Extending list of those entitled to bereavement damages
Ministers in Northern Ireland are considering extending the list of people who would be entitled to a bereavement award in a fatal case. If successful, Northern Ireland will have succeeded in recognising that the categories of persons entitled to recover damages following the loss of a loved one, are ineffective and out of touch – something that Westminster has continually failed to rectify.Karl Tonks, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has said “Bereft siblings can be faced with a huge loss, and a bereaved parent’s anguish will not be any less just because the child has passed his 18th birthday. Despite similar reviews and recommendations to extend the system, some bereaved people in England and Wales continue to be overlooked. Northern Ireland now has the chance to take its own path and do the best it can for families who have suffered the ultimate loss”.Sharon Allison, a medical injury lawyer at Ashtons Legal says “As a Lawyer who has been litigating fatal claims for some 12 years, I have seen too many times how the law as it currently stands, fails to acknowledge that we live in a society where the conventional 2.4 children family is not always the case. Why should it be that a parent of a 17 year old can achieve recognition of damages under the Fatal Accidents Act, when the sibling of the deceased has no claim at all?I hope that Northern Ireland will lead the way in this and that Westminster will be encouraged to take action without further delay”.
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