Where a person dies as a result of the wrongful act of another, in certain circumstances an action can be pursued against that wrongdoer. This type of action is known as a “Fatal Injury Action” and has a statutory basis in Part IV of the Civil Liability Act, 1961.

Only one action may be brought against the wrongdoer in respect of the death and it must be brought on behalf of all of the deceased’s dependants. The action may be brought by the personal representative of the deceased, or, if at the expiration of six months from the death there is no personal representative or no action has been brought by the personal representative, by all or any of the dependants.

To come within the definition of a “dependant”, a person must have suffered financial loss or mental distress as a result of the deceased’s death and be related to the deceased in a manner which is defined in the Act.

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