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Title: Compensation for Husband's Death

Date: 07 September 2011

Question

What compensation can I claim following my husband’s fatal motorcycle accident?

It is now 12 months on from my husband’s tragic death in a motorcycle accident when a car crossed into the wrong lane into the path of my husband. I have spent the last 12 months trying to put my and my childrens’ lives back together and have to date avoided thinking about a claim as it was too traumatic. However, we have been left in a much worse financial position now than we were. Jim was a high earner and now we have to make do on my part-time salary and the children go without the luxuries they were used to. What are we entitled to? I am 47 and my two girls are 12 and 14. Jim was 50 the month before the accident. I should say that the man who caused the accident was found guilty of dangerous driving.

Jill Bennett, Tarporley, by e-mail

Answer

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Damages awarded can include an amount for the pain and suffering from the time of the accident to the point of death. This amount varies depending on the extent of awareness of the injuries sustained and their duration. You can claim for the actual financial losses such as funeral expenses and a bereavement award (currently £11,800).

You can also receive compensation for the loss of financial support resulting from your husband’s death such as an amount for loss of earnings into the household. You can also claim for loss of services that your husband would have provided, for example if he was keen on DIY and now you have to buy in help. As your husband was a high earner this is going to be a significant claim. Your children can also claim an amount for “loss of a father”. I suggest we meet to discuss this in more detail.

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