Having a loved one die is a difficult time for anyone, however if they die in tragic circumstances it can often make their passing all the more difficult especially if you were financially dependent upon them.
If a person is killed due to another person’s negligence then the dependents of that person may have a claim to make for the financial loss incurred by that person’s death. The most common of these claims is when a person dies at work; there is both a statutory right and also a common law right to compensation in this instance. Even though the most common claims are those arising from workplace accidents, the dependents of a deceased person may also be entitled to make a claim if the person perishes due to the negligence of another person or entity including those who perish as a result of an airline accident.
For all claims other than those for airline accidents the person claiming has 3 years from the date of accident to lodge their claim with the relevant entity. If a person you are dependent upon perishes in an airline crash then the claim will need to be made within 2 years of the date of the accident.
If a person dies at work then there is a statutory right for their dependents to make a claim to WorkCover Queensland for the loss. In addition to this statutory right, if the death happened due to someone’s negligence then a common law damages claim may be able to be made also. There are significant factors to consider when deciding whether a common law damages claim can be made and the advice of a specialist is recommended.
Public Liability Deaths
If a person you are financially dependent upon dies due to a negligent action of another you may be able to make a claim against that person for your loss of dependency on the deceased person. If you are not sure whether or not you can make a claim, contact us for an initial consultation.
Airline Accident Deaths
If a person you are financially dependent upon dies in an airline collision then you may be able to make a claim against that airline’s insurer for the loss of financial dependency. As outlined above shorter time frames apply for these claims and must be brought within 2 years of the accident.
What Can I Claim For?
You can claim for the loss of:-
- Financial dependence;
- Domestic Services provided to you by the deceased person;
- The cost of the funeral (if you paid for it).
Can I Make a Claim?
Only if you were financially dependent on the deceased person, this is usually their spouse or dependent children whether they are minor children or not, it is how financially dependent they were upon the deceased at the time of their passing that determines whether they are able to make a claim. Unfortunately parents and siblings of the deceased are unable to bring a dependency claim unless they were financially dependent upon the deceased. Sometimes it seems unfair that a deceased person without dependents does not warrant a claim being made; however this does not mean that a deceased person with dependents is more worthy. These claims are to compensate the people left behind; as they would have been had the deceased person remained with us. If you are not sure whether or not you can make a claim, contact us for an initial consultation.
What You Will Need?
You will initially need:-
- Proof of dependency, such as a marriage certificate, or if you were living as a de facto couple documents which demonstrate your de facto status;
- Proof of death, usually shown by death certificate;
- Proof of funeral expenses;
- Yours and the deceased’s tax returns for three years prior to the accident, this helps to show your level of financial dependency upon the deceased.
How Much Will I Get?
Each case is different and it is very difficult to provide even a broad range of figures until all of the documentation is obtained. However, the more financially dependent you were upon someone the higher your claim will be, as these claims are compensating people for their loss of that financial assistance from the deceased person. Other factors to take into account are:-
- Your age and that of the deceased at the time of their death;
- Your medical history and that of the deceased at the time of their death;
- Whether there are any minor or dependent children of the relationship who also need to be compensated for the loss of the financial assistance of the deceased; and
- Many more.
There are many different factors which can affect how much you will get. This is why getting legal advice from someone who knows what they are doing is so important.
What do I do now?
Once you have as much information as possible, contact us.