Modern Family Living Let Down By The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Pt 1)

Today’s Family Units Let Down By The Fatal Accidents Act 1976

The younger generation are no longer leaving the nest and going far and wide as the law makers once considered back in 1976 following the passing of the Fatal Accidents Act.  The law passed relates mainly to a bereavement awards (a lump sum compensation award to close family members who losses a loved one due to a fatal road accident or death at work for example).  The current award for a bereavement award is pitiful £12,980.  The award is an insult and family members who are entitled is also limited to make it unjust and harsh.

So if a child under the age of 18 dies and there are two parents surviving, they both share the award, as though the death means less.  If the child dies but is over the age of 18 years old, the parents are not entitled to a bereavement award.  A child is not entitled to anything if the child loses a parent.  Where is the justice?

Compensation for death at work
Compensation for death at work

Why is the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 Outdated?

Back in 1976 the family unit was a typical (white family – christian values) married couple with 2.2 children. Marriage was for life, children will often leave school at 16 or 18 years and work or a few to University.  Thereafter would buy a house and live independently from their parents.

Thus the passing of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 would reflect society as it was then.  Following the unlawful killing of a family member in a road traffic accident for instance, a dependency award would generally be limited to the age of 18 or 21 years for the dependent child as the law would deem that they are financially independent from the parents by then.

It mattered not too much then as the rest of the dependency compensation would be paid to the (in a typical case) surviving mother/wife.  So at the end of the day the ‘family’ would receive the dependency compensation they are entitled to.

2016 and Divorce Rates are Higher Than Marriage Rates

Fast forward 40 years since the passing of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 we are now faced with family breakups and divorces, the fatal injury laws have not kept up with the changes and creates injustice.

Further reading please see Part 2.

Contact Fatal Accident Solicitors

 

Posted: May 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm


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