As part of National Grief Awareness Week, Personal Injury trainee solicitor Ian Iliopoulos comments on seeking financial security following the death of a loved one in an accident or as a result of a disease.
Losing a loved one is never easy. It can be even harder when they have died unexpectedly as a result of an accident and especially when they leave behind loved ones who are financially dependant on them.
If a person is involved in a fatal accident that was not their fault, their dependants can usually bring a claim against the party whose negligence caused the accident. A claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows for dependents to bring claims for lost income, funeral expenses, and bereavement.
However, if a person suffers injuries as a result of their accident and then later dies as a result of those injuries they may still be entitled to compensation. Under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 there are two main scenarios:
- A person has already started to bring a personal injury claim but dies before these are complete; or
- A person would have had the right to bring a personal injury claim had he not died.
In both these cases, the estate of the deceased can bring, or continue to bring, a personal injury claim on their behalf. Therefore, their estate may be able to bring a claim to recover:
- General Damages
These are damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- Special Damages
These are damages for past loss of earnings, cost of care, medical expenses, cost of equipment, travel expenses, etc.
- General Damages
Although any money recovered will never replace a lost family member, it may help those left behind during times of financial uncertainty.
This is a complex area of law and while there is some overlap between a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934, care must be take when deciding which route to pursue. Here at McMillan Williams, we have the expertise to guide you through this challenging process at what is undoubtedly a difficult time.
We Can Help
At MW we recognise the need to balance your grief with progressing the claim and have years of experience in advising bereaved families of their rights. Our Head of Department, Joanna Bailey, with years of experience in acting for bereaved families successfully acted for a bereaved family achieving an award approved by the High Court of £710,000.00 in 2013. Small enough to care, big enough to make a difference.