FATAL ACCIDENTS LAW
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
FATAL ACCIDENTS LAW
A Law to provide, in certain circumstances, for the Compensation to be paid to the Family of a person killed by the wrongful Act, Neglect, or Default of another person.
(10th May, 1956)
(1) Every action under section 3 shall be for the benefit of the members of the immediate family of the person whose death shall have been so caused and shall be brought—
(a) in the case of a deceased person to whom customary law did not apply immediately before his death, by and in the name of the executor or administrator of the deceased person; and
(b) in the case of a deceased person to whom any customary law applied immediately before his death, at the option of his immediate family, by and in the name of such person or persons as the court may be satisfied is or are entitled or empowered to represent the deceased person or his estate according to such customary law or by, and in the name of, the executor or administrator of the deceased person.
(2) If there is, in respect of a deceased person, no executor or administrator or no representative for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section or if there is such an executor, administrator or subsection (1) within six months after the death of such deceased person, then such action may be brought by and in the name or names of all or any of the persons for whose benefit such action would have been brought if it had been brought by and in the name of the executor, administrator or representative as aforesaid, and every action so brought shall be for the benefit of the same person or persons and shall be subject to the same law and procedure, as nearly as may be, as if it were brought by and in the name of such executor, administrator or representative.
(3) Not more than one award of damages may be made for and in respect of the same subject matter.
(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, every action brought under the provisions of this Law shall be commenced within three years after the death of the deceased person.
(2) This section shall apply notwithstanding anything contained in the Public Officers Protection Law, or any local government law.
(1) In every action brought under the provisions of this Law the court may give to the persons respectively for whom and for whose benefit such action is brought such damages as it may think proportioned to the injury resulting from a death.
(2) Any amount recovered under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, after deducting the costs not recovered from the defendant, shall be apportioned amongst the persons entitled thereto in such shares as the court shall direct.
(3) In assessing damages in any action there shall not be taken into account any sums paid or payable on the death of the deceased under any contract of assurance or insurance whether made by the deceased or by any other person and whether before or after the passing of this Law.
(4) Damages may be awarded in respect of the funeral expenses of the deceased person if such expenses have been incurred by the parties for whose benefit the action is brought.
(1) It shall be sufficient, if the defendant is advised to pay money into court, that he pays it in as compensation one sum to all persons entitled under this Law or his wrongful act, neglect or default without specifying the shares into which it is to be divided by the court.
(2) If any sum so paid into court is not accepted and issue is rejoined as to its sufficiency, and the court shall consider the same sufficient, the defendant shall be entitled to judgment on such issue.
Any action or proceedings arising under the provisions of this Law may be brought either in the High Court or in a magistrate’s court: Provided that if all the parties to such action or proceedings are subject to the jurisdiction of a customary court the plaintiff may, at his option, bring any such action or proceedings in a customary court of competent jurisdiction.
(1) In any action brought under the provisions of this Law, any damages awarded and apportioned to a widow of the person killed or to an infant or to a person of unsound mind shall not be paid to such widow, infant or person of unsound mind nor to the next friend or solicitor of such infant or person of unsound mind nor to the solicitor of such widow unless the court shall so direct.
(2) Any damages so awarded and apportioned shall be dealt with as the court shall direct and the said damages or any part thereof may be—
(i) paid into the court and to be invested or otherwise dealt with there; or
(ii) paid into the High Court and transferred to a magistrate’s court in the area in which the widow, infant or person of unsound mind resides or to such other magistrate’s court as shall be convenient; or
(iii) to be otherwise dealt with.
In this Law—
“action” includes any equivalent civil proceeding in a customary court;
“administrator” includes an Administrator-General acting under his powers under Part 7 of the Administrator-General’s Act;
“customary court of competent jurisdiction” means a customary court upon which the Governor, by order made under section 14 of the Customary Courts Law, has conferred jurisdiction to enforce this Law;
“deceased person” means a person whose death has been caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another person within the meaning of section 3;
“funeral expenses” include the reasonable expenses of the decent interment or obsequies of a deceased person but does not include the cost of the mourning of any person, or of a tombstone or memorial or of any celebrations or customary presents;
“the High Court” means the High Court of Cross River State established under the High Court Law;
“immediate family” includes the—
(a) wife or wives;
(c) parent, which shall include father and mother, grandfather and grandmother and step-father and step-mother;
(d) child, which shall include son and daughter, grandson and granddaughter and stepson and step-daughter, of a deceased person;
(e) brother and sister which expressions shall include half-brother and half-sister; and
(f) nephew and niece of a deceased person who were under the age of sixteen years at the time of the death of the deceased and who were being maintained by him.
This Law may be cited as the Fatal Accidents Law.
FATAL ACCIDENTS LAW
No Subsidiary Legislation