Please note that bereavement damages are a special award in case of death. The estate of the deceased can sue for pain and suffering before death and for loss of dependency (e.g. if a parent or spouse etc. worked and paid for household expenses etc.). It is complicated which is why you should seek legal advice, if not from a solicitor, from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
CO-Gas Safety recommends various lawyers and other experts. Although the charity could charge fees for doing this quite legally, we don’t ever charge for recommendations, because we don’t think this is in the best interests of survivors/victims or their families. If you need a lawyer or other expert, we suggest you get in touch with us, ideally by email because that’s easier for us to deal with email@example.com We will try to make an appointment to have a chat with you about your needs, at least on the phone. The earlier you contact us the better and if it’s really urgent please ring 07803 088688 and we do understand that some people poisoned by carbon monoxide find writing impossible. However, we are a very small charity and can get overwhelmed.
Bereavement Damages for Loss of a Loved One
The law is subject to constant change.
An example of this is in the area of bereavement damages or compensation for the loss of a loved one.
A bereavement award under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is an award of compensation or damages made following the unlawful death of a person due to the negligence of another, for example as a result of a road traffic accident or in the case of medical malpractice or negligence.
Damages for Bereavement (Variation of Sum) (England and Wales) Order 2020 has increased the lump sum which is awarded in these circumstances from £12,980 to £15,120. This is the first increase in seven years. This sum appears to be an insult to many families who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, however the reason for the low level of this award is due to public policy reasons.
Following the high profile case of Jacqueline Smith v Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Secretary of State for Justice 2017, a partner of the deceased who had lived with them continuously for two years prior to their death can now make such a claim as it was decided this law was incompatible with the provisions of the European Convention on human rights.
The law will be changed following parliamentary intervention as of 6 October 2020 and will apply to any case where death arises after this date, however this now results in an anomaly, for example where the deceased was still married at the time of their death but had been living with their partner for at least two years. In this scenario, the award will be divided between two claimants, namely the estranged spouse and the current partner.
This area of the law is complex and in order to ensure that any claim is made correctly, special legal advice should be obtained.
Parisa Costigan, Senior Solicitor of Glanvilles Damant solicitors has over thirty years’ experience of dealing with complex personal injury and medical negligence claims. If you would like to have a without obligation free initial chat, please call her on 01983 213811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org