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Fatal Injury Claims - Fatal Injury Compensation

The death of a loved one in a fatal accident is probably one of the most traumatic events any of us will ever have to deal with.

Sadly people do die in accidents and if the death arose as a result of someone else’s fault then the family of the deceased may be able to make a fatal injury compensation claim.

Making a fatal injury claim will understandably not be the first thing loved ones think of following a fatal accident, but in some cases the financial assistance that can be obtained from pursuing a claim becomes a necessity particularly if a child is left without a parent or the family are left without a partner / spouse and even more so if that person was the major breadwinner.

Fatal accidents can arise at work, as a result of road accidents, through disease or as a result of clinical negligence.

As specialist solicitors who are extremely well versed in the law relating to fatal accidents we will deal with your case sensitively and with professionalism.

As well as assisting with your compensation claim we as a firm can also provide expert advice on state benefits and statutory bereavement awards, refer you to our in- house probate department for assistance with your loved one’s estate and help you with any inquest that may be necessary by dealing with the police and coroner on your behalf.

We can also attend the inquest and put questions to the witnesses on your behalf should you wish.

However as with any legal matter there are areas in which fatal injury claims can become confusing for those who sadly have to contemplate bringing a claim. One such is who exactly qualifies as a dependant of the deceased?

This is governed by the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and is a ‘fixed list’ which rather sadly excludes those who common sense may say are dependants.

Who then is a Dependant?

In a nutshell:

  • A wife or husband, or former wife or husband of the deceased, the civil partner or former civil partner of the deceased
  • Any person living with the deceased in the same household immediately before the date of death AND had been living with the deceased in the same household for at least two years before that date AND was living during the whole of that period as the husband or wife or civil partner of the deceased
  • Any parent or other ascendant of the deceased
  • Any person who was treated by the deceased as his parent
  • Any child or other descendant of the deceased
  • Any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of marriage and/or civil partnership to which the deceased was at any time a party was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that marriage/civil partnership.
  • Any person who is, or is the issue of, a brother, sister, uncle, or aunt of the deceased.
  • Parent’s in law can also be dependants.

Who is not a Dependant?

  • Cohabitees living together who do not satisfy the two year rule.
  • Children who were not of the deceased but who were supported by the deceased while he or she was in a marriage- like relationship with their parent.
  • Children otherwise supported by the deceased.
  • Certain categories of distant relatives. However the law currently states that they are not.
  • It follows therefore that practical problems can often arise with those who do not meet the two year rule and with those children of cohabitees, who, no matter the length or strength of a relationship do not fall within the Fatal Accident Act definition.

    We would always advise that in any case involving a fatal accident, whether arising as a result of a road accident, disease, accident at work or through clinical negligence, that legal advice is sought, and should you choose us to help and assist, you can rest assured that we will deal with your claim with professionalism and sensitivity whilst fighting for the best interests of you and your family.

    Should you like our assistance or for further information please contact us via our online claim form, request a callback, or call our friendly specialists on 0800 085 3627.