Bereavement damages – Unmarried woman wins legal battle

29th November 2017

Yesterday a woman in Lancashire won her legal battle for better rights for unmarried people who lose their long-term partners. Jakki Smith’s partner of 16 years died in 2011 when an infection was missed by medics, however she was denied bereavement damages.

Nicola Winslett, a senior solicitor within our medical negligence department commented on the case “This is a long overdue review and should bring the law in line with social behaviour. Co-habiting was the fastest growing family type in the UK according to the Office of National Statistics in 2015, accounting for 16.4% of all family units in the UK. With nearly 3 million opposite sex and 84,000 same sex co-habiting couples in 2015 this indicates the size of the population affected.

This case brings the bereavement award, which is awarded by the Fatal Accidents Act 1974, in line with the Law Reform Misc Provisions Act 1934 which allows a co-habitee of 2 years to claim compensation against the party who may have caused the death of their loved one for the loss of financial support and care. Until now those persons have not been able to claim the statutory award for the bereavement.

On a practical note the probate laws will still present challenges as the surviving co-habitee is not the “first in-line” to bring a claim for the pain and suffering of their loved one prior to death unless the deceased left a will but yesterday’s development is potentially a step towards a more equal future.”

Read the full coverage of the case here.

Categories

Archives

Further Reading…

The UK’s Most Feared Professions

24th July 2017

Brits’ most liked and feared professions revealed Being approachable and accessible when working in a customer-facing role is paramount, however this isn’t always the case as many of us have…

RCOG New Guidance on GBS

25th September 2017

RCOG publishes new guidance on managing Group B Strep infection The updated Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guideline on Group B Strep was published on 13 September 2017.  The…

Take the first step now, you have nothing to lose

Highly rated on 4.0/5.0

  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2016
  • The Sunday Times Top 100 - Best Companies To Work For 2016
  • The Lawyer UK200 - Listed Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Investors In People Awards 2016 - Winner
  • Lexcel - Excellence in Legal Practice Management and Client Care
  • IIP - Investors in People
  • sia - Spinal Injuries Association
  • MASS - Motor Accident Solicitors Society
  • Apil - Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Headway - The Brain Injury Association
  • avma - Action Against Medical Accidents
  • Backup Trust - Transforming Lives After Spinal Cord Injury
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Cyber Essentials
Any Questions?

We know that making a claim can raise a few questions, here are some of the ones we get asked most often.

Read our FAQs

Contact Details
Phone
03300 080 321
Email
enquiry@fs.co.uk
Southport
Dukes House, 34 Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 0PU
Manchester
St James's Tower, 7 Charlotte Street, Manchester, M1 4DZ
Map of the UK