Fatal Accidents and Fatal Illnesses

Fatal Accidents and Fatal Illnesses

Losing a loved one is a devastating and traumatic event, but what happens if that tragic loss was caused by an accident that could have been avoided? In many cases, you may be entitled to compensation, especially if you were financially dependent on the deceased.

Whilst money can never truly compensate for the death of a loved one, it can sometimes help with the financial pressures and hardships often caused by the loss of a family member. As well as claiming for any financial difficulties you are experiencing, you may also be able to claim for your emotional suffering and other non-financial losses.

We know what a distressing time this is and how the thought of trying to pursue compensation for a fatal accident can seem confusing and intimidating, on top of everything you are already dealing with. Our aim, therefore, is to make it as simple, swift and straightforward as possible for you to secure a fair settlement.

Our solicitors have experience with even the most complex and contentious claims and can usually secure settlements out-of-court, saving you time and stress, as well as keeping your legal fees to a minimum.

We combine a sensitive, compassionate approach with clear, pragmatic legal advice, helping you to get the best settlement available while making the claims process as painless as possible for you.

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Our expertise in fatal accident claims

We can support you with all types of fatal accident claims, including:

  • Fatal road accidents
  • Fatal workplace accidents
  • Death due to medical negligence
  • Fatal criminal injury claims

Our team is accredited by the Law Society for Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, reflecting our leading expertise in these areas.

Our solicitors include members of APIL (the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) and have been recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, the leading client guides to the legal profession.

Time limits for fatal accident claims

You will normally have 3 years from the date of death to make a claim for fatal accident compensation.

However, if you only found out later than someone else’s negligence or deliberate action may have been responsible for your loved one’s death, the 3-year time limit may sometimes be counted from this point instead.

There may also be other circumstances that can affect the time limit for making a fatal accident claim, so we strongly recommend getting in touch with our solicitors as soon as possible, no matter how long ago the accident occurred.

No win, no fee fatal accident claims

We support most of our personal injury clients using no win, no fee agreements. This means you do not normally need to pay anything to start a fatal accident claim with IBB Claims and will only need to contribute towards our legal fees if we recover compensation for you.

In the event of a successful claim, our fees will be based on a percentage of the damages won. This means you will always keep the majority of your compensation and there is no danger of our costs outweighing the benefit you will receive.

Your first meeting will be free of charge and we will explain how no win, no fee works in more detail. That way you will have all of the information you need to decide how to move forward before making a commitment.

Fatal accident claims FAQs​

Who can make a fatal accident claim?

To be eligible to claim compensation for a fatal accident you will generally need to be one of the following:

  • The deceased’s spouse or civil partner
  • The deceased’s child
  • The deceased’s parent or other close relative
  • Anyone else who was dependant on the deceased

How much compensation can you claim for a fatal accident?

This will entirely depend on the circumstances and is likely to be substantial given the seriousness of the claim. Our fatal accident lawyers can provide a realistic estimate of your claim’s potential value, giving you a clear idea of what you may be able to achieve.

The ultimate value of your claim will depend on various factors, including:

  • Whether the defendant admits/is found to have full or partial liability for your loved one’s death
  • Any financial losses you have experienced due to your loved one’s death e.g. loss of their income that you were dependent on
  • Other specific costs you have incurred e.g. funeral costs
  • Non-financial losses e.g. if your loved one provided your main means of transport

Specific claims you can make include:

  • Bereavement payments
  • Loss of parental services
  • Loss of financial dependency
  • Funeral costs

Do you need to go to court to claim fatal accident compensation?

In the vast majority of cases, we are able to secure compensation for fatal accidents without the need for you to attend a court hearing. This helps you to avoid the stress and uncertainty of court proceedings, as well as usually allowing your claim to be handled faster and with lower legal costs.

However, due to the serious nature of fatal accident claims, they tend to have a high value and are often therefore vigorously contested by the defendant. It is therefore possible that a court hearing will be needed to achieve a fair result.

Fortunately, our lawyers are highly experienced in pursuing fatal accident claims through the courts, so can offer the expertise and skilled advocacy you need to secure the best available result, no matter how your claim progresses.

How long does it take to get compensation for fatal accident?

This will entirely depend on the circumstances, including whether the defendant is willing to admit liability and whether the claim can be settled out of court or if court proceedings are required.

It is important to understand that fatal accident claims are complex, so are unlikely to be resolved within a matter of months. It is not uncommon for claims to take eighteen months or more to be concluded.

Generally, claims can be resolved faster if they are settled out of court through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution. However, we will also pursue the approach we feel gives you the best chance of securing the best available settlement.

Will an inquest award compensation?

Inquests have no power to award compensation, so you will need to make a separate civil claim to secure compensation for a fatal accident.

What can I do if I am unhappy with the settlement I received for a fatal accident claim?

If you have accepted a settlement for a fatal accident claim under advice from another law firm and now believe your claim may have been worth more, please get in touch.

Our team can provide an independent assessment of how much we believe your claim should have been worth. This will give you a vital second opinion, so you can get a clearer idea of whether your claim may have been under-settled.

If your claim was under-settled due to bad advice from your previous solicitors, you may be able to make a professional negligence claim against them. This can allow you to recover the difference between the compensation you received and what you were truly entitled to.

Our Head of Catastrophic Injury, Keith Thomas, has particular experience with under-settlement of serious injury claims, having been instructed by the Official Solicitor in professional negligence claims against other solicitors for the mishandling of serious injury claims.

Why use our fatal accident solicitors?

We have decades of experience handling the most serious personal injury claims, including fatal accident claims. As a result, we know exactly what is needed to secure a settlement, so can ensure all of the relevant facts are included in your claim and properly supported with the right evidence. That way, you have the best chance of achieving a fair outcome for you and your loved ones.

We have been awarded the Law Society’s Lexcel Quality Mark in recognition of the high legal standards we maintain and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This regulation involves frequent assessments to ensure we continue to meet the strictest professional standards.

  • Malcolm Underhill
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  • Simon Pimlott
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  • Jacqueline Almond
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  • Rachel Green
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