You may be entitled to compensation
Accidents or injuries causing the death of a loved one are often referred to as Fatal Injuries / accident. Where a loved one has died as a result of accident, the family may be entitled to compensation. No level of compensation can ever make up for the tragic loss of a loved one however, compensation may go some way of alleviating the financial hardship for those left behind after the death of a family member.
A dependent of the deceased person may bring a fatal injury claim arising out of the wrongful death. Under the Civil Liability Act, the definition of a ‘dependent’ person includes a cohabitant who is not married to the deceased but until the date of the deceased’s death had been living with the deceased for a continuous period of not less than three years.
Other dependents obviously include a spouse, parent, grandparent, stepparent, child, grandchild, stepchild, brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister of the deceased. A number of individuals may bring a fatal injuries claim. However only one claim can be brought and the person who brings the claim seeking damages arising out of the wrongful death of the deceased brings the action/claim on behalf of all of the statutory dependents. In order to take such a claim the consent of all of the statutory dependents is required.
Compensation for emotional distress
There is a statutory limit of €35,000 for compensation for emotional distress in the case of fatal injuries claims. Under the Civil Liability Act and this sum is divided between all of the statutory dependents of the deceased.
Nervous Shock Claims
In addition, family members who witnessed the accident or the immediate aftermath may be in a position to pursue a separate claim if they have suffered psychological trauma. This type of claim is often described as a ‘nervous shock’ or post-traumatic distress disorder (PTSD) claim.
Fatal injury claims can be quite complex and our expert legal advice should always be sought.