The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is an important statute which allows the dependants of a person who has died due to the wrongdoing of another to claim damages. The sorts of circumstances where the Act might apply are death as a result of:
- Medical negligence
- Road accident
- Accident at work
The Act limited the categories of people who can claim, which includes:
- Spouses or civil partners in respect of the death of the other
- Parents of the person who has died if they were unmarried
Dependants can claim for:
- Funeral expenses
- Bereavement damages
- Loss of income and services dependency
From 6 October 2020, the category of people entitled to the statutory bereavement award is extended to include cohabitees. The claimant must have cohabited with the deceased person for a period of at least two years immediately prior to the death. This amendment was made to put right an incompatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights.
The loss of a loved one is devastating and the complexity can be compounded where a fatal accident is involved. Anyone who may be entitled to make a claim should consider taking specialist legal advice.
To discuss this or any other litigation matter, contact us.