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Can you claim for Personal Injury Compensation if someone has died?

Posted on 18th July 2018

Losing a family members or loved one is clearly difficult. When someone who has a claim for compensation as a result the common question which we get asked is can we still pursue a claim for compensation. There are usually two scenarios:

  1. The individual may have be involved in a fatal accident
  2. They have passed away during the course of a personal injury claim

When an individual has already started a claim for personal injury but then passes away, it does not mean the claim is lost. It is possible for the Estate of the deceased to continue the claim on behalf of the Estate under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934.

Who can bring the claim?

Those who are entitled to claim will include:

  • If there is a Will – those named executors will be entitled to bring the claim
  • If there is no Will – the closest relative under Section 46 of the Administration of Estates Act 1945. This may include spouse, parents, children or brothers and sisters.

How can the claim be valued?

Usually, if there is a medical report on file the claim may be valued easily. If medical evidence was not finalised, then medical records may need to be obtained and the parties will need to reach an agreement for an appropriate value of the claim.

Under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1954 you will be entitled to claim for the following:

  1. General Damages: this will be for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (loss of physical or mental capacity to things they used to) of the deceased. The claim will be limited from the date of the accident to the date of death.
  2. Special Damages: these are financial losses which the deceased incurred following the accident and up until the date of death. This may include loss of earnings, travel expenses, medication costs, property damage, care claim etc.

Once an agreement has been reached on the value of the claim and settlement is finalised, payment will be made for the Estate.

In the case where an individual lost their life as a result of an accident. This could be a fatal road traffic accident or a fatal accident at work. It is possible for the Estate of the deceased to make a claim for personal injury under the Fatal Accident Act 1976.

What can be claimed for under the Act?

  1. Compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity – The dependant can claim for compensation for pain and suffering of the deceased, a bereavement award and financial losses such as funeral expenses.
  2. Bereavement award – This is a fixed sum of £12,890.00 for deaths after 1st April 2013. The only people entitled to this award would include a wife or husband or civil partner of the deceased or in respect of a deceased unmarried child under 18, between the parents or to the mother.
  3. Dependency claim – It will apply when calculating if a dependant relied on the deceased financially prior to death, for example on their income. When a Judge considers this head of loss they will consider the likely income and how much would have been spent on the dependant.
  4. Funeral expenses – This will include reasonable expenses.

Inquest

When a fatal accident happens, an Inquest will take place to establish the cause of death.

It is sensible to seek legal advice when a death occurs of a loved one where you are seeking to pursue a personal injury claim to take the burden off you during such a difficult time.

If your loved one died as a result of a personal injury and you require a legal  assistance, we offer free initial consultation. You can contact us on 0800 437 0322 or if your prefer to email, please use our contact form.

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