Unfortunately some accidents or occupational diseases are so serious that the victim doesn’t survive. While financial compensation is probably the last thing you want to think about if you lose a relative in an accident, money is likely to become an issue you need to address. If a family lose their main breadwinner or main carer, they will need financial help to carry on. We still have to establish that someone else was to blame for the accident or illness, and this often becomes clear at the inquest. If not, the testimony of witnesses at the inquest usually helps us to make our case or decide whose evidence we need to call at a trial. Once liability has been established, we can concentrate on maximising the compensation to ensure that the victim’s family and dependents can manage financially. Claims include a statutory award for bereavement (now a little over £11,000) which is only available to certain relatives, and a reasonable sum for the funeral expenses. Spouses and children usually have a claim for their financial dependency for which the amount of compensation can be substantial but this depends on many factors. As these claims can be very complex, they are dealt with by our most senior and experienced solicitors who can represent the family at the inquest and will treat them with the utmost sensitivity. We recognise that it is a very difficult time for all concerned and we do our very best to alleviate the stress that families inevitably suffer after a bereavement and the financial pressures that can bring.