents, namely Car Accidents
- Workplace Accidents, especially falls from height
- Medical negligence, including birth injury and stillbirth
- Industrial Disease, such as Mesothelioma and Lung Disease
- Public Place Accidents
- Suicides whilst in psychiatric care
Whilst the circumstances of the wrongful death can vary dramatically, when you claim with us, we will take the time to understand your individual case and provide your family the best support possible. Even if the cause of the Fatal Accident is unclear, we will work tirelessly to see that you are compensated for your loss, and those who acted negligently are punished for their actions.
How do I make a claim for a Fatal Accident?
Fatal Accident claims are by no means simple cases, even when blame is obvious. This is because there are a number of complex elements to a Fatal Accident claim, including who can claim, when they can do so, evidence, criminal trials and inquests. Our Reading personal injury experts will help you navigate this process.
Who can Make Fatal Accident Claims?
Claims for Fatal Accidents tend to be brought by the executors of the deceased’s estate – when there is a Will – and their dependants. As executors are responsible for dealing with the property, assets, and money of the person who has died, they also need to pursue any legal matters on their behalf. When it comes to damages for the wrongful death, they can claim – on behalf of the deceased – for:
- Pain and suffering the deceased likely experienced
- Expenses occurred, such as funeral and Probate (or Executry in Scotland) costs
- Damaged property
- Income lost, if the deceased didn’t die right away
Other individuals are also able to claim for loss of financial dependency or loss of services as a consequence of the Fatal Accident:
- Current or former spouse/civil partner
- Current cohabitating partner of at least 2 years
- A parent of the deceased
- A child – or stepchild – of the deceased
- Other nuclear family members, such as siblings
Claims should be filled by all those involved at the same time. If, however, the executors do not pursue a claim for Fatal Accident compensation, the deceased’s relatives/dependants can claim separately after 6 months.
Evidence in Fatal Accident claims
Similarly to how medical reports are required in personal injury claims, Fatal Accident’s require the investigation of a coroner. They will determine the cause of death, as well as when and where it happened. Your panel solicitor will work with you to gather evidence to give context to the coroner’s report, and review these together to establish blame. Such evidence could be:
- Witness statements
- Photographic evidence and CCTV footage
- Incident location visits
- Accident books, if in a public place or workplace
When fault has been concluded, your panel solicitor for Reading will begin talks with the opposition party. At this stage, a settlement might be reached if they admit fault. However, if they deny blame, then it may go to litigation.
Will I need to go to court after a Fatal Accident?
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 Reading 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.
Criminal trials and Fatal Accident Inquiries
Criminal trials for Fatal Accidents in Reading 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 Reading will guide you on all aspects of making this claim, and how it may affect your Fatal Accident claim.
How long do I have to make a Fatal Accident claim in Reading?
In Reading, as well as the rest of the UK, there are strict time limits for making personal injury claims. As with most injuries, you have up to 3 years from the initial incident to make the claim. With Fatal Accidents, you have 3 years from the date of death. Anything after this time may be barred from being filed unless there are exception circumstances.
Such accidents require some time to settle. Your panel solicitor will work at pace, but given the nature and complexity of the claim, it could take a couple of years before you are awarded the compensation. This means that in some cases, financial restitution could take 5 years to come in – which is why we recommend filing your claim as soon as possible. Speak to our expert team on 01182 177 704^ for no-obligation information now.
How much can I claim for a Fatal Accident?
The compensation awards for Fatal Accidents vary significantly from person to person. This is because of the individual’s personal circumstances, the costs incurred by their passing, and the financial gap they leave behind. Some of these awards can be claimed early, to take off the pressure of paying for things like funerals. The following is an outline of the types of damages you can claim for:
Statuary Bereavement Award
Starting with the fixed compensation, the Statuary Bereavement Award is a lump sum designed to compensate the suffering of a lost loved one. This can be claimed by the spouse, civil partner, or cohabitation partner of the deceased. It can also be claimed by the parents of the deceased, if the child was younger than 18.
This Fatal Accident award is fixed to £15,120. That might seem like a low number for the cost of life, when other personal injuries, such as head injuries, can accumulate hundreds of thousands in compensation. However, like most accident claims, the compensation award is designed to fill the void left by the injury. In the case of wrongful death claims, the loss of earnings forms a larger part of the overall compensation package than this award.
Financial Dependency and Loss of Services
Financial dependency on the deceased is usually what amounts to the majority of compensation. Think how difficult it is to raise a family alone, and the lack of access that could bring to a child’s life. The loss of family earnings could be from salary, a pension entitlement or even business income. This part of the award can be claimed by anyone in the family financially dependent, such as those mentioned above, as well as children.
In a harder to quantify award for Fatal Accidents, Loss of Services looks to provide damages where the deceased fulfilled a role that the family are now without. This could include childcare, where the surviving spouse would likely need to pay for instead of fill that role themselves. It can even include roles such as DIY, managing finances, shopping, animal care, and gardening. This part of the compensation package will look to determine what quality of life is missing and affix a value to it.
Funeral Expenses and Probate Costs
It’s no secret that dying is expensive. But when the deceased is lost to another party’s negligent actions, it isn’t fair that the family should suffer such an expense, along with the emotional cost of grief. The compensation award will cover the funeral, and associated costs – but not the wake/memorial held in Reading.
Probate in England and Wales, or Executry in Scotland, can be an expensive part of the process of dealing with your loved one’s estate, depending on your choice of solicitor, and particularly if they had a complicated estate to manage. Your compensation award can cover the costs of this legal process, which again, wouldn’t be needed without the Fatal Accident.
General Damages and Financial Expenses
Like most personal injury claims, there is an element in the compensation packet that covers the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased, as well as loss of amenity, if they did not die immediately.
In this event, financial expenses may also be claimed. This could be for travel to the hospital, the lack of earnings during the deceased time spent in hospital before death, or any other expenses accrued.
Care and support for the deceased
If, like the above, there was a period of time that you had to provide care for the deceased after their Fatal Accident or wrongful death, then you can claim for Gratuitous Care and Support.
Loss of intangible benefits
Perhaps the hardest of awards to quantity, but by no means the least important, is the loss of companionship as a result of the Fatal Accident. Love is by no means an easy thing to find and is certainly not replaceable. It’s for this reason, that more intangible benefits can be awarded for the absence the loss of a loved one leaves in your heart, rather than just your wallet.
Estimate for Fatal Accident Compensation
As a whole, the entire package of compensation for Fatal Accidents is particularly difficult to assess. This is why we make no attempt to guestimate a generalised figure for all people. We instead provide a no-obligation claim assessment for cases in Reading to determine how much compensation you are due depending on your unique circumstances. Call us on 01182 177 704^ to speak to a friendly expert.
It’s more than the money
Beyond the obvious benefit a compensation award brings to your family, the justice a penalty or criminal conviction can bring matter significantly to easing the grief. It is our aim to use our Reading panel solicitor’s talents to see negligent parties brought to justice for your suffering. If they are suitable reprimanded, it may help to save the lives of others.
Start your Fatal Accident claim today
If you want to get compensation for your loved one’s Fatal Accident in Reading with a team of friendly and empathetic personal injury experts, get in touch today. We’ll complete your claim on a no win, no fee* basis and provide all the initial outlays for you under no-obligation. Call us now on 01182 177 704^.