My husband died a few years ago in an accident and I know that I am entitled to make a claim for compensation. However I am unsure of what the Statute of Limitations for fatal injuries is and wondered if you could inform me.
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
The loss of a loved one in a fatal accident is a terrible experience and it is completely understandable why you wish to pursue a “personal injury” compensation claim and – given the time relatives need to grieve – the Statute of Limitations for Fatal Injuries is an important issue.
In the majority of cases, the general rule for the Statute of Limitations in any sort of personal injury compensation claim is that a time limit of two years begins to run on the date of knowledge of the injury, which is also usually the date of the accident. The same two-year rule applies to the Statue of Limitations for Fatal Injuries, with the date of knowledge likely to be the date of the victim’s death.
However, some exceptions do exist; for example, if there was uncertainty surrounding the circumstance of the accident and whether the death occurred due to the negligence of another person, and the limitation period may be extended for that reason.
In summary, according to the Statute of Limitations for fatal injuries, the plaintiff usually has two years from the date of their loved one’s death to make a compensation claim. Even if the death of your husband occurred more than two years ago, you would still be well advised to contact a solicitor at the first possible opportunity if you believe that negligence took place and that you may have a possible compensation claim. It may be the case that too much time has indeed passed, but it is still always worthwhile to enquire just in case.