How To Claim Compensation For A Fatal Accident At Work
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident at work, you may be wondering whether you could claim on their behalf. Within this guide, we will discuss the specific eligibility criteria that must be met to be eligible to make a fatal accident claim.
Additionally, we will discuss who could make a claim on behalf of the deceased’s for their pain and suffering and who could claim compensation for the impact the death has had on them. This guide will also explain the time limits that must be adhered to and the evidence that could be used to support a fatal workplace accident claim.
Furthermore, we will look at how compensation payouts for a successful fatal workplace accident claim are calculated and what they could comprise. This guide will end by looking at how one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you with making a fatal injury at work claim.
If you have any questions about the claims process for fatal accidents at work or would like to receive free advice for your specific case, you can contact a member of our advisory team. They can offer free legal advice and can be reached by:
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- What Is The Eligibility Criteria For Fatal Accident Claims?
- Who Could Claim Compensation For A Fatal Accident At Work?
- How Much Fatal Accident Compensation Could Be Awarded?
- Evidence That Could Help Support A Claim For Compensation For Fatal Injuries
- Claim For A Fatal Accident At Work On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Learn More About Fatal Accident At Work Claims
All employers have a legal obligation to take reasonable and practicable steps to ensure their employees’ health and safety and prevent them from becoming injured while they work and in the workplace. This is known as their duty of care, and it is set out within the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. If a fatal accident occurs in the workplace because an employer breached the duty of care they owed, it might be possible to seek compensation.
If someone you were close to died in a fatal accident at work, you would need to be able to prove the following in order to make a fatal injury claim and seek compensation for them:
- The deceased’s employer must have owed them a duty of care.
- The employer breached their duty of care.
- Due to this breach, the deceased was fatally injured.
The above points form the basis of negligence in personal injury claims. This needs to be proven for a claim to be valid.
Examples Of Fatal Accidents At Work
There are various ways that fatal work accidents could occur due to employer negligence. Some examples may include:
- Forklift accident – No training was given to an employee before they were instructed to use a forklift by their employer. As a result, they lost control of the vehicle and crashed causing them to sustain fatal injuries.
- Fall at work – An employer may have suffered a fatal head injury when they fell from a height due to the employer failing to address the risks involved with working from a height. For example, they may have failed to put up safety guards on scaffolding.
- Burn at work – The employer failed to provide their employee with sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) before asking them to handle dangerous chemicals. Due to this, they suffer a fatal burn injury.
If your loved one died in a fatal accident at work, and you would like to know whether you could start a claim for compensation for them, contact one of our advisors.
If a loved one was involved in a fatal accident at work, it may be possible for you to seek compensation for their pain and suffering on their behalf. However, you need to prove employer negligence resulted in the fatal workplace accident.
Under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934, the estate of the deceased can bring forward a claim on the deceased’s behalf for their pain and suffering.
Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA), a dependant can claim for the impact the death has had on them.
Who Is Entitled To Claim As A Dependent In Fatal Accident Claims?
Under the FAA, the following qualify as a dependent, and they can claim for how the deceased’s death has impacted them.
- A current or former husband, wife, or civil partner.
- A parent (or anybody who was treated as one).
- Somebody who was living with the deceased as a spouse for at least 2 years before their death, was living with the deceased in the same household immediately before the date of death, was living during the whole of that period as the husband, wife, or civil partner of the deceased.
- Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins of the deceased.
- Children of the deceased or anyone treated as one, such as a former or current stepchild.
If you are unsure whether you qualify as a dependent, contact a member of our team today.
Time Limits For Fatal Accident Claims
When making a fatal accident at work claim on behalf of a loved one, there is a time limit in place in which legal proceedings must begin. Generally, this is three years starting from the date of death.
Alternatively, the time limit may begin three years from the date of knowledge. This is the date you first realise that the deceased’s death was caused by their employer breaching their duty of care. It can be formed from the date of a postmortem or inquest.
If you have any questions regarding how long after a fatal accident at work you can make a claim, you can contact one of our advisors.
As we have previously stated, the deceased’s estate can make a compensation claim for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced prior to their death due to their fatal injury.
When calculating the value of compensation in this instance, reference can be made to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document lists various injuries and differing severity levels and assigns them guideline compensation brackets. It is used alongside medical evidence for valuing injuries in various types of claims, including those for fatal accidents.
Below, we have created a table using the guideline compensation amounts listed in the JCG. Please note that these are guideline figures and not guarantees. Also, the top entry is not from the JCG.
|Death with add on claims
|Up to £550,000 and more
|This figure can include compensation paid for pain, discomfort and suffering as well as payments relating to dependency such as lost earnings and loss of services.
|£324,600 to £403,990
|The amount awarded will be influenced by different factors, such as the person's age.
|£219,070 to £284,260
|Factors such as the person's age, life expectancy, extent of pain experienced and degree of independence will impact the amount awarded.
|Brain Damage - Very Severe
|£282,010 to £403,990
|Little or no evidence of a response to their environment that is meaningful and requiring full time nursing care, with issues such as double incontinence.
|Psychiatric Damage - Severe
|£54,830 to £115,730
|A very poor prognosis and marked problems with different areas of life.
|PTSD - Severe
|£59,860 to £100,670
|Where symptoms of PTSD will severely affect all aspects of the person's life.
|Death with full awareness
|£12,540 to £23,810
|Where death occurs within a matter of weeks up to 3 months but the person will have been fully aware of their injuries before falling unconscious.
What Else Could Your Fatal Accident Compensation Amount Consist Of?
Compensation payouts awarded in a successful claim for a fatal accident at work can also include:
- Funeral costs.
- Loss of services, such as helping with DIY at home or caring for children. This can cover future losses as well as any while the deceased was injured.
- Financial dependency. It may be possible to receive compensation for the loss of the dependent’s earnings, pension, or benefits if you relied upon them.
- Loss of a special person. This is compensation that covers factors such as loss of companionship.
Certain qualifying relatives could also be entitled to receive a bereavement award as per Section 1A of the FAA. This is set as a lump sum of £15,120, and can be awarded to or split between the following:
- The wife, husband, or civil partner of the deceased.
- A cohabiting partner of the deceased.
- The parents of the deceased if they were an unmarried minor, or the mother if the deceased was an unmarried minor born out of wedlock.
For more information about claiming compensation following the death of a loved one, you can contact a member of our advisory team.
When making a fatal accident claim on behalf of a loved one, you will need to provide evidence that shows they suffered their fatal injuries due to their employer breaching the duty of care they owed them.
Examples of evidence you could collect when claiming after a fatal accident occurs in the workplace include:
- CCTV footage of the accident taking place.
- The deceased’s medical records stating their fatal injuries.
- The findings of the coroner’s report or inquest.
- Witness contact details from the deceased’s colleagues or anybody else who witnessed the fatal workplace accident taking place. Statements can be taken from them at a later date.
- A copy of the accident report form, or Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. The HSE is the regulator of workplace health and safety in Great Britain. Certain accidents and injuries need to be reported to them and investigations may take place to understand how the accident happened and to help workplaces implement measures to prevent it from happening in the future.
One of our specialist solicitors could help you with gathering evidence when making a fatal accident at work claim on behalf of a loved one. Contact our team of advisors today to see how they can help you today.
When making a claim for a fatal accident at work on behalf of a loved one, you may wish to obtain legal support. One of our solicitors who is experienced with claims for fatal accidents at work caused by employer negligence could help you with yours.
Additionally, our solicitors can represent your claim and provide their helpful services via No Win No Fee terms under a contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement. With this type of contract in place, you will be able to access your solicitor’s services without having to pay them anything upfront. Furthermore, you will not be required to pay them for their work while the claim is progressing or if it ends unsuccessfully.
If compensation is successfully awarded to you, your solicitor will deduct a small success fee from this. There is a legal cap in place for the percentage that this fee can be, which helps ensure that you keep the majority of the compensation awarded.
Contact Our Team Today About Claims For Fatal Workplace Accidents
If you have lost a loved one, such as a family member, in a fatal accident at work, and would like to learn more about the fatal accident claim process, you can contact a member of our advisory team.
They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help answer your questions and offer you free legal advice. Additionally, they may also connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors who have experience helping eligible fatal accident claimants.
To connect with them today, you can:
Additional guides by us regarding accident at work claims:
- Information regarding your rights after an accident at work and when you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim.
- Information on what to do after an accident at work and when you could be owed compensation.
- Guidance on warehouse accident claims and when you could claim compensation.
Further information and resources:
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Helpful statistics on work-related fatal injuries in Great Britain.
- GOV.UK – Guidance on what to do after a death and bereavement from the government.
- NHS – Advice on dealing with grief after bereavement or loss from the NHS.
To see if you could claim compensation on behalf of a loved one following a fatal accident at work, contact a member of our advisory team.