Fatal accident claims can prove to be amongst the most complex personal injury compensation cases that accident claim solicitors can pursue. It is extremely important that the accident claim solicitors who act for you have the knowledge and experience to deal with the difficult issues that may arise. Following the tragic death of a friend or relative, at the forefront of our minds is ensuring that your fatal injury compensation claim is dealt with compassionately and in a way that reduces the stress to you as the grieving party. It should however be noted that time limits do apply, and you must commence the legal action by way of either settlement or the issue of proceedings in a court of law within 3 years of the date of the fatal accident.
A dependent in a fatal accident claim will need to comply as follows: –
that the death was as a direct consequence of someone else’s negligent act
that the deceased could have brought an action to recover damages had they lived
that any dependent has suffered loss as a result of the death
Definition of Dependent
The definition of ‘dependent’ is defined by statutory law and can include the following persons:-
widow/widower of the deceased
infant children of the deceased
the deceased parent
anyone who was living as a spouse immediately before the accident and for at least two years prior to the accident
This is not an exhaustive list and accident claim solicitors will be able to explain the scope of dependency and who can rightfully claim under the legislation.
Value of the Claim
Fatal accident compensation claims can be very valuable and a claim is usually includes the following:-
gratuitous services provided by the deceased
Criminal Injuries Compensation
If the death was caused by a criminal assault, then it is possible to make a claim for compensation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) which may make an award to the family of a victim of violent crime that results in death. The amount of any award is based on a formula contained within the CICA regulations.
There may be an inquest into death carried out in a court of law presided over by a specialist judge known as a coroner. The purpose of a coroner’s inquest is to establish the identity of the deceased, the place of death and the cause of death. A corners inquest does not apportion blame, but the result may have a bearing on a subsequent fatal accident compensation claim. An interested party should be represented by a specialist solicitor to preserve their right to claim compensation.