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Take the first steps to rebuilding your life

In tragic circumstances where a loved one has died following a fatal car accident, compensation can't ever replace your loss. We understand that experiencing the death of a family member or close friend is extremely traumatic and overwhelming.

Nobody expects to be told that their loved one or friend has passed away because of the negligence of somebody else. And nobody should be left to deal with the impact it can have without support and a helping hand. Whether they were a driver, cyclist, passenger or pedestrian, we may be able to help you make a no win no fee compensation claim if that accident was someone else's fault. Compensation can help you begin rebuilding the stability and financial security that enables you to cope with day-to-day life. 

Your solicitor will carefully work out the compensation figure based on the impact of the bereavement, funeral expenses and the level of dependency of those left behind. Your solicitor will explain everything you need to know, at a pace that's right for you. 

If you've been affected in this way, call us on for a confidential talk.

Did you know?

Every day we help hundreds of people. In fact, we've helped over two million people after accidents that weren't their fault. 

Can you make a claim?

We regularly speak to people who are unsure whether they have a claim. We understand that you may be especially unsure whether you can make a claim for fatal car accident compensation on someone else's behalf.

As a helpline, part of our service is to help you understand if you have a compensation claim. To do this, we listen to everything you want to say about your experience. We'll also ask you some questions so that we can understand:

  • When the accident happened
  • Who was involved in the accident
  • Whether somebody was at fault for the accident
  • The overall impacts of that accident.

Where an accident has caused a death, we know that the impact will be life-changing and distressing. We also know that you might not yet feel ready to talk about what happened.

We advise that if the fatal accident happened in the last three years and was someone else's fault, then it's likely you can make a claim. If you choose to go ahead, your fatal car accident lawyer will carefully and sympathetically investigate all the impacts the accident and the loss of a loved one has had on your life.

What does the Law say about fatal road traffic accident claims?

Under the provisions of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, the dependents of someone killed in an accident which was not their fault can make a claim for compensation.

The Law defines defines a ‘dependent' as:

  • A spouse or former spouse.
  • Someone cohabiting with the deceased as husband, wife or civil partner for a minimum of two years prior to the accidental death.
  • Children by blood plus adopted children and those who become a legal part of the family via marriage or civil partnership.
  • Parents or older relatives, including grandparents, great grandparents and those acting as a parent, such as a step-parents or a guardian.
  • Immediate family like brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews and aunts or uncles.

If it was your partner who suffered a fatal accident, you could make a fatal road traffic claim as a dependent if you were partially or entirely financially reliant on them. You can read more about making a dependent's claim here

What does compensation cover in a fatal road traffic accident claim?

Every fatal accident varies. The exact amount you may be awarded in a successful claim will depend on the circumstances and several other important factors.

Pain, suffering and loss of amenity

Your loved one's death may not have been outright and involved emergency hospital treatment. It's not unknown for serious road accident victims to fall into or be placed in a coma for an extended period of time before passing. 

This means they will have also endured a loss of amenity. These are the everyday things they took for granted they were no longer able to do as a result of what happened. The compensation also covers the loss of amenity they suffered in the period before they passed away. Your fatal road accident claims lawyer will assess the following areas:

  • Actual losses: these cover financial expenses of caring for your loved one as well as funeral costs and the legal costs of dealing with their estate. Care expenses include things like hospital fees, ongoing care (even if provided by your family), treatment, medicine, home adaptations and treatment travel costs, including care for your children while you were needed elsewhere.
  • Loss of earnings: if you, or your loved one was unable to work in the time before they passed away, then any loss of income will be included.
  • Loss of services: these are services your loved one may have performed such as childcare, housework, gardening and other DIY chores. They will be included as well as any care they may have given to another family member.
  • Dependency losses: this is usually a major part of a fatal accident claim. If you and your family depended on their income, then the solicitor we select for you will carefully calculate the long-term financial loss. This will include things like income, bonuses, loss of pension as well as all employment benefits.

It's hard to get an accurate idea of how much you may be awarded in a successful claim until your fatal car accident lawyer has investigated and valued it. 

You may also be able to claim a Statutory Award for Bereavement under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. It's a fixed amount of £12,980 which is paid by the other side's insurance company in a successful fatal road traffic accident claim.

This payment is made to the surviving spouse (or to the parents if the victim was a child), regardless of whether or not dependency losses were involved.

If you feel you need professional counselling and support, you may want to contact SCARD (Support and Care After Road Death and Injury). It's the specialist charity to help people deal with loss and injury following serious road accidents.

Cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users. No matter how protected you are while cycling, fatal cycling accidents are all too common, especially where larger vehicles, speed or reckless driving has been involved.

Claiming for a fatal cycle accident involving your friend or relative is like claiming for any other type of road accident. For a successful claim to be made there must be somebody at fault (liable) for the accident, and that accident must have taken place in the last three years.

You can read more about our work with bike accident claims here.

Motorcycle accidents can quickly become serious or fatal. The fast speeds and lack of protection on a motorcycle can mean that even the slightest impact or accident can have life-changing consequences.

Motorcycle accidents are often caused by other drivers forgetting to check for motorcyclists at a junction or when merging. While we know that nobody intends to be negligent, accidents like these can severely impact the person involved and their family.

If your loved one has died because of a motorcycle accident, we can help you find out if you have a compensation claim. Please contact us today on . Our trained advisors are compassionate, good listeners and you'll be able to talk through what happened in a confidential environment at your pace and in your way.

We know that not all serious road accidents end so tragically. There are some cases where a road accident, such as an accident involving a cyclist, pedestrian or motorcyclist, may lead to serious or life-changing injuries.

If that's the case, you may still be able to make a claim on behalf of your loved one, particularly if they're now dependent on you or are unable to make legal decisions as a result of their injuries.

We have more information about making a claim on behalf of somebody else here. Or you can visit our serious injury claims page to learn more about our work with life-changing injuries.

How do I make a fatal road traffic accident claim on behalf of a loved one?

First, take your time. The shock of a fatal car accident is overwhelming so wait until you feel ready to talk through what has happened. 

When you feel ready, contact us on or begin your claim online if you prefer. You can talk with our trained advisors in total confidence and there's never any rush or pressure to make a claim. You can do it your way and at your own pace.

If we think you have grounds for a fatal road traffic accident claim and you wish to proceed with it, we'll put you in touch with one of our specialist solicitors. They'll investigate the accident details and begin building your claim, compassionately and carefully. A fatal car accident lawyer will be used to handling such cases so you can rest assured you'll be in an experienced, safe pair of hands.

What are the typical causes of fatal car accidents?

Investigating a fatal car accident or a fatal road traffic accident claim is a complex process and can take time. They are treated with the utmost seriousness by the police, courts and insurance companies alike. The maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving is up to 14 years imprisonment. Carelessness or simple poor driving by the party that caused the accident is often to blame. They include:

Failure to look

Observation while driving is critical and is a significant contributory factor in a fatal car accident. Figures from the RAC Foundation show that in 2018, a failure to look properly was the main cause in 26% of fatal accidents. Vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are particularly at risk.

Loss of control and speeding

The two are often linked. Driving too fast for the road conditions or breaking the speed limit hamper a driver's ability to react. The results can include collision with pedestrians and other vehicles or road users and hitting stationary objects like trees.


Loss of concentration while driving can happen easily and have terrible consequences. It could be while taking a hands-free phone call, using the sat-nav, eating, drinking and smoking or when the kids start playing up on the back seat. 

Alcohol or drug impairment

Department for Transport figures released in 2018 showed that 13% of all driver and rider fatalitiesin reported fatal road accidents involved excess alcohol and caused an estimated 240 deaths. Illegal drugs are a problem too and if police at the scene suspect drugs impairment, they will test for it.

Texting or using a phone illegally while driving

The law is clear on this - using a hand-held device while driving is highly dangerous and carries a range of penalties. The number of people killed in fatal road accidents where using a hand-held device was a contributory factor has risen steadily from 15 in 2009 to 43 in 2017. 

Not wearing a seatbelt

Between 2014 and 2018, the proportion of car occupants killed while not wearing a seatbelt has consistently stayed above 20%. In a fatal road traffic accident claim where a loved one was killed while not wearing a safety belt but the cause of the crash was someone else's fault, you may still be able to claim on their behalf. In such circumstances the blame is usually split between both parties as a percentage and compensation is calculated accordingly.

Driver or rider fatigue

While not an offence in itself, driving when tired is a danger to the driver and all other road users. It increases the chance of road users committing other offences or potentially causing an accident. 

Sometimes the road conditions themselves can cause a fatal car accident. Faulty lighting or poorly maintained road surfaces are the responsibility of the local council or highways authority. 

If you've lost a loved one in these tragic circumstances, then call us on . Our compassionate and legally-trained advisors may be able to help you start a fatal road traffic accident claim.

What happens if the other vehicle didn't stop?

If your loved one was killed and the other vehicle failed to stop or was uninsured, then we can help you make a fatal road traffic accident claim through the Motor Insurers' Bureau.

Typically, you have three years from the date of death to make a fatal road traffic accident claim on your loved one's behalf. 

How long will it take to make a claim?

There's no set length of time it takes to conclude a fatal road traffic accident claim as the circumstances and complexity can vary so widely. It also depends on whether or not the other side's insurance company accepts liability and whether or not your solicitor needs to take the claim to court.

After they've investigated the details and submitted your claim to the other side, your solicitor will start to have an idea of how long the process may take. They'll explain everything to you at each stage as they build your claim for fatal car accident compensation

How long do I have to make a claim on a loved one's behalf?

You have three years to make a fatal road traffic accident claim. This time limit usually starts from the date of the car accident injury responsible for your loved one's passing. Always remember, we're here to help and connect you with a trusted fatal car crash lawyer. Take your time and contact us when you feel able.