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Summary of Fatal Accident Claims

Summary of Fatal Accident Claims

Summary of Fatal Accident Claims

Losing a family member or close loved one is an extremely traumatic experience. Unfortunately, the loss of a family member can lead to financial distress and hardship.

Edwards Duthie Shamash have extensive experience in passionately helping the bereaved in taking a positive step by pursuing a fatal accident claim. Our aim is to remove any financial worries that you may have, by recovering compensation on your behalf as vigorously and speedily as possible. We handle fatal accident claims by way of a No Win, No Fee Agreement.

Cause of fatal accidents

Unfortunately, certain types of accident are more likely than others to cause fatal injuries. These usually include the following:

Edwards Duthie Shamash have extensive experience in handling fatal claims arising out of the above circumstances, and are passionate about recovering compensation on behalf of bereaved family members.

Relevant procedures

The area of fatal accident claims is wide and can be very complicated. The provision for compensation for fatal accidents is centred around two Acts of Parliament, the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 (“the 1934 Act”) and the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (“the 1976 Act”).

The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934

Claims under the 1934 Act are for the benefit of the deceased person’s estate. The Act applies when a person is seriously injured in an accident and survives but dies soon after. The Act includes claims for pain and suffering suffered by the deceased between the date of the accident and death. The amount of compensation in this regard will depend upon for how long the person lived after the accident. 

The other type of compensation to be awarded under the 1934 Act is for past losses which can include loss of earnings, care received, any hospital fees and expenses for aids and equipment. It is also possible to claim for funeral expenses under both the 1934 Act and the 1976 Act. However, double recovery is not allowed.

Fatal Accidents Act 1976

This Act basically allows a deceased’s loved one to claim for damages.

There are three general heads of loss under the 1976 Act, which are:

  1. Funeral expenses (if not claimed under the 1934 Act).
  2. Bereavement damages.
  3. Claims for loss of income and services dependency.

Bereavement Damages

There is a limited number of people who can claim bereavement damages. Essentially, this claim is limited to spouses or civil partners, parents in respect of the death of an unmarried minor child, and cohabitees by virtue of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020. Please note there is only one award which must be divided between the eligible claimants.  At present, the amount of the bereavement payment is £15,120.00. 

Claims for loss of income and services dependency

The above Act also sets out who is able to make a claim for compensation based on the simple fact that they were financially dependent on the deceased.

The people whom the Act defines as dependants can be as follows:

  • spouses
  • civil partners
  • cohabitees
  • former spouses or former civil partners

Cohabitees are included provided that the cohabitee and deceased lived together as husband and wife or civil partners for at least two years prior to the death. Also, parents, people treated as parents (including in-laws), children, and children treated as children of the deceased by reason of marriage or civil partnership are all potentially eligible to bring a claim under the above Act. Such claims can include:

  1. Loss of services. This will include compensation for services the deceased may have carried out for the family including DIY and gardening.
  1. Loss of earnings and loss of pension. A claim can be pursued for these losses from the date of the fatal accident up to the date of settlement. Future loss of earnings and pension loss can also be claimed for.

In terms of any dependency claim, the life expectancy of both the dependant and the deceased must be taken into account.  Dependency will only continue for as long as there is life expectancy of the dependant.

Time Limits

The general time limit for making a fatal accident claim against the responsible person or party is three years from the date of death. Exceptions to this rule may apply in relation to children. In any event, you are encouraged to contact Edwards Duthie Shamash as urgently as possible to obtain expert advice.

No Win, No Fee funding

We pursue all fatal claims by way of a No Win, No Fee Agreement. You are therefore able to commence a claim without the fear of paying expensive legal fees.

Reasons to choose Edwards Duthie Shamash

We have extensive experience in handling serious accidents that have led to fatal accident claims. We have obtained compensation on behalf of thousands of claimants. We handle such claims in a compassionate and diligent manner, and attempt to reduce any burden you are experiencing during an obviously traumatic period. 

For a free legal consultation, please contact us on 020 8514 9035 or email bw@edslaw.co.uk.

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