Fatal Accident Claims – How Do They Work?

We all know that our roads can be dangerous places and there is always the risk car accidents, bicycle accidents or motor cycle accidents. Even pedestrians can be seriously injured by other road users. Unfortunately, some of those accidents prove to be fatal.

If someone you love has been killed in an accident on our roads and you’ve made a claim for loss of dependency then it’s important that you have the help you need to navigate your claim.

Damages Arising from Fatal Road Accidents

Fatal accidents are accidents that cause the death of someone on our roads. A claim by loved ones can arise when the death was the result of the negligence of another road user, whether that person was driving a car, truck, bus or motor cycle. Of course the claim will never bring back your loved one, but it can help deal with the significant financial burden which often falls on their dependants.

Fatal Accident Claims: Who Can Claim?

Fatal accident claims are designed to compensate the financial dependants of the deceased person. This will usually include the spouse or de-facto partner as well as any children (particularly younger children). It can also include the aged parents of the deceased and in some circumstances their other extended family members.
The circumstances of each case will be different, and if such a dependency claim has been made it is essential that legal advice is obtained to determine which dependents will be eligible to be included in the claim.

Losses Suffered By the Dependants

The losses suffered by the dependants may include:

– Medical expenses incurred as a result of the injuries prior to death;
– Funeral expenses;
– Loss of financial support (e.g. the proportion of the deceased’s income which the dependants were receiving);
– Loss of services provided by the deceased (this can include domestic and parental assistance); and
– Other losses.

Case Study: Here’s an example of a Fatal Accident Claim

John, a teacher, is killed in a motorcycle accident when a driver fails to stop at a red traffic light. His wife Mary and two young children Alex and Andrew make a claim for loss of dependency.

Things that they claim for include:

– Loss of John’s income as a teacher and the money that he would have spent on Mary, Alex and Andrew (including food, clothing, housing, educational expenses, gifts etc);
– Loss of John’s help around the house and garden;
– Loss of John’s time in caring for the children.

Mary, Alex and Andrew can each make a claim. Any money received for the young children is kept in trust for them by a court appointed Trustee until the children are adults, and Mary can access the money to pay for things like clothing and school costs.

Assessing the Claim

Every case is different, and the items that can be claimed by dependants in fatal accident claims will vary. We recommend discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer to get the right advice.

How Can We Help?

Kakulas Legal specialise in representing the dependants of those injured in fatal motor vehicle accidents. If you need legal advice for your fatal accident claim, call us to book in a free initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

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