Fatal Accidents: What Happens Next?

“Our loved one lost their life in a motor vehicle accident, where do we go from here?”

This is a question no one should ever have to ask; but unfortunately, fatal accidents occur, and family members of the deceased often don’t know where to turn. The precedent-setting team at James H. Brown and Associates has over 200 years of combined experience representing clients in fatality claims, and we are happy to provide a cost-free consultation. 

When Should I Start My Fatal Accident Claim?

We understand that after the passing of a loved one, compensation is often the last thing on peoples’ minds. Therefore, we encourage Albertans to contact us after the grieving process, and when they feel ready to speak with an attorney. Please be aware that the standard two-year statute of limitations applies to fatal accidents, meaning a claim must be launched within two years of the accident. Failure to do so will result in a claim being barred.

Who Can Launch A Fatal Accident Claim?

Under the Fatal Accidents Act, R.S.A. 2000, F-8 (the “Act”), spouses, children, and parents of the deceased can launch a claim. Note that a spouse cannot launch a claim if they were living “separate and apart” from the deceased at the time of the accident.

Each claim is unique and will vary depending on the family circumstances and circumstances of the deceased. Generally, family members are entitled to bereavement damages, a lost years’ award, loss of dependency compensation, and special damages.  

What Are Some of The Damages of A Fatal Accident Claim?

Bereavement damages are set by the Act and may be claimed as follows: parents are entitled to $82,000 to be divided equally between them, children are entitled to $49,000 each, and spouses are entitled to $82,000.

A lost years’ award is the future income the deceased would have earned had their life not been cut short. This amount is claimed by the deceased’s estate and would then flow to beneficiaries listed in the deceased’s last will and testament. Note that this is not a speculative amount. Future earnings are a function of the deceased’s occupation at the time of death, and realistic future career prospects.

Other Types of Fatal Accident Claim Damages

Loss of dependency claims may be launched by parents, spouses, or children. This is a claim for loss of services provided to the claimant by the deceased. The most common claims are for housekeeping, childcare, and monetary allowances. Dependants may only be compensated for what they have lost by way of support from the deceased. This award should provide a monthly sum at least equal to that which might reasonably have been expected during the continued life of the deceased. Again, this is not a speculative amount. Dependency claims must be proved by objective evidence.

Special damages relate to costs incurred for the care and well-being of the deceased person between the time of injury and death, travel and accommodation expenses incurred in visiting the deceased between time of the injury and death, funeral expenses, including all things supplied and services rendered in connection with the funeral, and fees paid for grief counselling provided for the benefit of the spouse, adult interdependent partner, parent, child, brother, or sister of the deceased.

Has A Loved One Been Involved in a Fatal Accident?

Based in Edmonton, James H. Brown and Associates are proud to stand up for your rights no matter where you are in Alberta. Book a free, no-obligation consultation today; our team will reach out in-person, by telephone, or online to help get you started on the path to justice.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates’ injury lawyers.

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