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For many years, the law in relation to bereavement damages has been outdated and is not reflecting today’s modern society and ensuring a level playing field across the UK and the rest of the world including Cyprus.

Bereavement damages are a type of compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 in the UK. You may be entitled to bereavement damages if your loved one has passed away in a fatal accident that was caused by the unlawful negligence of another party. The limited list contained in section 1A Fatal Accidents Act 1976 means several people, who would consider themselves bereaved on a person’s death, are unable to claim the bereavement award. “Modern families” now come in various forms, from the typical nuclear family to more common variations including single-parent families, stepfamilies, extended families, and same-sex families. The law on bereavement damages is out of step with modern society. It is an issue that is currently being debated in England by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

The Act only provides for a current spouse or civil partner of the deceased, meaning that any former spouse or civil partner is excluded from claiming. A person living in the same household as the deceased as his or her partner, though not yet married is also excluded from the act, although there is an acceptance that living as a couple for at least two years will justify an award and is usually settled on human rights grounds. However, there is no provision for:

  • the father of an “illegitimate” child, or the adoptive parents, or aunts/uncles/stepparents and grandparents that raise children as their own.
  • the parent(s) of an 18+ year old child to seek a bereavement award.

In Cyprus, the right to recover compensation in respect of an act causing death is covered by Article 58 of the tort law (Ch.148) 2002, and the same questions and issues are raised as above, even though we have a broader coverage of people being legalized in bereavement compensation rehabilitation recovery such as grandparents or adopted children or illegitimate children.  

Laws should evolve and change to reflect the morals and values of the society we live in. As society is continually developed, we have modern families and unmarried cohabits, the law itself should not restrict whom you consider a loved one to the deceased so that he can be compensated in the event of death. The modern family seen today has evolved and it is time for the law to evolve too, enabling a wider group of bereaved individuals to qualify for the bereavement award.


For more information, please visit our website microsite on Insurance Personal Injury or or send your queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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