Can I claim if my loved one has died?
Posted on 11th June 2019
The morning after a bank holiday weekend you may be valuing yourself at £10 (at best), on a good day would you say a million, two million, more? What do you take into account?The fact that you’re one of a kind, what kind of job you do, how much you have contributed to society, whether or not you have a family? Or none of those things because all humans are created equal?
Personal Injury Solicitors have to consider the value of injury cases on a daily basis but when there is a devastating loss of life, what value should be placed on that life, and how should Personal Injury Solicitors work it out? I guarantee you that if you ask a friend or relative who has lost a loved one, they would give anything to speak to that person one last time. No amount of money would make any kind of substitute.
Sadly, the English Courts struggle with this concept too. When it comes to actually deciding how to work out what should be taken in to account, the value of someone’s life and how to work out the amount of compensation for the loss of life they struggle even more!
The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 provides for bereavement grief damages of up to £12,980 to be paid to a child’s parents or the deceased’s spouse or civil partner. The Act also allows loved ones, including cohabitees of two years or more, to claim for the loss of financial dependency upon the deceased. This allows specified family members to claim compensation for loss of their loved one’s earnings and services such as childcare, gardening and DIY.
Personal Injury Solicitors have complained for some time now that the fact that the act allows for cohabitees of two years or more to claim is a clear indication that the court values a person more highly if they are in a relationship.
In November 2017, Jakki Smith took her case to the Court of Appeal. She sought bereavement compensation following the death of her partner of many years, claiming the exclusion of cohabitees of less than two years was discriminatory and in breach of her human rights. The Court of Appeal agreed, although she was not compensated for her grief and the loss of her soulmate, because her claim was against the National Health Service; the appeal court also ruled the NHS was under no obligation to pay any more than the statutory minimum.
Fatal Accident Claims are often complex, requiring specialist knowledge and most importantly need to be dealt with with the upmost compassion. Your local Personal Injury Solicitors, MG Legal, can help you when you need it most.
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