CHANGES IN FATAL ACCIDENT ACT: STATUTORY BEREAVEMENT AWARD EXTENDED TO COHABITEES

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020 comes into force on the 6th October 2020. It extends the scope of people entitled to the statutory bereavement award, extending it to cohabitees.

 

THE ORDER

The Order inserts the term “cohabiting partner” into the class of people entitled to the bereavement payment.  Note that this definition also applies to same sex relationships.

2.—(1) Section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is amended as follows.
(2) After subsection (2)(a) (and before the “and”) insert—
“(aa) of the cohabiting partner of the deceased;”.
(3) After subsection (2) insert—
“(2A) In subsection (2) “cohabiting partner” means any person who—
(a) was living with the deceased in the same household immediately before the date of
the death; and
(b) had been living with the deceased in the same household for at least two years
before that date; and
(c) was living during the whole of that period as the wife or husband or civil partner of
the deceased.”

THINGS TO NOTE

This Order is not retrospective. It does not apply to deaths that occurred before the 6th October 2020.

THE REASON FOR THE ORDER

This is set out in the explanatory note.

“In the case of Jacqueline Smith v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and others [2017] EWCA Civ 1916, the Court of Appeal made a declaration of incompatibility in relation to section 1A of the Act, on the basis that limiting the category of persons eligible for bereavement damages to the wife, husband or civil partner of the deceased (or, in the case of a minor who has never married or been a civil partner, the parents of the deceased) was contrary to Article 14, in conjunction with Article 8, of the European Convention of Human Rights.”

FATAL ACCIDENT DAMAGES: A REMINDER

Hilary Wetherall and I are giving a series of webinars on fatal accidents: Fatal Accidents 2020.

FATAL ACCIDENTS: SEEING THE CLIENT FOR THE FIRST TIME, PREPARING THE CLIENT FOR THE INQUEST AND ATTENDING THE INQUEST (16th October 2020)

This webinar, presented by Hilary,  will take you through the essential first meeting with the client, discussion and advice about funding and retainers and also preparing for an attending an inquest.

  • How to prepare for the first meeting
  • What you need to know
  • Conducting the first meeting
  • Advising on retainers and funding
  • Advising on coronial law and the inquest, preparing for and attending an inquest.

Booking details are available here. 

UNDERSTANDING THE LAW RELATING TO FATAL ACCIDENTS (28th OCTOBER 2020)

This webinar, presented by Gordon Exall, takes you through the essential elements you have to consider before you can advise whether a claim for fatal accident damages can be brought.

  • The basic principles of fatal claims
  • When can a fatal accident claim be brought?
  • Who is eligible to bring a claim?
  • Who is a dependant?
  • The type of financial dependency that entitles a party to claim
  • The difference between a Fatal Accident Act claim and a claim on behalf of the estate.

Booking details are available here. 

PREPARING A SCHEDULE IN A FATAL CLAIM (30th OCTOBER 2020)

This webinar looks at the essential elements of a claim for damages in fatal accident litigation, considering all the information necessary to draft a credible schedule in support.

 

  • Basic principles of the dependency calculation.
  • Claims for financial dependency.
  • Loss of a carer – the growing importance of claims for non-financial dependency.
  • Multipliers and periods of loss in fatal cases.
  • Bereavement damages.
  • Claiming injuries and losses of the deceased person prior to death.
  • Matters that are disregarded – the significance of Section 4 of the Fatal Accidents Act.

Booking details are available here.

ENSURING EVERYTHING GOES RIGHT – AVOIDING THE PITFALLS OF FATAL ACCIDENT LITIGATION (6th November 2020)

This webinar looks at the potential problem areas of fatal accident litigation and considers how best to avoid them

  • Limitation in fatal cases
  • Matters that can bar a fatal accident claim
  • Procedural matters on the issue of proceedings
  • Witness statements and evidence in fatal cases
  • Examples of professional negligence claims in fatal cases and how to avoid those pitfalls

Booking details are available here. 

FATAL ACCIDENTS: TAKING CARE OF THE CLIENT AND TAKING CARE OF YOURSELVES (11th NOVEMBER 2020)

This webinar, presented by Hilary, looks at practical ways in which practitioners can avoid, or mitigate trauma to themselves when dealing with bereaved clients.

It also looks at the practical steps that lawyers can take to understand the bereaved client and ensure that they are able to participate in the litigation process with the minimum amount of disruption.

Booking details are available here.