Bereavement Compensation

Mothers Seek Reform for Child Bereavement Compensation

Two mothers, whose sixteen-year-old daughters died in a car accident, have started an online movement looking to reform bereavement compensation laws.

The fatal accident occurred in November last year, when five people were killed whilst travelling along the A360 in Conisborough, South Yorkshire. The driver of the car lost control and collided with a Seat Leon that was travelling in the other direction.

Fortunately, the driver of the other car managed to escape the fatal accident with just a broken leg. An investigation was conducted by the police, who interviewed a third driver present at the scene, though no charges were brought forward.

Two of the tragic victims were Megan Storey and Jordanna Goodwin, both aged sixteen and lifelong friends. The girls, from Dorset, were described as inseparable by their mothers.

When a compensation claim was filed by the mothers of the deceased girls, each received just £12,980 in compensation as no-one was found at fault. The mothers’ solicitor described the compensation as pitiful when compared to compensation given in other situations, such as when the privacy of celebrity figures in breached.

Recently, the mothers – Tracey Storey and Cicki McCarthy – have begun an e-petition seeking change in current legislation for bereavement compensation. They would like to see a model similar to that in Scotland – where a judge can determine settlements – adopted in England.

“This is not about being greedy and seeking more money” Tracey Storey told a reporter at The Times, “as no amount of money can compensate for the loss of Megan or Jordanna. It is about the injustice of the way the system works”.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), who have previously campaigned for similar changes, have shown their support. The association believes that, not only is the compensation too low, but too few people are eligible to claim it.

With current legislation, only legal spouses, civil partners, and parents of children aged under eighteen can claim bereavement compensation – no other group is allowed.