Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Bereavement laws for fathers are outdated

21 Oct 2021
APIL news

Unmarried dads whose children are wrongfully killed are snubbed by the woefully outdated law on bereavement compensation in England and Wales.


When grieving parents are not married or in a civil partnership, their child is classed as ‘illegitimate’ and only the mother is entitled to claim statutory bereavement damages.


New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that half of all babies in the UK are born to parents who are not married or in a civil partnership. This means that every other child on the maternity ward in this country, in 2021, has a parent who is not properly recognised in the eyes of the law.


Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. In these cases, the death could and should have been avoided. These are children who died because of negligence, such as in car crashes or failures in medical care. The heartbreak and trauma suffered by their fathers is ignored.


The statistics prove that the current law is out of touch with modern family relationships. Change is long overdue.



Neil McKinley


Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)

Past letters to the press

Dismantling the Human Rights Act is abhorrent - A letter to the press, 05 Apr 2022
Missed opportunity to help bereaved families , 07 Feb 2022
Northern Ireland bereavement law is out of touch, 08 Nov 2021
Medical litigation (The Times 14 July) , 14 Jul 2021
The Times re: Tight leash on whiplash crash claims, 29 May, 02 Jun 2021
APIL calls for time limit on child abuse claims to be abolished , 11 Feb 2021
MoD shirking responsibility to pay compensation to injured veterans after six years, 28 Jul 2020
Regional newspapers: Being late is taken more seriously than being injured needlessly, 28 Jan 2020

More past letters to the press

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