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Section 1A- The Fatal Accidents Act, 1855

The Fatal Accidents Act, 1855





1[1A.] Suit for compensation to the family of a person for loss occasioned to it by his death by actionable wrong.—Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would (if death had not ensued) have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof, the party who would have been liable if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action or suit for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death shall have been caused under such circumstances as amount in law to felony or other crime.


2[***] Every such action or suit shall be for the benefit of the wife, husband, parent and child, if any, of the person whose death shall have been so caused, and shall be brought by and in the name of the executor, administrator, or representative of the person deceased; and in every such action the Court may give such damages as it may think proportioned to the loss resulting from such death to the parties respectively, for whom and for whose benefit such action shall be brought; and the amount so recovered, after deducting all costs and expenses, including the costs not recovered from the defendant, shall be divided amongst the before-mentioned parties, or any of them, in such shares as the Court by its judgment or decree shall direct.




(i) Under section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855, compensation awarded for loss of dependency, worked out by applying the principle of multiplier is a part of damages “proportioned to the loss resulting from the death”; Fizabai v. Nemi Chand, AIR 1993 MP 79.


(ii) Section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 read with section 110B of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (Now see Motor Vehicles Act, 1998), makes it obligatory on the tribunal to award “just compensation” which differs from case to case; Sardar Ishwar Singh v. Himachal Puri, AIR 1990 MP 282.


(iii) The maintainability of the claim for damages on account of the agony suffered by wife cannot be claimed by the plaintiff in a representative capacity. As husband he can claim damages either under the Fatal Accidents Act or under, the Motor Vehicles Act; M.L. Singhal v. Dr. Pradeep Mathur, AIR 1996 Del. 261.



1. Section 1 re-numbered as section 1A by Act 3 of 1951, sec. 3 and Sch.


2. The words “And it is enacted further that” rep. by Act 10 of 1914, Sch. II.


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The Fatal Accidents Act, 1855


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