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Fatal accident compensation claims

Having a family member die unexpectedly can have a devastating effect both emotionally and financially; especially when it has been caused by a preventable accident.

Money will never compensate for the loss of a loved one but it can help the affected families rebuild their lives and regain control over their day to day life after such a devastating event.

If a member of your family has died as a result of a fatal accident or injury you may be entitled to claim compensation to cover the loss of earnings and the distress caused. Our team of specialist solicitors have worked on a number of high profile fatal accidents and have helped people to claim compensation after losing a loved one.

If you decide to instruct us we will work on a no win, no fee basis to get the compensation you deserve.

How do I make a fatal accident claim?

During your free, no obligation consultation, our specialist solicitors will discuss whether you are entitled to make a claim. If negligence is established, we will discuss the various options with you, including the no win, no fee element of your personal injury claim. You will be provided with a step-by-step breakdown of how we will proceed with your accident compensation claim without obligation to proceed.

Am I entitled to make a fatal injury claim?

There are two ways that a claim can be made:


If the deceased suffered any pain or distress following their accident, you can claim for their suffering.

You can also claim for any financial losses from medical expenses, loss of earnings or even funeral expenses.

Loss of support

Under the Fatal Accidents Act of 1976, dependents can claim for loss of support including:

  • financial support;
  • childcare support;
  • household repair & upkeep;
  • pension rights;
  • bereavement compensation for pain and suffering; and
  • funeral expenses.

Compensation is awarded for the loss of support since the death and consists of that portion of the deceased’s contribution to the family earnings which they would not have spent exclusively on themselves. Plus any services that they provided such as childcare, domestic assistance, gardening, or DIY.

In addition, under a fatal accident claim, there is a statutory sum for bereavement of £11,800.00 which is payable to the spouse of the deceased or to the parents of a deceased minor.

Who can make a fatal accident claim?

Claims can be brought by people who are related to the deceased in the following ways:

  • children
  • civil partners
  • grandchildren
  • grandparents
  • parents of victims who were under 18 years old
  • partners who have been co-habiting for over two years
  • spouses

Can you represent me at an inquest?

Our specialist solicitors have expertise in representing families that are pursuing a civil claim where there is to be an inquest. The same team will conduct the matter from initial instruction, during the inquest and to conclusion of the civil claim. We will provide you with continuity of solicitor and comprehensive advice on all aspects of the matter from start to finish.  You find out about our specialist inquest team here.

Why Hugh James?

Our expert fatal accident solicitors can help you through the difficult process of making a compensation claim so that you can ensure your financial stability while you cope with your devastating loss.

Our team has secured millions of pounds of compensation over the past 50 years or so for individuals and their families affected by fatal accidents.

We can also explore other ways to help you at this difficult time including:

  • Seeking interim payments where possible
  • Benefit advice
  • A free financial check-up
  • Financial planning

Our specialist team includes Solicitors Regulation Authority (personal Injury) Panel members and Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

If after talking to us you decide not to take matters further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our initial advice session.

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Your questions answered

In the vast majority of cases, our fatal accident claims are funded on a no win, no fee basis, which are known as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs).

This means that if your case is unsuccessful you will not have to pay anything. We will only take on your case if, after assessing your claim, we decide that there is a reasonable chance of success. Our initial consultation is free, so you won’t pay a penny if we don’t accept your case.

Only a small percentage of personal injury claims brought will actually proceed to trial though we do prepare every case in depth to make sure we are ready should it go to court.

The personal injury procedural system is geared towards encouraging parties to be open with each other so that any claims for compensation can be settled without the need for going to court, which can save both time and cost.

A lot of people are naturally nervous and uncomfortable about going to court. We understand this and will advise you every step of the way, should your case reach a trial.

There are strict time limits in personal injury claims. The usual rule is that a potential claimant has three years from the date of an accident within which to bring a claim for compensation.

The court does have the discretion to override the three year period, but it is not regularly exercised.

The three year time limit is slightly different in cases involving repetitive injuries and diseases.

There are two further points to note in respect of the limitation for bringing a personal injury claim and these relate to bringing a claim on behalf of a deceased person and bringing a claim on behalf of a minor (someone under 18).

  1. In the case of fatal accidents, the three year period will start to run from the date of death or when the death is linked to a particular incident or accident.
  2. In the case of minors, their three year limitation period will not start to run until their eighteenth birthday – therefore, their three year limitation period would not expire until their twenty-first birthday.

Although there is a three year period within which to bring court proceedings, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible should you believe you might have a claim.

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