It is evident that losing a loved one is the most difficult and traumatic situation, especially if death caused because of somebody elses irresponsibility.
Nothing can compensate for that loss, however, the option of legal redress in the circumstances can be a vehicle to obtain an apology, a change in whatever led to the negligent act, and to reduce a financial burden which often arises to a party whose loved one has passed.
If you wish to know what can be done to assist you, this article can give you some useful information on the topic.
What are Fatal Injury Claims legal actions ?
At a very basic level when a person dies in an accident because of the wrongful acts of another person, then the deceased persons family can take a legal action to claim justice and compensation for the death of their loved one, known as, a fatal injury claim legal action.
If you have suffered a loss of loved one due to a fatal accident and if you have any doubts about whether you qualify for a fatal injury claim or not, then you can contact a legal advisor for an initial meeting to just discuss your options.
A solicitor will furnish his/her opinion of the available options open to you, and it is then in your hands to consider what you wish to do.
Your solicitors legal task is to assist you in proving the case and holding the offending party to account.
There are many different types of accidents that are subject to a fatal accident claim, with the most common being a road traffic accident or accident at work.
Who can take a Fatal Injury Claim legal action ?
According to the legislation, legal action and compensation can be claimed by the deceased dependents, if the death caused due to the wrongful act of another. A dependent can be a spouse, any person who was living with the deceased for more than 2 years, deceased’s children (can be blood children, adopted), Parents (Grandparents, any other guardians), siblings of the deceased (brothers, cousins, sisters, nephews, nieces).
What Can be claimed ?
This will vary depending on the individual circumstances of the person taking the case, however, here are some examples:
1- Actual Losses – This is the basic compensation that anyone can claim. All the expenses that the deceased dependents have made for the treatment of the deceased person are covered in this.
It includes medical expenses, housing adaptations, medical treatment traveling expenses, and funeral expenses etc.
2- Loss of Services – If the deceased person was providing other services like childcare, housework, etc.
3 – Loss of Earnings – Often a spouse depended on the income of the deceased spouse, and therefore are now at a financial loss.
4 – Mental Distress – The dependents of the deceased can also claim what is known as the solatium. It is the amount that is awarded to the deceased dependents for the mental stress they had to bear. The maximum amount paid to the dependents is a fixed amount.
The first step should you obtain legal advice, is to sit down with your solicitor and let him/her assist you with an initial meeting to discuss the options with you.
Should you wish to bring a case and your solicitor is satisfied to proceed, then your solicitor will take charge of the case and proceed to start to gather the evidence and get the case moving.
The matter will go to the Injuries Board firstly and may then to proceed to court.
Depending on the nature of the case and if liability is in dispute, a Consulting Engineer may need to be engaged to conduct a liability report in the matter and the Defendant will be asked to instruct solicitors to defendant proceedings etc.
Time Limit in Fatal Injury Accident Claims legal actions
A fatal injury action must be brought within two years of the date of death or within two years from the date of knowledge of the person for whose benefit the action is brought, whichever is the latest.
If the dependants bring an action outside of this time the dependant may seek consent of the court to extend the time, but a time extension is unlikely, and so the dependants will not be able to take the case.
8(b) “In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement”.
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.