LIFE BITE: DOJ announces increase in amount of Bereavement Damages

apple-150579_1280Today, the Northern Ireland Department of Justice has announced that bereavement damages available in Northern Ireland are to be increased from £11,800 to £14,400.

This follows the consultation launched by the Department in October 2015 about whether the level of compensation payable to families whose loved ones have been needlessly killed in Northern Ireland should be increased.  The DOJ consultation paper stated that any increase in the bereavement damages should either bring Northern Ireland in line with England and Wales at £12,980, or with the level of inflation, estimated at £14,339.

After consultation, the Department has agreed that bereavement damages in Northern Ireland will be increased by inflation, rounded to the nearest £100, and will be adjusted every three years. Northern Ireland will now have higher bereavement damages than England and Wales.  The system in Scotland remains that each case is judged and evaluated on its own merits.

Martin Hanna, NI representative of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and partner in Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors says:

“This is a fantastic result for Northern Ireland citizens who up to now received less bereavement damages in Northern Ireland than anyone else in the United Kingdom. Whilst no amount of money can ever replace a loved one, bereavement damages do at least acknowledge that a death has been caused needlessly.  The level of payment previously available was woefully inadequate and so the DOJ announcement of this increase is a step in the right direction.”

For more information on bereavement damages, feel free to contact Martin at mhanna@fhanna.co.uk or contact us at Life Law Ni here

LIFE BITE: Bereaved NI families lose out in compensation ‘lottery’

apple-150579_1280Compensation for families whose loved ones have been needlessly killed in Northern Ireland is ‘wretchedly inadequate’, say lawyers as they urge for the level of payment to bereaved families to be increased.

 

On Monday 5th October 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a consultation about whether the level of bereavement damages, which currently stands at £11,800, should be increased.

Martin Hanna, NI representative of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and partner in Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors says:-

“Bereft families deserve better from the justice system when their loved ones’ deaths could and should have been avoided. As it stands, the payment is wretchedly inaccurate, so we welcome any progress on rectifying this”.

“Bereavement damages in the UK are a lottery based on where the death happens. The level of payment is at its lowest in Northern Ireland at £11,800, and is nearly £1,200 more in England and Wales. In Scotland, the system is much fairer, with each case judged and evaluated on its own merits.” 

The DOJ consultation paper says that any increase in the payment should either bring Northern Ireland in line with England and Wales at £12,980, or with the level of inflation, estimated at £14,339.

Mr Hanna added:

“No amount of money can ever replace a loved one, but bereavement damages do at least acknowledge that a death has been caused needlessly. This issue with the level of payment is not about replacing what is lost, but about looking after those left behind,”

The DOJ consultation closes on 30 November 2015

If you would like to learn more about the consultation paper, it can be found at http://www.dojni.gov.uk/index/public-consultations/current-consultations/bereavement-damages-consultation.pdf

For any further information on you and your family’s legal right to bereavement damages,  please feel free to contact us below or alternatively , email us at kconnolly@fhanna.co.uk