I was outraged to read of a case where a company was fined £5,000 some five years after one of his employees was killed in an accident at work.
£5000 is a derisory amount and does not, in my view come close to an appropriate punishment for the loss of a life that could have been avoided.
However, it is not only the criminal justice system that is flawed in such cases. The Civil Law can also result in outcomes that are far from just. As Personal Injury Solicitors we often have the difficult task of explaining to bereaved clients that the level of compensation in Fatal Accident Claims is not what they expected.
Whilst in many cases, spouses and other dependants are able to bring a claim for loss of income or services provided by the deceased, that is not the case where the deceased is a child or an unmarried adult with no dependants. In that situation compensation may be limited to any pre-death pain and suffering and funeral expenses. Where death is instant, only funeral expenses are payable. That leaves a situation where only a few thousand pounds are payable. That law badly fails bereaved families in that situation and requires urgent review.
The law surrounding fatal accidents is complex and requires careful consideration. At Slater and Gordon, our lawyers are experts in this field and will provide the necessary support, empathy and guidance to ensure that your legal position is clearly explained to you.