The Fatal Accidents Act (at the time of this report’s publication) governed the right of surviving family members to recover non-pecuniary damages such as the loss of guidance, companionship, and care of a family member from someone who wrongfully causes their relative’s death. Section 8 of the Act provided that in the event of the loss of a family member, the following awards will be paid:
- $3000 to be split by the deceased’s parents;
- $3000 for the deceased’s spouse; and
- $3000 to be split by the deceased’s minor children.
This report contends that these amounts are insufficient and insulting to the surviving relatives. For this reason, it suggests that the Act be modified in two ways:
- the survivors should be able to claim for their out-of-pocket expenses related to the death and emotional recovery from the death; and
- the survivors should be able to claim considerably higher non-pecuniary damages.