If you have lost a loved one in an accident due to the fault of a third party, then our lawyers at Pickering & Butters are ready to help with a caring, professional service.
We know that all the compensation in the world will not bring back the person you lost, but it could make life a bit easier while you grieve and adjust to life without them.
You no doubt have lots of questions, such as what you can claim for, how much you can claim, who you will claim against, and how the process works.
We can answer all your questions and help you take your claim forward. You won’t have to worry about a thing. We will handle the process from start-to-finish so you and your family can focus on supporting each other through this difficult time.
Free initial interview
Set up a free initial interview with our friendly team. We can see you either at our offices or visit you at home or in hospital at a time to suit you. We can talk through what happened, discuss the likely outcome of your claim and let you know whether you have a good chance of success.
There is no obligation to take your compensation claim forward with us after this meeting if you decide it is not right for you.
Remember, your right to make a claim may be subject to a strict time cut-off, so it is never too early to act.
Call our fatal accident claims solicitors, let us put your mind at rest
How our fatal accident claims lawyers can help
Losing someone close to you in an accident can be a traumatic experience. We understand that you may be feeling overwhelmed at the moment and potentially very worried about finances.
When a person dies in an accident that was caused by someone else, their family may be entitled to claim compensation for grief and to cover financial loss.
Our personal injury solicitors can support you during this difficult time. Our highly skilled team have decades of experience helping people claim the compensation they need to restore their quality of life.
As well as practical legal advice, we are also here to provide a listening ear and emotional support.
We specialise in strategic negotiation, so it is very rare that our clients need to go to court. In the vast majority of cases, we are able to negotiate a suitable settlement amicably without issuing legal proceedings or advancing to a full trial.
However, if out-of-court settlement is not possible, for example, because the responsible party will not agree to pay the level of compensation you need, we can help you take your claim to court.
Our Personal Injury team help people who have lost loved ones in all kinds of accidents, including:
- Road traffic accidents, such as car accidents, motorbike accidents, cyclist accidents and pedestrian accidents
- Accidents at work
- Accidents in public places
- Slips, trips and falls
- Medical negligence
- Criminal assault
We can also provide legal support during any inquest proceedings into the accident and death.
Who can make a fatal accident claim?
There are two main groups who can make a fatal accident claim:
- Dependants of the deceased (such as their spouse or children)
- The deceased’s ‘estate’ – the deceased’s beneficiaries
In many cases, the people who fall under these groups are the same. For example, a deceased person’s spouse can be a dependant and is also likely to inherit under their estate.
Dependants of the deceased can include:
- Spouses and civil partners
- Ex-spouses and civil partners
- Children and stepchildren
- Parents and grandparents
What can you claim fatal accident compensation for?
The estate can claim fatal accident compensation for things like:
- The financial consequences of the accident while the deceased was still alive, such as:
- Funeral costs
- Medical costs
- Costs of care
- Loss of the deceased’s income
- Reasonable expenses
- The pain and suffering and loss of amenity of the deceased prior to their death.
Dependants under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 can also claim compensation to maintain the same standard of living they would have enjoyed had the deceased person not had the accident and passed away.
To work out how much money the dependants should receive, the court considers things like:
- The deceased’s income and financial resources, such as pensions entitlements, investments and employment benefits.
- How long the deceased would have been likely to provide for the dependants, taking into account the deceased’s age at death, expected retirement age and their profession.
- Any reasonable adjustments that should be made depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, if the deceased had young children, they may adjust compensation to provide for things like childcare and housekeeping costs.
You may also be entitled to claim a sum of money called a Statutory Award for Bereavement. This is in addition to any other compensation you can claim but is only available to spouses or parents of a deceased child. The current bereavement award is £12,980.
How long do you have to make a fatal accident claim?
We understand that getting involved in legal action soon after losing someone can feel overwhelming. However, there are strict deadlines involved in making personal injury claims, so it is important to act fast. If you miss the deadline, you could be prevented from claiming compensation.
Where someone has died of a personal injury, you have three years from the date of death to make your claim. This includes if a person has an accident and dies within three years – the three year clock resets from the date of death.
Unfortunately, if a person has an accident and dies of their injuries more than three years later but had not started a personal injury claim, you may be out of time to make a claim. However, it is always worth seeking advice because there may be circumstances that allow you make a claim anyway, for example, if the deceased lacked mental capacity before they died or if the court gives permission for a claim to proceed.
Why choose our fatal accident compensation claim solicitors?
Our Litigation and Personal Injury team is headed by James Wallbank who has over 15 years’ experience working within our firm.
The team also includes Managing Partner, Jan Boulter, who has over 20 years’ experience specialising in personal injury compensation claims.
Here are just a few reasons to choose our dedicated team for your compensation claim:
- We are friendly, sensitive and approachable. We will always work hard to create a warm safe environment where you can feel comfortable to talk about what happened and invest your trust in us.
- We will always be honest about your prospects for success and how much compensation you may be able to claim. That way, you can make informed decisions about whether to move forwards.
- We avoid legal jargon, ensuring our advice is always clear and simple to understand. Where we cannot avoid using legal language, we will always explain exactly what we mean and are always available to answer questions by direct call and email.
- Our goal is to secure the best possible settlement for you. Most of the time we are able to do this without getting involved in a lengthy legal battle, but we will never encourage you to settle for less than you deserve if going to court would likely achieve the better outcome.
- We can offer you a free initial interview to discuss your matter and how it has affected you and your family. This conversation is no obligation, so you don’t have to move forwards with us if you decide we are not the best personal injury lawyers for you.
- We can offer a range of flexible funding options to help you make your claim without breaking the bank. This includes No Win-No Fee claims (also known as Conditional Fee Arrangements). This means you pay nothing up front and only have to pay our fees if you win compensation.