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Death or injury of a family member

Accidents leading to the death of a family member can be devastating both emotionally and financially. If the accident was someone else’s fault it may be possible to claim compensation.

Regrettably fatal accidents can happen on the road or at work. Deaths on the road could include a driver passenger or pedestrian. Accidents at work leading to fatalities include falling from heights, electrocution and crushing and it is estimated that there are four deaths a week arising at work.

If the person killed was the main breadwinner, then the effects for the partner and family can be serious and a successful claim for compensation will be essential if the family left behind are going to have a chance of some semblance of financial security.

Different circumstances

Every claim is different of course and the compensation will vary from case to case. Many claims will take months to conclude where others can take much longer, it depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the responsibility for the same and of course the extent of the compensation claim itself.

The claim for compensation can include an amount for the pain and suffering of the deceased which might be limited depending on the actual circumstances and repayment of financial losses such as funeral costs. There will also be a bereavement award for the deceased’s spouse or parents. Cohabitee in long term (over two years) can claim as can partners in a Civil Partnership.

Anyone who can prove a financial dependency on the person who has been killed may be able to claim compensation. This may be obvious in the case of a widow or widower and young children but could include for example grandchildren dependent on a grandparent. That financial dependency can amount to a significant award of compensation.

There are time limits for making these claims and if you are in this awful position, you should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

Claims by family members

Family members can also make claims if someone is seriously injured in an accident. Indeed in the case of a brain damaged individual, the claim will have to be brought by a husband or wife or parent although the Official Solicitor (a statutory body) will also act in the event no member of the family can.

Claims for the seriously injured can include full or part time nursing care, adaptations to the home or alternative properties, loss of earnings and future loss of earnings and of course compensation for the injury itself. These sorts of awards can run into millions depending on the nature of the injury and the individual involved and the awards are closely monitored by the courts.

These sorts of claims can take some time to conclude and can be extremely complex so you should contact a solicitor if a member of your family has suffered life threatening injuries and has been left in an incapacitated state.

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