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When someone dies as a result of another person or organisation’s negligence, a claim can be brought by members of the deceased’s family or dependants of the deceased.
A dependant is a person who relied on the deceased whilst they were alive to assist with financial matters. This includes spouses, civil partners, children of the deceased and people who lived with the deceased for at least two years prior to their death. Provided that an individual can successfully prove they required the help of the deceased for finances, they will be classed as a dependant.
There are a number of different heads of claim that can be made after someone has died as a result of another’s negligent act, one of which being bereavement damages. This is limited to only the spouse, civil partner or parent of the deceased (unless the person was over 18 at the date of their death). Bereavement damages of £15,120 are awarded in successful claims at court. There is a three-year time limit from the date of death for making this type claim.
Another type of award that could be granted is for pain and suffering. This relates to the length of time and level of pain suffered by the deceased prior to their death. Depending on the cause of death, such as an asbestos compensation claim where the individual had suffered a long illness and was required to stay in hospital on medication for many months, compensation awarded could be very high. For these sorts of claims, a three-year deadline starts on the date the deceased first became aware of their illness and made the connection between the illness and the conditions of their employment.
Under the Fatal Accident Act 1976, a dependency claim can be brought by those already mentioned, and if they can prove that they have or in the future would have received any form of benefit from the deceased, are entitled to claim. These claims are valued on a case-by-case basis and will look at how much the deceased contributed towards the dependant, whether that would have increased or decreased over time, had the deceased not passed away.
If the death was the result of crime, then, a claim may be made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Claims can be made to CICA even if the identity of the assailant is not known. The maximum amount that you can claim from CICA is £500,000. If a claim is to be made through the CICA, it must be done within two years of the date of the criminal incident.
At Ramsdens Solicitors, our Personal Injury solicitors have vast experience in assisting bereaved families in claims for bereavement awards. We also advocate for families at inquests, and therefore are experienced in helping families who have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence.
If you require advice following the death of a loved one, contact our Personal Injury solicitors for support on 0113 887 1834. Alternatively, you can make an enquiry using our online enquiry form, and we will be in touch when it is convenient for you.