(Jersey) Law 1962
A LAW to consolidate the law relating
to the recovery of damages in respect of fatal accidents, and to amend that law
by enlarging the class of persons for whose benefit an action may be brought
and providing for certain benefits to be left out of account in assessing
damages in such an action
(1) In this Law –
“adopted” means adopted in pursuance of an adoption order
made by a court of competent jurisdiction in the British Islands;
“benefit” means benefit under the Social Security (Jersey)
Law 1974, and any payment by a friendly society or trade union for the
relief or maintenance of a member’s dependant;
“child” means son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter;
“insurance money” includes a return of premiums;
“parent” means father, mother, grandfather or
“pension” includes a return of contributions and any
payment of a lump sum in respect of a person’s employment.
(2) In deducing any
relationship for the purposes of this Law –
adopted person shall be treated as the child of the person or persons by whom the
child was adopted and not as the child of any other person; and subject
relationship by marriage or by civil partnership shall be treated as a
relationship by consanguinity, any relationship of the half blood as a
relationship of the whole blood and the stepchild of any person as the person’s
illegitimate person shall be treated as the legitimate child of the person’s
mother and reputed father.
2 Action in respect of death
caused by negligence and persons for whose benefit action may be brought
(1) Where the death of a person
is caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of another and the act,
neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the
deceased person to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof,
then and in every such case the person who would have been liable if death had
not ensued shall, notwithstanding the death of the deceased person and although
the death has been caused under such circumstances as amount in law to a crime,
be liable to an action for damages in respect of any pecuniary loss suffered as
a result of the death by any of the persons for whose benefit an action may be
brought under this Law.
(2) The persons for whose
benefit an action may be brought under this Law shall be the following
relatives of the deceased person, namely –
wife, husband, civil partner, parent or child;
brother, sister, uncle or aunt;
child of a brother, sister, uncle or aunt.
3 Not more than one action to
lie; person by whom action may be brought
Not more than one action shall lie under this Law in respect of the
death of the deceased person, and every such action shall be brought by the
deceased person’s executor or administrator:
Provided that if there is no executor or administrator or if the
executor or administrator fails to bring an action within 6 months of the
death, the action may be brought by any one or more of the persons for whose
benefit it may be brought.
4 Provision relating to
(1) In every action under
this Law, the court shall award such damages as it thinks appropriate having
regard to the loss suffered as a result of the death by each of the persons for
whose benefit or by whom the action is brought, and the amount recovered, after
deducting the costs not recovered from the defendant, shall be divided amongst
the said persons in such shares as the court may direct.
(2) In assessing damages
payable to the spouse, civil partner or child of a deceased person in respect
of the death of that deceased person in any action under this Law, no account
shall be taken of a subsequent marriage or civil partnership, or the prospects
of a subsequent marriage or civil partnership, of the spouse or civil partner,
as the case may be, of the deceased person.
(3) In assessing damages in
any action under this Law, there shall not be taken into account any insurance
money, benefit, pension or gratuity which has been or will or may be paid as a
result of the death.
(4) In any action under
this Law, damages may be awarded in respect of the funeral expenses of the
deceased person if such expenses have been incurred by the persons for whose
benefit or by whom the action is brought.
5 Time within which action is
to be commenced
No action shall lie under this Law unless it is commenced within 3
years from the death of the deceased person.
This Law may be cited as the Fatal Accidents (Jersey) Law 1962.