Bereavement damages have increased – The law is slightly less ridiculous
Published: 28th April 2020
The government will increase damages where someone has been killed due to someone’s negligence. It is now £12980 and will rise to £15210 where the death is after 1/5/20. Lawyers have been calling for this for years. But to claim for bereavement damages, certain criteria must be met. You have to be a spouse, civil partner or parent if the child is under 18. Unmarried couples who’ve been together for at least two years are now also included following a legal challenge. it will also include cohabiting partners if they have lived together for over 2 years at the time of death.
But this still means that only a small group of people are entitled to damages and the sums allowed for the person’s death are still tiny when compared to the trauma of losing a loved one.
In Scotland, grandparents, brothers/sisters, children and grandchildren are also entitled to an award for bereavement, and there is no limit on the sums awarded. Awards of up to £100,000 are not unheard of.
That said, English law allows a claim for financial and other losses caused by the death, which can often make the final damages figure a large sum
As the law stands then, we often have to tell a grieving family where their family member has died as a result of say negligent treatment in a hospital that there is not a penny that can be claimed for the death. Instead, we have to prove all sorts of other losses so that their loved one’s death doesn’t end up being valued at nothing. In short, it’s an improvement, but not nearly enough.