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Change in Law – Bereavement Damages can now be Clamed by Cohabitees

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The Fatal Accident Act 1976 provides for bereavement damages to be awarded to a limited category of persons in the event of a fatal accident caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default.

From 1st May 2020 bereavement damages were increased to £15,120.

People eligible to claim bereavement damages has always been limited to the wife, husband or civil partner of the deceased or the parents of a minor who is not married or has a civil partner.

A welcome amendment to the Fatal Accident Act 1976 is to come into effect from Tuesday 6th October. The Fatal Accident Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020 will allow for cohabitees to be added to the list of persons eligible to claim bereavement damages.

A cohabitee partner will need to prove that immediately prior to the deceased’s death they had been living as wife, husband or civil partner with the deceased for a period of at least 2 years.

Louise Tyler


Louise Tyler


Louise is the Head of the Medical Negligence Team working in this area of law for 25 years. She is a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel, the AvMA (Action for Victims of Medical Accidents) Panel and been appointed to the Executive Committee…