The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has called for changes to the system of compensation in England and Wales for bereaved families following an accident at work, adding that it should follow the system in operation in Scotland.
The call came as APIL marked Workers’ Memorial Day, which remembers all those who lost their lives at work. According to APIL, unmarried partners, stepchildren and step-parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and single dads are all victims of a “cruel oversight” in the law for bereaved families.
“When someone is killed at work through negligence, the loved ones they leave behind can make a legal claim for a fixed sum of £12,980 to compensate for their loss,” explained Brett Dixon, president of APIL. “But only if they are a spouse or civil partner, or the parents of unmarried children under the age of 18. Even then, only mothers are eligible if parents were not married when their children were born.”
“Heartbroken relatives are cruelly overlooked by the law in England. It is not fit for purpose in a modern, civilised society,” he said. “Losing a step-parent can leave a cavernous hole in someone’s life. And long-term partners are just as bereft as they would be if they had been married.”
APIL says the answer lies in Scotland, where the amount of compensation granted relies on a full examination of the closeness of the bereaved to the deceased, to ensure that any payments are fair and go to the correct person.
If you have been injured in the course of your work then contact our specialist personal injury lawyers today to find out more about your compensation rights.