When a person dies as a consequence of a wrongful act of another, then the deceased dependants are entitled to bring a fatal injury action*.
It is important to know that the legislation will only permit one action to be taken. This means that each dependant cannot bring a separate legal action each.
A fatal injury action* is considered a type of class action so essentially, only one action can be brought against the wrongdoer.
Firstly, an application must be made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. If If the matter goes to court an actuary’s report will likely be required.
Who is considered a ‘Dependant’
To take a fatal injury action you must be a dependant of the deceased. You must be related to the deceased. This includes a spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, step-parent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, half-sister, half-brother or possibly a former spouse, former civil partner or former co-habitant.
It is best to sit down with your Solicitor to establish this qualification under the legislation.
Fatal Injury Action – Time Limits
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.
Personal Injuries * In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
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