Everything you need to know about fatal accident claims

We entrust our loved ones to various professionals all the time. The expectation is that our loved one will be cured and come back home to us. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Fatalities do occur even in the best hospitals, but not all fatalities are simply an act of God. Sometimes, medical professionals make an error in judgment leading to a fatality. Additionally, fatal accidents can result from various causes such as workplace incidents, road traffic accidents, or defective products. If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of such an incident, you may have a case for a Fatal Accident Claim.

What is a Fatal Accident Claim?

A fatal accident claim is a legal action pursued by the dependents or representatives of a person who has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, wrongful act, or breach of duty by another party. This claim seeks compensation for the losses and damages suffered by the surviving family members due to the death of their loved one. The purpose of a fatal accident claim is to provide financial support to those left behind, acknowledging the impact of the loss on their lives.

Throughout history medical professionals have been at the forefront of maintaining human life, but it was not until 1976 these professionals were held accountable for their mistakes. The Fatal Accident Act of 1976 introduced an avenue for those affected by a fatal accident within the medical field, to file a claim and hold responsible parties accountable. Basically, a fatal accident due to medical negligence is one that could have been prevented had the medical professional acted in a different manner. Although medical professionals take an oath to exhaust all medical resources to properly diagnose and treat their patients, fatalities can occur.

Who can file a Fatal Accident Claim?

A fatal accident claim is meant to help those left behind and therefore, children of the deceased, parents, spouses, cohabitants that are dependent upon support from the deceased, or nearest living relatives are eligible to file a claim on behalf of the deceased.

The most common causes of fatal accidents

The most common causes of fatal accidents can vary depending on various factors, but some frequently reported causes include:

  • Road Traffic Accidents: Car crashes, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian incidents are leading causes of fatal accidents.
  • Workplace Accidents: Fatalities can occur due to accidents at construction sites, industrial settings, or other work-related incidents.
  • Medical Negligence: Mistakes or errors in medical treatment can lead to fatal consequences.
  • Slips, Trips, and Falls: Accidents in public places or workplaces can result in fatal injuries.
  • Criminal Activities: Homicides and other criminal acts contribute to fatal incidents.
  • Fires and Burns: Fatalities may occur in residential or commercial fires.
  • Construction Accidents: Falls from heights, collapsing structures, or equipment malfunctions can result in fatal injuries.
  • Electrocution: Accidents involving electricity can lead to fatal electrocution.

When can a Fatal Accident Claim be filed?

A Fatal Accident Claim is not something anyone foresees filing, but it is essential that the claim be filed as soon as possible. The loss of a loved one can be a profound shock, especially when the incident occurs at work or during what seemed like a routine medical procedure. However, the Fatal Accident Act of 1976 serves as a safeguard for those left behind. Holding accountable those whose error in judgment directly led to the individual’s death is imperative.


Fatal Accident Claims come with a time limit. As per the act, the claim should be filed within three years of the accident, underscoring the importance of timely action. Waiting too long may jeopardise the eligibility to file your claim.

How is the Fatal Accident Claim investigated?

Investigating a Fatal Accident Claim is a complex process that focuses on discovering the truth surrounding the circumstances leading to a tragic loss. The first step involves obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the incident. This includes gathering detailed information about the events leading up to the fatality, the environment in which it occurred, and any factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Definitive proof is essential to receive compensation. Coroners play a key role in providing an official report, offering insights into the nature of the incident and identifying any potential neglect or malpractice. The report will weigh heavily on the court’s decision. In addition to the coroner’s report, additional evidence must be gathered and legitimised. Witness statements, expert opinions, and forensic analysis further contribute to building a solid case as well.

It is not advised that an individual seeking a fatal accident claim take on the task themselves. Hospitals and medical facilities do not have to release certain information to individuals, and therefore, a claimant needs to have a personal injury solicitor to ensure the process is completed appropriately.

How SilverOak Solicitors can assist you

Our experienced team at SilverOak Solicitors understands that you need time to heal following the death of a loved one, but we also know that the sooner you begin your fatal accident claim, the better. We encourage anyone who suspects their loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful act to contact us immediately. We are the experts you need to file your claim properly.

We ensure that every aspect of the case is handled with the utmost professionalism. No one needs to contend with neglect alone, and when you trust the experts at SilverOak Solicitors, you are never alone. Let us guide you to the process and fight for a compensation you are entitled to. We can advise on whether you have a claim for a fatal accident and help you obtain the maximum compensation.

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