When a person has lost a loved one, such as a partner or other relative, the immediate reaction is shock followed by sadness. The mourning process is even more challenging when the cause of death is someone else’s fault. This can lead to other complex feelings such as anger and frustration. If someone has died due to negligence, such as an accident at work, there may be a case to answer in court.
In the UK, the bereavement award is a compensation claim that pays out damages to those eligible. The award is often seen as a token recognition that the death was wrongful or unlawful, but many solicitor firms agree that it isn’t adequate.
A Compensation Award That Is Too Low and Unjust
The amount of compensation awarded for a successful bereavement award claim is a statutory sum of £12,980. This figure has remained the same since April 2013 having previously been £11,800. It’s the opinion of several solicitors that the award is far too low. It’s argued that the award does not offer an appropriate amount of compensation for the suffering caused. One of the richest countries in the world should be able to offer more compensation instead of ensuring insurance companies pay out a set fee regardless of the individual case.
It’s also widely believed that the bereavement award is an unjust law regarding criteria. Under certain circumstances, some of those affected by a bereavement are not eligible for a claim. It is a restrictive law that only provides damages for spouses or civil partners. For example, parents don’t receive compensation for the loss of their son or daughter should they be 18 years or older. Similarly, a child gets nothing should they lose a parent.
The Bereavement Award Has Been Challenged in Court
For many years there has been plenty of debate about the bereavement award and this has led to it being challenged in court. Many of those affected by a bereavement have argued about their lack of entitlement due to being unmarried.
One such court case involved NHS worker Jakki Smith. Ms Smith lost her long-term partner from an infection following surgery. The couple had been in a relationship for 16 years but never married, which meant that the government denied her entitlement to bereavement damages. Ms Smith took her battle to court which eventually led to a historic ruling. In November 2017 the court ruled in her favour by declaring that the bereavement award was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Have You Been Affected by a Bereavement?
Have you lost a loved one through no fault on their own? If you think you are entitled to a bereavement award compensation, don’t wait around. Find the right solicitors to secure the compensation you deserve. Fatal Accident Claims can offer advice to guide you towards the best solution.