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Dependants Claim

Damages under this heading are secured under the provisions of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

If a family member has been dependant on the victim for financial support, they can make a claim for the loss of that continuing support as long as the accident was a result of the wrong act or negligence of someone else.

Family members who can make such a claim are typically spouse or children of the deceased. Other family members who can make such a claim include a grandchild, parent or guardian, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle, former husband or wife and co-habitees living as husband or wife for at least two years.

It is important to note that it must be established that the individual was financially dependant on the deceased in order to be able to establish a claim for the loss of financial support, loss of other types of support such as childcare or household duties, and for loss of other benefits such as pension rights.

You can make a victims claim for compensation if they had suffered distress, emotional or physical pain prior to death. There is also a separate statutory award for bereavement applicable in certain circumstances.

What to do next?

There are strict time limits that must be complied with to enable fatal accident claims to proceed. Court Proceedings must have been commenced within three years of the date of death or the date the death was linked to the accident/exposure. If a person is part of the way through dealing with their personal injury compensation claim when they die, then the three year deadline begins from the date of their death; so as to enable their family to continue with the claim.

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