Loss Of Dependency In Fatal Claims

Loss Of Dependency In Fatal Claims‘Loss of dependency in fatal claims’ refers to the damages claimed by the dependents of someone who died due to someone else’s negligence. Calculating the damages due for loss of dependency can be a very complex exercise due the number of variables that may impact the claim. At Frenkels Forensics, we specialise in assisting solicitors and barristers in valuing claims for loss of financial dependency.

For assistance call us on 0330 118 8200 or Make An Online Enquiry.

What Is Loss Of Dependency In Fatal Claims?

The loss of a loved one caused by a third party can be devastating. From a purely practical standpoint, if the family relied on the deceased person’s income and other contributions for their financial wellbeing, their loss can have enormous economic implications.

The law recognises the need for surviving family members to receive financial support, and the Fatal Accident Act 1976 allows the deceased’s dependents to claim damages for the financial and social consequences of their loved one’s death in certain circumstances. The dependents’ claim is known as ‘loss of dependency’ in fatal claims.

When Can You Seek Damages For Loss Of Dependency In Fatal Claims?

The Fatal Accident Act 1976 contains a list of categories of the types of people eligible to seek damages for loss of dependency in fatal claims. They are as follows:

  • The deceased person’s spouse or former spouse.
  • The deceased person’s civil partner or former civil partner.
  • Anyone cohabiting with the deceased for at least two years immediately before the death.
  • The deceased person’s parent or other ascendant.
  • Anyone treated by the deceased as a parent.
  • The deceased person’s children or other descendant.
  • Anyone whom the deceased person treated as their child of the family in any marriage or civil partnership that the deceased was in, such as a step-child.
  • The deceased’s siblings, uncles, and aunts.

To be entitled to damages for loss of dependency in fatal claims, you must have relied on the deceased’s financial support or their services of some other kind. The damages awarded are intended to compensate you for the financial help and services you would have continued receiving had your loved one not died. Clearly, money can never make up for the death of a loved one. However, your compensation can go some way towards relieving your family’s financial worries at an incredibly difficult time.

What Can You Seek Damages For In Loss Of Dependency In Fatal Claims?

Damages calculations for loss of dependency in fatal claims generally involve two elements: financial dependency and service dependency.

To claim for financial dependency, you must prove that you had a ‘reasonable expectation’ that the deceased person would continue to support you. Most often, a financial dependency claim is brought by the deceased’s wife or civil partner, who relied on their income.

To claim for service dependency, you must prove that the deceased performed a service for you during their lifetime, which you no longer benefit from. For example, they may have cared for your children or undertaken DIY jobs around the house.

How Are Damages Calculated For Loss Of Dependency In Fatal Claims?

Damages calculations for loss of dependency in fatal claims are notoriously complicated. For example, where a spouse or civil partner is claiming for the deceased’s lost income, the calculation is not as straightforward as merely showing what the deceased would have earned. Matters such as the deceased’s lost pension and potential alternative future incomes must also be considered. In addition the claimant’s earnings and pension must be calculated in order to ensure that the dependency calculations are correct.

Damages for loss of dependency in fatal claims must be realistic. If the deceased was a fit and healthy young person, the amount claimed can be significant since they would likely have continued to provide the support, whether financial or in terms of services, for many years to come. However, if the deceased was near retirement age or in ill health, the amount claimed must reflect the fact that they were unlikely to have continued to work for much longer. In those cases, though, regard must be had for any alternative income the deceased may have received, such as pension payments.

Frenkels Forensics is one of the most highly regarded practices in the UK in the niche area of loss of dependency in fatal accident claims. Our specialist forensic accountants combine their accountancy expertise with decades of practical experience and cutting-edge technology to compare numerous loss of dependency scenarios and produce comprehensive, robust damages calculations. We have an outstanding reputation for producing clear, accessible reports that enable the parties, their legal advisors, and the court to quickly understand the basis of the claimant’s loss of dependency claim. Our work facilitates constructive settlement discussions and assists our clients in achieving a favourable outcome for their clients.

To discover more, please call us on 0330 118 8200 or Make An Online Enquiry.

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