Unfortunately, more than 10,000 lives are lost each year on Scottish roads due to fatal car accidents. These accidents cause an enormous amount of grief and trauma for family members of the deceased as well as any survivors of the accident.

Dealing with grief and emotional distress after a fatal accident can be extremely tough. While financial burdens may be the last thing you worry about during this difficult time, compensation helps take financial pressure off after a loss of a loved one.

Fatal compensation claims are not limited to car accidents. They also apply to accidents involving any road users whether it’s a cyclist, pedestrian or someone in any other motor vehicle. You are entitled to claim compensation if the person who caused the accident was proven to be negligent.

To find out more on fatal accident claims and how to start one, please contact our no win no fee serious accident solicitors on 0131 555 7055 for a free evaluation of your circumstances.

Who is eligible to claim compensation for a fatal accident?

If you have lost a family member, you may be eligible to claim compensation if you are:

  • The deceased’s spouse or cohabiting partner
  • The deceased’s parents
  • The deceased’s siblings (brothers, sisters, half-brothers or half-sisters)
  • The deceased’s children

What can be included in the fatal accident compensation claim?

The amount of compensation depends on who was at fault in causing the accident. Whether a third party is fully to blame or both drivers were at fault, you are still eligible to claim compensation. However, the compensation will be less than what you would receive if the deceased was not at fault.

If the deceased was driving in a negligent matter and caused the accident, there are no appropriate grounds for family members to claim compensation.

There are also instances where accidents occur due to factors beyond anyone’s control. This can include accidents caused by illness. In these cases, you are still entitled to receive compensation unless the deceased caused the accident following an illness.

You are eligible to claim compensation for the following after a fatal accident:

  • Medical and hospital expenses prior to the death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Cremation expenses
  • Loss of financial support the deceased would have provided to their children or other relatives before their death
  • Loss of services, such as the care the deceased would have provided to dependent children
  • Loss of earnings prior to accident
  • Loss of enjoyment in life and psychological conditions such as stress or anxiety resulting from the news of the death, or witnessing the accident.

Fatal Accident Claims - Frequently Asked Questions

If you have lost a family member, you may be eligible to claim compensation.

The first step is to contact us for a free no obligation consultation. As soon as we’ve got the details we will confirm if you’re entitled to claim. Once you’ve been through the initial steps, we will handle everything on your behalf and contact the person responsible for your accident to let them know you are seeking compensation for your injuries and any associated accident damages. We will keep you updated on the progress of your claim at all times so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Most car accident claims are funded through a fee agreement called no win no fee. This makes compensation accessible to people who cannot afford to pay solicitor fees.  No win no fee, means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t end up out of pocket. However, if you win your case, the at fault party pays your legal fees.

The standard cut-off date for making a road accident claim is 3 years from the date of the accident. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:

  • Mental Capacity – if the person involved is incapable of making a claim themselves, there’s no cut-off date, until they regain full ability to do so.
  • Children – claims involving children under the age of sixteen have until their 19th birthday.
  • Car Accidents Abroad – closing dates differ from country to country. However, you will still be able to make a claim within three years from the accident under Scottish law.
  • Criminal Injuries – if your injuries were caused deliberately, you have a separate right to claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The cut-off date for creating a claim through the CICA is 2 years from the incident.

Compensation for road traffic accident injuries in Scotland is awarded on a case-by-case basis. The amount you could get depends on a number of factors, including:

  • How bad your pain is, and how long you’ve had it for.
  • How long you’re likely to continue to suffer from the pain.
  • How the injury has affected your ability to work and live as you did before the accident. For example, can you still enjoy your hobbies or carry out day-to-day tasks?
  • Any expenses or loss of income resulting from the injury.

Our car accident compensation calculator will help you estimate the amount you may be able to claim for. However, the figures should be taken as a guide.


It’s important to know how to handle an accident. Even if you think only minor damage has been done, under the Road Traffic Act you must stop your car. Turn off your engine and use your hazard lights to alert other drivers, then immediately call 999 to get medical assistance for anyone who has been hurt.

Depending on your wellbeing, you should start building your personal injury case at the scene of the accident. If you’re able, make sure to photograph the accident as this could help with any future claim. If this isn’t possible, it may be beneficial to return at a later date to document the location and injuries.

We also recommend you write down your experience as soon as possible. After suffering trauma, it’s quite common to forget or lose clarity about what exactly happened because the brain naturally attempts to block negative or painful memories.

It’s also essential to collect crucial information (including names, contact details, vehicle registration numbers, physical descriptions, and insurance details) of any witnesses or the party ‘at fault’. We can use this information later to gather evidence and file your personal injury claim.