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Legal Briefing
Cyclists and the Law
 

 

Fatal Injury - What price human life?

 

Apr 2, 2014

 


Fatal Injury:

If you are unfortunate enough to have lost a loved one through the negligence of a third party, even where there is no direct financial dependency, you may be entitled to recover damages such as the funeral expenses and/or the damages for mental distress (also known as “Solatium”)

 

Where a person dies as a result of the negligence or breach of duty of another, “dependants” will be entitled to bring a claim for damages against the person responsible for the death. “Dependant” includes a spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, step-parent, child, grandchild, step-child and siblings.

 

One court action should be taken on behalf of all concerned and the law allows three general areas of recovery. These are:

(a) Funeral and other expenses incurred directly as a result of the wrongful act giving rise to the claim;

(b) The loss of pecuniary benefits and benefits that can be reduced to monetary values. This would include the loss of future income and the value of services that the Deceased might have provided;

(c) Compensation for mental distress.

The amount that may be claimed for mental distress is subject to a maximum sum, regardless of the number of dependants. In the absence of agreement between the parties, it is to be divided between them as the Court thinks appropriate. Until recently the maximum sum that could be awarded by the Court for mental distress was €25,394. Since January 2014 the sum has been increased to €35,000.

 

If you are unfortunate enough to have lost a loved one through the negligence of a third party, even where there is no direct financial dependency, you may be entitled to recover damages such as the funeral expenses and/or the damages for mental distress (also known as “Solatium”).

 

Care should be taken to retain details of expenses incurred following such a death and receipts where possible. The owners of motor vehicles must carry insurance and there is a fund to cover the liability of uninsured motorists. Also employers and property owners are likely to have insurance to cover losses of this nature. If you need further advice on this subject, please call to make an appointment.

 
 
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