It may not be the first thing that comes to mind after a tragic accident but those dependent on the victim will have a claim for compensation, and this claim could be essential to the upkeep of the dependent.

Fatal Accident Compensation

A fatal accident claim is usually split into two parts. First, compensation for the pain and suffering suffered by the victim before the death and, second, compensation for the financial support of a dependant.

Compensation for Pain and Suffering

The first type of compensation can only be claimed by the deceased’s estate. The estate is all the property owned by the victim which will be collected and then distributed after their death, usually under a will. This first claim is a claim for the pain and
suffering suffered by the victim before the death (e.g. where a fatal accident occurred sometime before the death) and funeral expenses.

Dependency Compensation

Dependants, however, can claim for losses related to their level of financial dependency. A dependant is someone who can show they were financially dependent upon the deceased and have suffered a loss as a result of the death.

How much a dependent is entitled to can be very complicated. It can include pecuniary losses such as the provision for the deceased’s contribution to finances after their own costs as well as compensate for other types of support, such as child care and gardening. These services will need to be proved and quantified to be claimed.

The total estimate, known as the multiplicand, is then applied to a complex formula which uses a multiple of years of expected lifetime discounted to the present day to achieve a lump sum amount. This formula will also
take account of the deceased’s possible career progression and retirement plans. Where there are dependent children, different calculations and projections will be necessary. There may be claims for loss of parental services, possible claims for the cost of private childcare as well as for the loss of financial dependency.

Statutory Compensation

Added to these two main types of claim there is also there is a statutory fixed sum of £11,800 to compensate for bereavement. This is payable by the person who negligently caused the death (or their insurer) but only to fixed classes of claimant including husbands, wives and children. This award, like the claim for pain and suffering, goes to the estate of the deceased.


Sadly at such a tragic time claims for dependants can be incredibly complicated and stressful. Although these claims are complicated, they are often necessary for those left behind and the bes
t solution is to make sure you instruct an experienced solicitor who can help you achieve the best outcome. Contact today for more information.

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