Historically, it was held that ‘in a civil court the death of a human being cannot be complained of as an injury’, (per Lord Parker in Commissioners v SS Amerika [1917] AC 39. This harsh stance has gradually been diluted by various Acts of Parliament since, albeit not completely.

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA) was amended to introduce damages for bereavement. The intention of this award was to represent compensation for the grief and trauma suffered by surviving relatives. The Act was introduced at the recommendation of the Law Commission following its report in 1973; ‘Personal Injury Litigation – Assessment of Damages’. The purpose o...

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