Can You Claim Compensation When The Involved Party Is Deceased?

Law Blog

Every year across Australia, there are a number of fatal accidents on the road. This can be particularly traumatic for those who are left behind, who may wonder whether they can claim compensation even though the person involved is now deceased. If you're in this unfortunate situation, how can you proceed?

Claiming Compensation

Generally speaking, compensation is payable to the family of someone who has passed away as a result of a car accident. This type of compensation will usually be paid to the spouse or the deceased's de facto partner, but it can also be paid to parents, brothers, sisters or children.

Determining Fault

Much will depend on the accident circumstances and who was actually liable. If the deceased driver was fully at fault for the accident, then no compensation is available. If they were partly at fault, then compensation may be paid, but it will typically be adjusted to take into account the level of involvement. So normally, the compensation you receive will be less than it would have been if the deceased party was not at fault in any way.

In this situation, it may be difficult to define what "at fault" means. For example, if they were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the incident and contributed to their mortality, the other party (or their insurers) could argue that this was contributory and may affect the payout.

Making A Claim

Compensation can be pursued for a variety of different expenses. For example, you could claim for hospital and medical expenses incurred prior to the death and funeral or cremation expenditure. You can also claim for loss of any financial support that the deceased party might have provided going forward. Some people are severely traumatised by such an accident, and in this case, you may be able to claim psychological harm due to severe stress caused by the news of the death.

Gathering Information

You need certain information before you can pursue a compensation claim. This will include the details of the accident, the police report, the name of the motorist who caused the accident and their vehicle details. You need to have the contact details of the insurance company responsible for third-party claims and keep detailed expenses to back up any expenses you want to pursue.

Taking Action

Remember, there are strict time limits when it comes to making a compensation claim. Get in touch with a compensation lawyer as soon as possible to get the ball rolling.


17 October 2022

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