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From 1 May 2020, the bereavement award will increase by 16% from £12,980 to £15,120 following The Damages for Bereavement (Variation of Sum) (England and Wales) Order 2020. This comes as criticism regarding the existing sum of £12,980 continued to be debated as the most recent increase was implemented seven years ago. It can be claimed by the spouse of a deceased or a parent of a child under 18 years of age who has sustained a fatal injury.
Ministers consistently rejected calls for the full reformation of the current award, and instead promised an inflationary increase of the statutory amount to reflect the current economic climate.
The range of Claimants who are eligible for bereavement damages has also faced scrutiny. The Court of Appeal judgement in Smith v Lancashire Teaching Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust and the Secretary of State for Justice (2017) highlighted that the bereavement award’s exclusion of unmarried cohabiting partners was considered to be unlawful discrimination and therefore incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. It is therefore also anticipated that the range of eligible Claimants will be extended from June 2020 under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020.
At Ramsdens Solicitors, our Personal Injury solicitors have vast experience in assisting bereaved families in claims for bereavement awards. We stand as advocate for families at Inquests, and therefore are experienced in helping families who have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence.
If you require advice following the death of a loved one, contact our Personal Injury solicitors for support on 0113 887 1834. Alternatively, you can make an enquiry using our online enquiry form and we will be in touch when it is convenient for you.