Fatal accident bereavement award extended

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is an important statute which allows the dependants of a person who has died due to the wrongdoing of another to claim damages. The sorts of circumstances where the Act might apply are death as a result of:

  • Medical negligence
  • Road accident
  • Accident at work

The Act limited the categories of people who can claim, which includes:

  • Spouses or civil partners in respect of the death of the other
  • Parents of the person who has died if they were unmarried
  • Children

Dependants can claim for:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Bereavement damages
  • Loss of income and services dependency

From 6 October 2020, the category of people entitled to the statutory bereavement award is extended to include cohabitees. The claimant must have cohabited with the deceased person for a period of at least two years immediately prior to the death. This amendment was made to put right an incompatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The loss of a loved one is devastating and the complexity can be compounded where a fatal accident is involved. Anyone who may be entitled to make a claim should consider taking specialist legal advice.

To discuss this or any other litigation matter, contact us.