Compensation for death in Care Home

Rutherfords has just successfully concluded litigation on a ‘no win no fee’ basis on behalf of a man whose wife was resident in a local Care Home in Tamworth.

This lady was the subject of a serious assault by another resident of the Care Home who had not been suitably supervised. The lady died a few weeks later. The Coroner was critical of the supervision provided and made directions to seek to prevent similar circumstances from happening again. The Coroner also concluded that the assault contributed to the lady’s death.

Steve Wengraf says “I was pleased to have successfully concluded this very sad case. It is always difficult to represent clients in these circumstances in which you have to be sensitive to the tragic circumstances, the family’s wish to obtain answers and to obtain compensation for the family for what has happened to them and their loved one.’

Compensation in Fatal Accident Claims

Fortunately it is rare, but, sometimes it may happen to a member of your family. Occasionally, people are fatally injured in an accident which was not their fault, whether caused on the road, at work, or by some other circumstance. There is no sum of money that can be paid to compensate for this loss, however, Courts in the UK have a process which attempts to provide appropriate compensation;

  • Bereavement Award

The Fatal Accident Act 1976 introduced a statutory bereavement award which is paid to certain close relatives of the deceased in some prescribed situations. This is a one-off payment which is currently £12,980.

The bereavement award is only available to a husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased at the time of death. Alternatively, if the deceased is a child, it would be made to both of the parents of the child or to the mother only if the child was illegitimate.

  • Dependency Claim

The Fatal Accident Act also permits persons who may have relied upon the deceased prior to their death to make a claim. This is called a claim for dependency.

The dependant person must be able to show that they have or will suffer a loss caused by the death. The legal basis for this are issues such as loss of earnings of the deceased, loss of a pension, as well as a recognition that the deceased is likely to have played a bigger role in the family life other than just earnings. These claims can be significant.

  • Claim for the Deceased

There is further compensation which is potentially available under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934. This is a claim made on behalf of the deceased`s estate  which can include injuries sustained and suffering caused, loss of earnings, care and expenses prior to death and also funeral expenses.

These claims will be made by the Executor of the deceased’s estate will benefit the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate.


Fatal accident claims usually have to be brought within 3 years of the date of death. However there are other periods which are sometimes applicable and care has to be taken that the claim must be brought within the relevant period.

Steve Wengraf

Steve Wengraf is litigation partner at Rutherfords and has many years of experience in dealing with these difficult, sensitive and tragic claims. Steve is able to advise upon issues in relation to the Coroner’s Inquest, the possible claims and act on this matter, if necessary, through to Trial. Frequently, Steve is able to act for clients on a no win no fee basis and is able to meet with the family as required to give initial commitment free interview.

If you require any further assistance at any stage then please contact Steve on 01827 311 411 or [email protected].

Contact us on: 01827 311 411 or [email protected]