Fatal Road Accident Claims
Fatal road accidents happen every day. You never think it is going to happen to your loved one. If it does, not only is it devastating to lose someone you love, but the legal processes which then occur can be bewildering. At this time you need a friendly and sympathetic ear that can listen to you as well as explain in clear terms what these legal processes are.
We can represent you at the hearing. At the hearing questions can be put to witnesses to try to get to the truth of what happened. Although witnesses can be questioned, the coroner will not allow the ‘grilling’ of witnesses. No one is on trial – the hearing is intended to be a search for the truth. If a motorist is facing the possibility of criminal charges, he or she will not be obliged to answer questions which might incriminate him or her. The inquest is likely to be the first opportunity to find out what happened. Documents such as photographs, sketch plans of the road layout and witness statements are likely to be available for the first time – though it is often the case that the documents are only made available minutes before the hearing starts.
If you wish to be represented at a coroner’s inquest please give us a call.
This can be frustrating and upsetting as the family of the victim can feel excluded. The Crown Prosecution Service will make the decision to prosecute, but the police should consult the family and take their wishes into account. The family are not deemed to be a party in the proceedings and are therefore not allowed to be represented at the hearing. However, the family might be asked to make an impact statement to the court before sentencing. This may or may not be something you feel you want to do. Where there is a criminal trial, even though you cannot be represented, you can have a lawyer sitting in the courtroom to take a note of the proceedings. It is likely to be important to note carefully what witnesses say about how the accident happened.
Making a Civil Claim
If it can be proved on the balance of probabilities that the accident was caused by the negligence of another motorist, then a claim can be made. Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 dependents of the deceased such as a husband or wife or children can make a claim. Other relatives who were dependent on the deceased such as an elderly parent may also be able to claim. Depending on the circumstances a claim can be made for:
- The injuries of the loved one who died, if he or she was conscious of pain before death
- Funeral expenses
- Statutory bereavement damages
- Loss of financial & non-financial dependency – which means a loss of the financial contribution of the deceased to the household & help around the house
Our team of specialist Fatal Road Accident solicitors have won many claims for fatal road accidents. They can often pursue your claim for compensation on a no win no fee basis and will advise on the merits, how to put your case, procedures and civil claims. Your case will be handled with proper senstivity. We know that nothing we do will turn back the clock. We hope that we will be able to help you and your family through this most traumatic time.