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Increase in Fatal Accident Bereavement Award
Earlier this month, it was announced that there has been a change in the law relating to fatal accidents - the fixed bereavement award paid under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 has increased to £15,120.
Since 2013 the fixed amount had been £12,980, and so the latest amendment to the act is a welcome one. That said, the increased amount is applicable only for causes of action which accrue on or after 1st May 2020 - it cannot be backdated.
What is the Fatal Accident Bereavement Award?
Under section 1A(2) of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, a limited class of people are entitled to file a claim for damages following the death of a loved one if the accident was a result of somebody else's error or negligence.
Those entitled to bereavement damages include the wife, husband or civil partner of the deceased; or the parents of a child who was under the age of 18 at the time of death. However, if the child’s parents are unmarried, the father cannot claim bereavement damages, only the mother. Similarly, cohabitees of the deceased cannot recover bereavement damages, nor can any former wife, husband or civil partner.
The increase in the award follows the publication of the draft Remedial Order to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, which was expected to see the range of Claimants eligible to recover bereavement awards extended to allow individuals who had been cohabiting for more than two years, with effect from June – July 2020. This consideration is yet to reach conclusion and with the current lockdown in place, it is hoped a final decision will now be made by the end of 2020.
Our team of specialist lawyers is here for you and ready to help you get the support you need if you have lost a loved one as a result of clinical negligence.
Our highly regarded clinical negligence team is made up of Helen Dolan, Lesley Herbertson, Gill Edwards and Helen Budge, all of whom feature in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers guides. We have considerable experience of dealing with cases just like this, and can help to advise you at every step of what can often be a challenging legal process - and beyond - during this diffficult time.
Give us a call on 0800 027 2557, or fill in the contact form on the side of the page to request a call back at your convenience. Alternatively, take a look at our dedicated Fatal Accidents page for further information.