How your solicitor should handle a fatal accident claim


A fatal accident is one of the most traumatic experiences that can happen in a person’s life and it can affect an entire family forever. This is why it is important to opt for a solicitor who you know will be able to handle your accident claim in the most professional, transparent and caring way.

Fatal accident claims and the law

According to the Fatal Accident Act 1976, the dependents of the person who has passed away are entitled to compensation if the cause of their death was the result of someone else’s error or negligence. As outlined in this Act, a defendant is:

  • A spouse or ex-spouse
  • A person who was cohabiting with the deceased as husband and wife or civil partner at least two years before their death.
  • Organ/nerve damage
  • Blood children and other descendants, i.e., adopted children or children through marriage or civil partnership.
  • Parents or ascendants including grandparents, great grandparents or those treated by the deceased as a parent.
  • Brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

What compensation you can claim for

Of course, every fatal accident claim is different meaning that the exact compensation you receive will depend on a number of circumstances. In most cases, a fatal accident will allow you to claim for the following:

  • Pain and loss of amenity of the deceased: for example, if death was preceded by a disease or if the deceased was bed-ridden because of an accident caused by negligence.
  • Actual losses: expenditures incurred from caring for the injured person (such as hospital expenses, nursing care, and medicine), administrative expenses involved in dealing with their estate and funeral costs.
  • Loss of earnings: in the case that death was not immediate, this covers the loss of earnings while the deceased was alive but unable to work.
  • Loss of services: compensation for the loss of services that the deceased provided such as childcare, gardening, and other DIY chores.
  • Losses for dependency: in the case that the deceased is survived by family members who relied on his/her income. The amount will vary depending on the deceased’s income, but loss of pension and other allowances are often taken into account.

Why you should hire a solicitor

The legal process involved in dealing with a fatal accident can be complex and filing a claim when you are still grieving can make it even more challenging. Answering numerous questions about the loved one you’ve just lost can be an arduous process, so it is always advised to hire a solicitor who will understand the sensitivity needed for such cases.

At Ronald Fletcher & Co, we have the experience of dealing with fatal accident cases including road traffic accidents, medical negligence, workplace accidents, defective or unsafe products and unsafe premises. As probate solicitors in London, we can also assist with Wills, Personal Injury claims, and issues surrounding property.