Why is the bereaement Award A Lottery?
In a civil law claim where a loved on sadly dies due to the wrongful actions of another, most typically where a driver of a motor vehicle kills another and is charged with offences such as causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving the bereaved families of can claim compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 for a bereavement award.
Now for some reason only known to the Government that sets the laws and the amount of compensation that can be claimed for a bereavement award, the amount on offer is only meant to be a token value. One could say that no amount of money can ever replaced a loved one. However, there has to be reality here when someone is unlawfully killed in an act of pure recklessness on the road or disregard over health and safety if an employee is loses his or her life at work. But where you live in the United Kingdom determies who can claim and the amount that can be claimed, an article in The Times refers; Bereavment Compensation A Lottery
What is the amount of a bereavement award?
As mentioned above this is set by the Government and has increased from £12,980 to £15,120 for any fatal accidents that have occurred on May 2020. The amount so unjust.
What is the post code award for a bereavement award? Well those who lose a loved one in Scotland, it is reported can obtain substantially more than those bereaved families in England and Wales. It appears that in Scotland they are more sympathetic to those families who lose a loved one through no fault of their own. The Courts will assess the closeness of love an affection to the deceased an place a more reasonable award.
Who can receive a bereavement award?
This is also where the lottery of where you live plays a part. In England and Wales the Fatal Accident Act 1976 is very restrictive as to who can claim a bereavement award. For instance, where a parent loses a child in a road accident, the parent cannot claim for a bereavement award if the child is 18 years or older. Makes not sense. Similarly if a chid loses a parent, the child cannot claim a bereavement award, no matter how old.
Why pay compensation for a bereavement award?
The question is why not? If a family member is killed in an accident it causes a financial loss to the household in addition to the loss of love and support for the life time of the surviving partner and children. Often the partner of the deceased will be unable to return to work for a substantial time (where the law says that they cannot claim for any loss of earnings by the way another unjust part of the laws that apply to England and Wales). The amount does not justify the loss to the family left behind. Further a larger bereavement award will also be
What is the lottery postcode for a bereavement award?
The Times Newspaper refers to the differnence in laws between Scotland and England and Wales;
“There is a postcode lottery when someone is wrongfully killed in the UK,” says Sam Elsby, the president of the APIL which produced a report showing that “only a very rigid, prescribed list of relatives qualify for statutory compensation for their untimely loss in England, Wales and Northern Ireland”.
The association says that in Scotland “the law has no difficulty in recognising the closeness of different relationships”. But in the other UK jurisdictions unmarried fathers do not qualify for payments, and step-parents, parents of adults, brothers and sisters are left out. “It is woefully discriminatory and out of date,” Elsby says.
See also: Bereavement Award in Scotland
Why is the bereavement Award Unjust?
It is difficult why the law makers in England and Wales put such token amounts on the value of life. It is because the motor injurers and employers liability insurers who are large multi international companies can lobby Government to keep payments to bereaved families low.
Because the bereaved families are vulnerable? I say this because of the phone hacking scandal where celebrities can claim over £200,000 for ‘hurt feelings’ for someone listening in on their phone calls. I have no issues with the award, but my issue is how does this compare to losing a loved one killed by another? There is simply no comparison.
How can I instruct a Bereavement Award Solicitor?
Please only contact expert solicitors in this area. A ‘personal injury’ lawyer is not usually the best solicitor to instruct unless they have a specialist interest in fatal accidents because the law of calculating compensation is different. The unwary solicitor may fail to obtain the maximum result of bereaved families.
Please remember that it is not just a bereavement award that can be claim, there are many other aspects such as funeral costs, headstone costs, dependency claim and care and support claims that can add to a substantial amount.
Please contact us now for free support and advice: bereavement awards solicitors.