If you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident and the crash was not the fault of the deceased person, as a relative, spouse or de facto partner of that person you may be eligible to submit a fatal car accident claim.
Who can make a compensation claim in a fatal car accident?
To be eligible, the relative, spouse or de facto partner who is making a claim must have been a dependant (in some way) on the person/s who have died.
Relatives who could be considered eligible are:
de facto partners (at least a 2 year duration)
parents, grandparents, and stepparents
children, grandchildren and stepchildren
persons who stood in the place of a parent or child of the deceased person
brothers, sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters
in certain circumstances, former spouses and de facto partners.
What can I claim compensation for?
You may be able to claim compensation for:
funeral and headstone expenses
loss of financial benefits provided by the deceased
loss of domestic services provided by the deceased.
How long do you have to make a claim after a fatal accident?
It is important to speak with a legal expert as soon as possible.
In the normal course of events, there is a three year limitation period for claims under the Fatal Accidents Act. This means that legal proceedings must be commenced within 3 years of the date of death(unless the claim has been settled beforehand) otherwise the claim will become “statute-barred”.
In most cases, this would disable your ability to proceed with any legal claims beyond the limitation period.
Recently, Bradley Bayly won a case before the Court of Appeal which allows children to bring a claim on behalf of all of the beneficiaries (including adult dependants who would have been statute-barred) so long as the action is commenced prior to the children’s limitation date.
Different limitation periods may apply to claims by children under the age of 15 at the time the accident occurred (6 years).
If you think you may be eligible to make a claim, we recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you meet the correct limitation period.
When grieving the loss of a loved one, take the guesswork and financial stress off your shoulders and contact one of our legal experts about making a fatal accident claim today.