Bereavement Damages - will they ever be enough?

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BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

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APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) have urged the Law Commission to review bereavement damages. This means the damages paid to the dependent of a person fatally injured as a result of an accident. 

The current set figure for bereavement damages is £12,980. This figure is surprisingly low. Although no figure can ever compensate in full for losing a loved one, APIL have quoted the figure as 'insultingly low'. This sum can also only be claimed by a very narrow category of people who qualify for the award.

Parents are excluded from claiming the award when their children reach 18 and cohabiters are excluded completely, regardless of how long they have lived together, because there is no such thing as a common law marriage  in the UK.

This strikes me as quite remarkable when according to a recent survey almost 6 million couples in the UK are cohabiting. APIL has recommended that a more modern approach is taken and that the law is more flexible, much like the system in Scotland.

This would mean there would be a wider range of Claimants able to bring a claim and that the bereavement damages would be considered based on the  merits of case.

A fairer approach? What are your thoughts?

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