Fatal Injury Accident Claims

It is evident that losing a loved one is the most difficult and traumatic situation, especially if death was caused because of somebody elses negligence. 

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 or omission, and to reduce a financial burden which often arises to a party whose loved one has passed.  

If you wish to contact us to discuss we can be contacted at (01) 546 1121 1 or  (052) 612 1999 and our email address is info@clearysolicitors.com

This post will give you preliminary information on the matter.  

fatal injury claim

Legal Process

This type of legal action has a statutory footing arising from Part IV of the Civil Liability Act 1961.

Section 48 of this Act states ‘’Where the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act of another such as would have entitled the party injured, but for his death, to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof, the person who would have been so liable shall be liable to an action for damages for the benefit of the dependants of the deceased’’.

The first step if legal advice is sought is to sit down with your solicitor who will be conscious of the sensitive nature of the matter and will explore the matter with you. A coroners inquest may also be taking place or due to place and matters can be discussed at a meeting. After the facts are explored and investigated then any options to proceed forward will be presented to 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.  

Once the claim is initiated it proceeds to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board and we have a separate post on PIAB.


An inquest may be required in circumstances where the coroner is informed that the deceaseds body is within his/her district, and if the coroner is of the opinion the death might have occured either in a violent manner, or unnatural manner, or the cause of death is unknown.

Legislative provision is provider to Coroners for this duty under the Coroners Act of 1962.

The Injuries Board

A fatal injury accident claim is different to a personal injury claim, however, it must nevertheless be submitted to the Injuries Board. If court proceedings are to issue then permission from the Injuries Board in a document called an Authorisation must be firstly obtained.

Personal Representative

A personal representative of the deceased can inititate this legal action type.

S.48 of the Civil Liability Act 1961 states that ”The action may be brought by the personal representative of the deceased or, if at the expiration of six months from the death there is no personal representative or no action has been brought by the personal representative, by all or any of the dependants.

In addition to the above-mentioned person a dependant as defined by the S.47 of the Civil Liability Act 1961 can also bring this legal action type.

Heads of Damages

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 for the treatment, for example, 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. 

Assessessing losses is a complicated task and the assistance of an expert for the loss computation is likely required.

Time Limit in Fatal Injury Claims* legal actions  

A fatal injury action* must be brought within two years of the date of death.

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 a loved one due to a fatal accident and if you have doubts about whether you qualify for a fatal injury claim or not, then you can contact a legal advisor for an initial meeting to 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, which can be as a result of a road traffic accident or accident at work.  

Who can take a Fatal Injury Claims* legal action ?  

According to the legislation, legal action can be taken by the deceased dependents, if the death caused is 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) or siblings of the deceased (brothers, cousins, sisters, nephews, nieces). 

Fatal accidents at Work

Fatal accidents at work are uncommon but when it does arise it can be tragic for the family concerned as there was no warning.

A family member may have depended both financially and emotionally on the deceased, which could be the spouse and kids for example and in this circumstance they may have practical concerns in addition to the grieving and concerns about any negligence involved.

Personal Injury Solicitors

Kieran Cleary and Roger Cleary, Personal Injury Solicitors can help with questions you may have regarding negligence, liability, case viability etc. and our numbers are (01) 546 1121 or  (052) 612 1999 or our email address is info@clearysolicitors.com

Disclaimer – Fatal Injury Claims

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.

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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We help people injured due to negligence* attain restitution to their pre-accident position, as much as is possible, for the pain, suffering & financial loss, by seeking damages from the negligent party on their behalf.