What To Do When Making A Fatal Car Accident Claim

When filing a fatal car accident claim, there are many factors to consider. In order for a claim to be valid, you’ll need to show that an act of negligence caused the death of your loved one. In this guide, we’ll discuss vital information relating to the claims process, as well as looking at how much you could receive in fatal car accident compensation.

When someone passes away as a result of negligence, they can claim compensation on behalf of the deceased. In some cases, certain relatives might be able to claim for the impact the death has had on them, too.

If you have been affected by a fatal car accident, you may be able to make a claim. Find out your eligibility by speaking to an advisor. They are on hand 24/7 and may be able to put you in touch with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. 

You can get in contact by:

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Fatal car accident claim

Fatal car accident claim guide

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Guidance On Making A Fatal Car Accident Claim

When making a fatal car accident claim, it is important that you can establish that a road user negligently, breached a duty of care that they owed to your loved one. This duty of care is set out in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the steps that you should take to protect other road users are set out in the Highway Code. If an act of negligence led to an accident that caused a fatal injury, you may have grounds for a valid claim.

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and the Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934 are the pieces of legislation that are relevant to fatal accident claims. These central pieces of legislation allow qualifying relatives and the estate of the deceased to claim if their loved one passes away because of negligence.

In order to claim under the Fatal Accidents Act, you must qualify as a dependent. A dependant could be: 

  • A current or former spouse or civil partner
  • A parent or guardian of the deceased
  • A child or step-child of the deceased
  • A sibling of the deceased, or their children
  • Someone who lived with the deceased as their spouse for two years before their death

Get in touch for a free consultation. Our advisors could determine whether you are eligible to make a fatal accident claim and if so, may connect you to a solicitor from our panel.

Calculating Compensation For A Car Accident

When calculating compensation for fatal car accident compensation, legal professionals use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication offers compensation ranges for physical and psychological injuries based on the outcome of previous successful personal injury cases. We refer to the head of your claim that relates to your injuries as general damages.

Using the 16th edition of the JCG, we are able to create the table below that you can use to see how much you could be owed. Please remember that the compensation amounts featured below are just guidelines.

Reason for CompensationCompensation AmountNotes
Fatality plus add on claimsUp to £550,000 and overThis bracket compensates for any losses and pain and suffering.
Tetraplegia (also known as Quadriplegia)£324,600 to £403,990The amount that is awarded will depend on a number of factors, for example, the presence of pain.
Very Severe Injury Resulting from Brain Damage£282,010 to £403,990Reliance on full-time care and no meaningful response to environment.
Paraplegia£219,070 to £284,260The award within this bracket is influenced by the age of the deceased, among other factors.
Moderately Severe Injury Resulting from Brain Damage£219,070 to £282,010
A person’s life expectancy following the injury will be one of the factors that determines the award given in this bracket.
Severe Psychiatric Damage£54,830 to £115,730The prognosis is poor and the injured person is unable to cope with education, work and relationships.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder£59,860 to £100,670All factors of the injures person's ability to cope with life are badly impacted.

You may also want to claim other costs that you’ve incurred, such as:

  • The cost of a funeral
  • If you were dependent on the deceased, you might be able to claim a financial dependency award
  • A loss of consortium would take into account any losses that can’t be quantified in a financial manner, such as the loss of companionship from losing a partner 
  • A loss of services, like if the deceased took children to and from sports practices

Under Section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, you could claim £15,120 as a bereavement award. However, this is only available to spouses, civil partners and the parents of unmarried minors. 

Our panel of solicitors are experienced in these kinds of claims and could give you a more accurate estimation of what you might receive in a payout for a car accident.

Explaining Car Accidents 

Unfortunately, there are many ways a fatal car accident may happen. However, in order to be eligible to claim on the behalf of someone who is deceased, a third party must have owed the deceased a legal duty of care.

If a road user acts negligently and breaches a duty of care, resulting in the death of your loved one, you may have grounds for a valid claim.

Below are some example scenarios that could result in you making a fatal car accident claim. The defendant may have:

  • Driven under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or excessive prescription medication, meaning that they were not able to stop at a red light and hit a pedestrian as they passed. 
  • Not been paying attention, meaning that they pull out of a side road when it’s not safe to do so and collide with a car travelling down the road. 
  • Changed lanes without signalling, causing a crash with a car that had right of way.

If a driver’s carelessness or reckless behaviour has resulted in an accident that claimed the life of your loved one, you understandably may want to seek compensation. Our panel of solicitors want to help you claim the maximum compensation. Speak to an advisor to find out if we could help you.

What Could Lead To A Fatal Car Accident Claim?

There are several steps you can take after an accident that can support a personal injury claim for compensation.

We say this because, under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for starting a fatal car accident claim is generally 3 years from the date of your loved one’s death or from the date you established a third party’s negligence caused the death. The latter could be the date of a post-mortem or inquiry, for example. 

Some of the evidence you could provide might include:

  • CCTV footage or dashcam footage that shows the incident taking place
  • Police reports
  • Medical records

If you are eligible to work with us, our panel of solicitors could help you collect the evidence needed to make a fatal car accident claim. Get in touch today for free legal advice.

Can I Start A No Win No Fee Agreement?

We understand that funding legal representation could put people off the process of claiming. While you don’t need to work with a lawyer to secure compensation, the support, guidance and knowledge that they offer can be extremely valuable in the claims process. 

However, with a No Win No Fee agreement, you don’t have to worry about any costs until after making a claim. Below, we explain how this kind of agreement works:

  • No Win No Fee solicitors require no upfront fees or ongoing legal costs
  • You’ll pay a legally capped fee from your compensation if your claim is successful
  • You won’t pay for your solicitor’s services if your claim is unsuccessful

A personal injury solicitor from our panel can work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis. If you’d like to know more, get in touch with us today. 

Get Advice On Making A Fatal Car Accident Claim

Our advisors are on hand 24/7 to help you with any questions you might have regarding a fatal car accident claim. We can arrange a free consultation of your claim without any obligation to use our services afterwards. 

You can speak to an advisor by:

  • Calling the phone number featured in the banner at the top of this page
  • Using our live chat function to get an instant response
  • Requesting a call back by visiting our contact page

More Information On Making A Fatal Car Accident Claim

Ahead of making a fatal car accident claim, you might find the following resources useful.

Accident and emergency services – Find NHS A&E services near you. 

Information and advice after a road death – Guidance for people bereaved after losing someone in a road crash from Brake.

Road accidents and safety statistics – The latest government statistics on road accidents.

You might also be interested in reading more of our guides.

That concludes our guide on making a fatal car accident claim. If you have any more questions, please get in touch. 

Writer Lewis Jackson

Publisher Fern Stewart