Fatal claims and Inquests

Travel Law and foreign claims

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 48(1) of the Civil Liability Act, 1961, as amended, the dependants of a deceased person may bring a cause of action arising out of the wrongful death. Section 8 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act, 2004, requires that a letter of claim be sent to the wrongdoer before the expiration of two months from the date of accrual of the cause of action, ie the accident, or as soon as practical thereafter.


Once the letter of claim has been sent to the wrongdoer, an application to Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) is submitted. If the defendant admits liability and consents, the claim may be assessed and compensation determined by PIAB.


If the party bringing the claim is unsatisfied with PIAB’s determination, PIAB will authorise the matter to go to trial. It is noteworthy however that in circumstances where there is a substantial loss of earning claim which proves difficult for PIAB to assess, the fatal injury claim may proceed to court for adjudication.


Damages or compensation in fatal injuries claims are determined by PIAB and/or the court on the basis of three grounds:


  • Special damages arising from the death, eg. Funeral expenses;
  • Loss of dependency
  • Emotional distress