If you are the spouse, adult interdependent partner, child, parent, brother, or sister of a person that was the victim of a wrongful death or fatal accident, you may be entitled to a fair amount of compensation. While close members of the family will surely feel the overwhelming loss of a loved one, there are laws that exist to compensate the victim’s family members.
The law concerning the death of a close family member is found under the Fatal Accidents Act (Alberta). This law allows the following family members to receive compensation:
An adult interdependent partner
A child or children
Brothers and sisters
Compensation for a wrongful death in Alberta is higher than any other province. Compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one includes:
Expenses for the care, travel, and accommodation incurred between injury and death.
Expenses for the funeral and disposal of the body.
Fees paid for grief counselling.
Bereavement of the spouse, adult interdependent partner, parents, and children.
Compensation for bereavement is only provided to the spouse, adult interdependent partner, and parents. The amount for bereavement alone is *$82,000. This amount would be divided equally if both parents are still alive and claiming compensation. Only a spouse or adult interdependent partner may make this claim, not both. And if the spouse or partner was living separate and apart from the deceased person, then that person may lose their entitlement.
Each child of the deceased person is also entitled to $49,000. For example, a person that leaves a wife, three children, and one parent, the amounts would be $82,000 to the wife, $147,000 to the children, and $82,000 to the surviving parent, for a total amount of $311,000. These amounts are intended to compensate family members for the grief and loss of the guidance, care, and companionship.
In addition to the above noted, one may also recover dependency damages. This is done on a case-by-case basis. If the deceased person’s family members relied on his or her income, then a calculation and determination is made for compensation. The compensation amount will depend on the deceased person’s income, the deceased person’s future income, the age of the dependents, etc. To get an estimate of dependency damages you may be entitled to, please contact our wrongful death lawyer.
*The amounts of $82,000 and $49,000 are adjusted every five years, the next adjustment will be in 2022.
Who Can Make a Claim?
Because this is not a personal injury claim, there are limitations on who can make a claim. Only the Personal Representative or Administrator of the deceased person’s estate may make a claim in court within a year. The Personal Representative or Administrator brings one action on behalf of all the deceased person’s family members. In other words, there can only be one court action for all the grieving family members, and this court action should be filed within one year of the deceased person’s death by the Personal Representative or Administrator. For this reason, it is recommended that you contact our office’s fatal accident lawyers immediately to start the process.
How Do You Know If the Death Was Wrongful?
If the death was caused by a wrongful act or the negligence of another, then you have a claim. If the deceased person was not at fault, was likely not at fault, or was mostly not at fault, then you may have a claim. You can ask, “If the deceased person lived, and was merely injured, would that person have a claim?” If the answer is “yes”, then there is a claim. If you are unsure if you have a claim, please contact our wrongful death lawyer today. Initial consultations for fatal accidents are free of charge.
What If the Deceased Person Had a Large Life Insurance Policy?
A bereaving family member’s claim under the Fatal Accidents Act is wholly unrelated from a deceased person’s life insurance. For example, if a grieving spouse receives a large sum of money for insurance, that spouse can also recover compensation for the spouse’s wrongful death.
How Can We Help?
Fatal accident cases are amongst the saddest cases our office has. No amount of payment can compensate for the loss of a close family member. Our lawyers at Hill and Hill Law Office want to help your family achieve fair compensation for the overwhelming situation that you are in. As mentioned above, specific time limits do exist with wrongful death and fatal accident claims. Our office has served thousands of people from Medicine Hat, Redcliff, Brooks, Dunmore and the surrounding area. If you would like to initiate your claim, please contact Hill and Hill Law Office now to start the process.