The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is a mechanism by which individuals can seek compensation when a husband or wife dies as a result of an accident.
As the Legislation currently stands the Act excludes cohabiting couples from claiming statutory bereavement damages.
Despite the fact that it has been deemed to be incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights, the Government have not yet changed the Rules to incorporate the rights of cohabiting couples under the Fatal Accidents Act.
It is possible for the surviving partner to challenge this position through the Courts, however, Personal Injury Lawyers are also campaigning for a change in the Law to overturn the injustice to those who have lost a loved one but are excluded from compensation simply because of the lack of marital status. Claims under the Fatal Accident Act are complicated and require expert legal advice on possible damages to be claimed.
If you require any further information about this matter then please contact a member of our personal injury litigation team who will be more than happy to assist in respect of this matter or any other personal injury matter.