The president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has called for equality between jurisdictions over bereavement damages.
Speaking at APIL’s autumn conference earlier this week, John Spencer, chairman and director of Spencers Solicitors, said he wanted to see more people who were bereaved in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive the same respect, compassion and flexibility as bereaved people in Scotland.
Only spouses and civil partners of a person killed through someone else’s negligence, or the parents of a deceased child under the age of 18, are entitled to bereavement damages – £12,980 in England and Wales, and £11,800 in Northern Ireland.
‘In Scotland, bereavement damages are based on proper consideration of the closeness of relatives to the deceased to ensure payments are fair,’ Spencer said.
‘Scottish law clearly has no difficulty recognising the closeness of children to deceased parents or the dependency of other relatives on the deceased.’
He added: ‘Why should a bereaved child in Newcastle receive no compensation to help cope with the loss of a parent when a bereaved child living a few miles north, across the border, receives the help he or she needs?’