Where a person dies following the wrongdoing of another, a cause of action may lie against that wrongdoer. This type of action is referred to as a Fatal Injury Claim / Fatal Injury Action.
This type of claim is a class action. In essence it means that it is brought on behalf of the Deceaseds dependents. The law in this area provides that a dependent includes the following: Spouse, Child, Grandchild, Parent, Sibling, Cohabitant of over 3 years.
Within the first six months of death, the correct person to bring a claim is the legal personal representative. If however they have not brought a claim within that timeframe, any dependant can bring a fatal injuries claim. If there is more than one dependant it is important to note that only one action for damages may be brought against the same person in respect of the death. Therefore separate claims cannot be brought and effectively one single claim should be brought collectively for all of the dependants.
An inquest will always take place in a fatal injuries case. The inquest will be held by the Coroner for the area in which the death occurred. These can be complex in nature and generally it is advisable to have legal representation at the inquest.
Depending on the circumstances, other hearings may take place ie Health & Safety investigations, criminal proceedings, investigations into Medical care or a combination of investigations can take place. Proper legal representation at an early state is recommended to ensure full information is provided regarding these investigations.
Following the necessary investigations, the injuries board process is the first step in making a claim for a fatal accident. If this process does not yield an agreed compensation amount between the parties, court proceedings will then be issued by your legal team.
Solatium is compensation for emotional rather than physical or financial compensation. The level of Solatium compensation was increased from the 11th January 2014 to €35,000.00.
Obviously this is a token amount and will never compensation for the loss of a loved one.
Further to the above claim for solatium, a dependant can claim for financial loss suffered as a result of the deceaseds death. In brief these will be:
Claim for loss of dependency referred to previously, in particular income contributed by the deceased and
Claim for special damages ie out of pocket expenses such as funeral expenses, inquest expenses etc.
Personal Injuries Claim*
In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with Reg.8 of SI 518 of 2002.
If you would like to discuss a personal injury matter please contact us to discuss further:
Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors, 22 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2.
Phone: 01 234 0044
or complete our online assessment form.