Fatality Claims & Inquests
The loss of a loved one to a fatal accident is undoubtedly one of the most difficult experiences that a person can face. The extent of the grief and pain felt by relatives of the victim cannot be adequately described in words. It may therefore seem distasteful to even discuss the idea of monetary compensation in the aftermath of such a catastrophe.
However, it is important that bereaved relatives are aware of their rights. The regrettable fact is that most families not only suffer emotionally from the loss of the deceased but it can also have a devastating financial consequence.
What can you claim?
In a fatal accident claim you can pursue a claim on behalf of the estate for funeral expenses and for any injury sustained, for example if the deceased lives for a period of time before passing away, the estate can be compensated for the deceased’s pain and suffering.
‘Bereavement Damages’ is the payment fixed by law for the grief and trauma suffered when someone dies due to the actions of someone else. It is currently a fixed amount but it is important to know it is only available to a very limited number of claimants. Your exact situation will need to be looked at but it is usually limited to the Husband or Wife or Civil Partner. There are other possible circumstances to be aware of:
• If you were an unmarried couple and were together for more than two years you should be able to claim under the Human Rights Act
• Where the person who has died is under eighteen years of age – and they are not married – then a parent may receive any bereavement payment.
'Dependency Claim' - This can be brought by a person who financially depended on the deceased such as spouse or children. An income dependency claim is the claim for the financial support that those with a close connection to the person who died had a ‘reasonable expectation’ of receiving. This looks at the likely income the person that has died would have earned for the rest of their life - including for example, any future promotions or any pension provisions. It then assesses how much of that money would have been spent in providing for close family. Expert legal advice can help you understand this.
Often the person who died did far more for the people they loved than simply contribute financially. A service dependency claim recognises the financial value of the help and support that the person who died would have continued to provide to family members. Typical examples include childcare, help with homework, taxi service, help with shopping, cooking and other housework, decorating, DIY, car maintenance and gardening.
For immediate, compassionate and free advice contact our Personal Injury Team who are ready to help you. 01392 209209.
Roger Henderson - 01392 209218.