General damages in fatal accident claims
General damages in fatal accident claims

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • General damages in fatal accident claims
  • Elements of a fatal accident claim
  • Pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA) pre-death
  • Fatal Accidents Act 1976—bereavement damages
  • Fatal Accidents Act 1976—definition of dependants
  • Fatal Accidents Act 1976—burden of proof

Elements of a fatal accident claim

There are two different elements to a fatal accident claim:

  1. the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 (LR(MP)A 1934) allows an action to be brought on behalf of the deceased’s estate for:

    1. pain and suffering for the period between injury and death (see section ‘Pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA) pre-death’ below)

    2. any financial loss incurred by the deceased between the date of the accident and the date of death

    3. funeral expenses (provided they were paid for by the deceased’s estate)

  2. the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA 1976), as amended, allows an action to be brought on behalf of the dependants of the deceased for:

    1. the following losses suffered by the dependants:

      1. financial support from the deceased

      2. dependency on the deceased’s services

      3. the ‘intangible’ benefits of a spouse/parent—see Practice Note: Quantifying losses for dependants—past losses—services—Additional award for loss of a wife/mother’s services?)

    2. funeral expenses provided they were paid for by the dependants

    3. bereavement damages for the parents of an unmarried minor or a surviving wife/husband/civil partner (see Bereavement damages below)

See Practice Notes: Law Reform or Fatal Accidents Act? and Claims involving a fatality—heads of damage for what can be claimed under LR(MP)A 1934 and FAA 1976.