Fatal Accidents Act – MoJ moves to rectify the eligibility of cohabitants for bereavement damages

This proposal from the Ministry of Justice last week looks to rectify the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 following the Court of Appeal’s 2017 decision in Smith v Lancashire. It seems to have been released in a slightly low-key manner by the MoJ, perhaps because at the heart of it is a need to amend English law to reflect overarching European (Convention) principles – not an easy political ‘sell’ at the moment.

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Whiplash, small claims & medical reporting – new consultation

The day before the Easter weekend the Ministry of Justice published a brief consultation paper on medical reporting options under the whiplash reform programme, including the increase in the small claims limit.

The central proposal is to expand the MedCo scheme to cover obtaining initial medical reports in all motor injury small claims, whether or not the claimant is legally represented. The short period for responses – to 17 May 2019 only – might indicate some renewed momentum within the MoJ given that April 2020 appears to remain its preferred date for implementing the whiplash programme and building the necessary IT platform.

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