8.5 | 117 Reviews
Call us
0151 550 5228
Track Your Claim

Fatal Work Accidents

Your guide to making a claim for a fatal accident at work.

A photo of Mrs Swaffield

I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Claiming for a fatal work accident

Thankfully, fatal accidents are rare in the UK and the rate of fatal injury is now the lowest in Europe. However, construction, manufacturing and agriculture continue to produce more fatal accidents than other UK industries.

Finding out what went wrong at work and why a fatal injury happened are almost always the first questions asked by the family of the deceased. Coming to terms with the sudden loss of a loved one is an enormous challenge and there may not be a clear explanation from the employer as to the exact circumstances of the accident. In some instances, a denial of responsibility can add to the harm and stress of a grieving family, who are also likely to have to attend an Inquest to determine how the death occurred.

No amount of compensation can replace the loss of a family member and there can often be an enormous emotional hurdle to overcome before even taking the decision to seek legal advice.

At Your Legal Friend, our dedicated team of specialist solicitors has over 30 years of experience in successfully resolving many different types of personal injury and fatal accident cases. Our sensitive approach means we work with you to understand how everyone involved is affected, how we can construct the best possible claim for you and how we can help you secure crucial financial assistance during a most difficult time.

Read less

Watch some helpful related videos

Our expert team will call you...

Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury leads our Personal Injury and Road Accident teams.   A fully qualified solicitor with over 15 years of experience and expertise, Alison is dedicated to achieving the highest levels of compensation for her clients as well as ensuring high-quality client care.

Fatal work accident claims team

Alison is assisted by her team managers, Philip Waters Lee Quinn, Jenna Hargreaves, and Kathryn Langton.  Philip, Lee, and Jenna lead legal teams focussing on Road Traffic Accident cases while Kathyrn leads our Personal Injury team.  Together they have a wealth of experience in personal injury compensation.

Philip, a qualified solicitor, has over 18 years’ experience in personal injury compensation.  Having previously worked for a large insurance company, he has extensive insights on how to engage effectively with insurers to achieve the level of compensation our clients deserve. Philip deals with cases of high value, complex cases, and recently secured £1.6 million in compensation for one of his clients who suffered catastrophic injuries in a road accident.

Lee has over 15 years’ specialist experience in Personal Injury claims and also manages a wide variety of high value, complex cases. Lee has extensive experience of working with insurance companies, acting for both claimants and defendants, and so understands how to secure the highest levels of compensation for the victims of road traffic accidents.

Jenna is a qualified solicitor and has studied to become a barrister. Jenna leads the internal reviews of our case management processes to ensure excellent, efficient case handling and high levels of client satisfaction.

Kathryn, also a qualified solicitor, specialises in accidents at work, public liability and accidents abroad.  Kathryn deals with a wide variety of cases, often including accidents that involve serious, complex injuries.

Read less

Request a callback that suits you

When would you like us to call?

There are many people injured in accidents each year through no fault of their own and the circumstances will be different in each instance. Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of personal injury claims, so we can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Alison Saul

Director of Personal Injury

What our customers say

Mrs. Vora's portrait

“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

A photo of Mr Dowse

“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining a full description of your accident
Step
2
Obtaining your medical records
Step
3
Contacting the company responsible for your accident
Step
4
Arranging your medical assessment
Step
5
Collating details of your financial loss
Step
86
Negotiating the maximum settlement possibleProviding you with our valuation of your losses
Step
7
Sending your valuation to the other party's insurer
Step
68
Providing you with our valuation of your lossesNegotiating the maximum settlement possible
Step
9
Issuing Court proceedings
Step
10
Sending you your compensation payment

Your questions... answered

Who can make a claim?

A compensation claim for a fatal accident at work can be made against the deceased’s employers by any of the following dependents:

  • Wife or civil partner
  • A person who has lived or cohabited with the deceased for two continuous years
  • Parent, child, brother, sister, of the deceased.

The claims process will require you to prove that the accident was caused by another party’s negligence.

What can a claim include?

The value of the claim will include compensation for the dependents’ loss of dependency upon the deceased.  This includes:

  • the value of their services to the home
  • their salary both past and future
  • pension provision beyond retirement.

Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, a bereavement award of a fixed sum is also made to the dependents of the deceased. In addition, awards of compensation under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1934, include:

  • Compensation for pain and suffering caused to the deceased pre-death
  • Actual financial losses including travel & medical expenses, funeral expenses, and the costs of nursing care.

Financial assistance can be vital for the widow and dependents immediately following a fatal accident.

Why should I contact Your Legal Friend about a fatal accident?

  • In-depth knowledge of workplace law and injury compensation
  • Expert guidance to help you make a successful claim
  • help you with medical treatment, rehabilitation and your return to work
  • Ensure care and support services are available for the most serious injuries
  • Advise you on how to claim for DWP benefits to help you along the way
  • Skillfully manage your compensation claim to include:
    • Payment for the pain and suffering caused by your injury
    • Any financial losses you’ve incurred already, such as lost wages, travel and medical expenses
    • Any expenses you may need in the future.

What is the law on fatal accidents at work?

Fatal Accidents Act 1976

Bereavement Claim

Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, dependents can bring a claim for a bereavement award which is a fixed sum that can be made only to the dependents of the deceased. In April 2013, this sum was increased to its current rate of £12,980.  The claim can also cover funeral expenses if these are paid for by the dependents.

Dependency Claim

In most circumstances, the Estate comprises the dependents in any event and usually (but not always) the surviving spouse and any children. The Estate ordinarily includes:

  • Wife, husband or civil partner
  • A person who has lived or cohabited with the deceased for two continuous years
  • Parent - if the deceased was under 18 years of age.

The purpose of this award is to ensure that the deceased’s dependents will not be financially worse off as a result of the death of their loved one. Therefore the deceased’s income, pension, and any services generally used for the benefit of the spouse or partner and children will be included in the value of the claim.

A claim for dependency can be made:

  • Against the employer of the deceased who lost his life in a fatal accident at the employer’s workplace.
  • For financial losses - a sum awarded to those who were dependent on the deceased’s income, pension and other employee allowances, if appropriate.
  • For services - an award for things the deceased did for the surviving dependents that they can’t do themselves, such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening and DIY.

The calculation for the claim is usually based on the income the deceased would have earned for the rest of their life, including any future promotions and/or pension provision. An assessment is also made on how much of the income would have been spent on providing for the dependents and family of the deceased.

Read less

Can I still make a fatal accident claim if death was not instant?

Yes, additional claims for the costs of caring for the injured person may include:

  • Carer’s lost earnings
  • Nursing care
  • Travel
  • Medical Aids
  • Housing alterations and adaptations
  • Private healthcare
  • Administrative costs

Does the death of a wife or mother affect how much compensation will be awarded?

The wife is considered as a second source of income for the family, with her lost income also accompanied by a loss of services to the family.

Following a fatal accident, the calculation made in a husband’s claim for dependency also takes into account:

  • The wife’s earnings
  • Cost of employing a housekeeper or other helper

What are the statistics on fatal accidents?

  • 265 fatal injuries in the main industries of construction, manufacturing, agriculture, mining & quarrying, gas, electricity & water supply, sewerage, waste & recycling.
  • 51 fatal injuries to workers in services - 21% higher than the average of 42 for the past five years. (Fatal Injuries In the Workplace - Health & Safety Executive, 2014/15)

A compensation claim for a fatal accident at work can be made against the deceased’s employers by any of the following dependents:

  • Wife or civil partner
  • A person who has lived or cohabited with the deceased for two continuous years
  • Parent, child, brother, sister, of the deceased.

The claims process will require you to prove that the accident was caused by another party’s negligence.

The value of the claim will include compensation for the dependents’ loss of dependency upon the deceased.  This includes:

  • the value of their services to the home
  • their salary both past and future
  • pension provision beyond retirement.

Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, a bereavement award of a fixed sum is also made to the dependents of the deceased. In addition, awards of compensation under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1934, include:

  • Compensation for pain and suffering caused to the deceased pre-death
  • Actual financial losses including travel & medical expenses, funeral expenses, and the costs of nursing care.

Financial assistance can be vital for the widow and dependents immediately following a fatal accident.

  • In-depth knowledge of workplace law and injury compensation
  • Expert guidance to help you make a successful claim
  • help you with medical treatment, rehabilitation and your return to work
  • Ensure care and support services are available for the most serious injuries
  • Advise you on how to claim for DWP benefits to help you along the way
  • Skillfully manage your compensation claim to include:
    • Payment for the pain and suffering caused by your injury
    • Any financial losses you’ve incurred already, such as lost wages, travel and medical expenses
    • Any expenses you may need in the future.

Fatal Accidents Act 1976

Bereavement Claim

Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, dependents can bring a claim for a bereavement award which is a fixed sum that can be made only to the dependents of the deceased. In April 2013, this sum was increased to its current rate of £12,980.  The claim can also cover funeral expenses if these are paid for by the dependents.

Dependency Claim

In most circumstances, the Estate comprises the dependents in any event and usually (but not always) the surviving spouse and any children. The Estate ordinarily includes:

  • Wife, husband or civil partner
  • A person who has lived or cohabited with the deceased for two continuous years
  • Parent - if the deceased was under 18 years of age.

The purpose of this award is to ensure that the deceased’s dependents will not be financially worse off as a result of the death of their loved one. Therefore the deceased’s income, pension, and any services generally used for the benefit of the spouse or partner and children will be included in the value of the claim.

A claim for dependency can be made:

  • Against the employer of the deceased who lost his life in a fatal accident at the employer’s workplace.
  • For financial losses - a sum awarded to those who were dependent on the deceased’s income, pension and other employee allowances, if appropriate.
  • For services - an award for things the deceased did for the surviving dependents that they can’t do themselves, such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening and DIY.

The calculation for the claim is usually based on the income the deceased would have earned for the rest of their life, including any future promotions and/or pension provision. An assessment is also made on how much of the income would have been spent on providing for the dependents and family of the deceased.

Read less

Yes, additional claims for the costs of caring for the injured person may include:

  • Carer’s lost earnings
  • Nursing care
  • Travel
  • Medical Aids
  • Housing alterations and adaptations
  • Private healthcare
  • Administrative costs

The wife is considered as a second source of income for the family, with her lost income also accompanied by a loss of services to the family.

Following a fatal accident, the calculation made in a husband’s claim for dependency also takes into account:

  • The wife’s earnings
  • Cost of employing a housekeeper or other helper
  • 265 fatal injuries in the main industries of construction, manufacturing, agriculture, mining & quarrying, gas, electricity & water supply, sewerage, waste & recycling.
  • 51 fatal injuries to workers in services - 21% higher than the average of 42 for the past five years. (Fatal Injuries In the Workplace - Health & Safety Executive, 2014/15)