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Title: Will compensation for fatal accidents rise?

Date: 11 April 2012

Question

My sister in law has a claim going on as a result of my brother’s accident last year. He was tragically killed in April 2011 when a tractor pulled out of a county lane into his path as he was overtaking some slow moving cars. The solicitors have said not to settle yet because the compensation is increasing for fatal accidents. Is this correct?

Tim North, Cumbria

Answer

There are various “heads” of claim in a fatal accident case including damages 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. One can also claim for the actual financial losses such as funeral expenses and a bereavement award for your sister in law. I imagine that this is what the solicitors are talking about. Currently the amount of the bereavement award is £11,800 although it is widely anticipated that this will increase to £13,000 in the next few months.

However, the increase is unlikely to be retrospective so your sister will likely be limited to claim the sum of £11,800. If your brother was working then your sister in law can claim for the loss of financial support resulting from the death, for example future loss of earnings into the household.

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