A reminder on recent changes in Fatal Accident Claims

May 26, 2021

Christopher Barnes

Two relatively recent changes may have passed practitioners by and are worth highlighting:

  1. On 1st May 2020 the award for bereavement damages increased to £15,120 (for deaths occurring on or after that day).
  2. On 6th October 2020 the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order came into force. This adds cohabitants (those living together as husband, wife or civil partner for at least 2 years pre-death) to the categories of those entitled to claim bereavement damages. It follows the decision of the Court of Appeal in 2017 in Smith v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals [2017] EWCA Civ 1916 in which the existing law was held to be incompatible with the ECHR. The resulting change has been a long time coming.