A reminder on recent changes in Fatal Accident Claims
May 26, 2021
Two relatively recent changes may have passed practitioners by and are worth highlighting:
- On 1st May 2020 the award for bereavement damages increased to £15,120 (for deaths occurring on or after that day).
- 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  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.