What Families Need To Know When Filing A Wrongful Death Claim
Alberta's Fatal Accidents Act (FAA) applies when a person is killed as a result of a wrongful act, neglect or default of another person, as long as the deceased, had they not died, would have had an action for damages against that person. While no amount of money will successfully compensate for the loss of a family member, the FAA recognizes that the loss of a close family member has financial repercussions that should be addressed when the death was caused by the negligence of another.
Our Edmonton personal injury lawyers may be able to provide you with further information on what families need to know when dealing with a wrongful death claim.
Who Can Make a Wrongful Death Claim?
The FAA sets out specifically which family members can make a wrongful death claim. Benefits under the Act are limited to:
- - The spouse or adult interdependent partner of the deceased - note that this person is only eligible if they were not separated from the deceased at the time of death
- - A parent of the deceased
- - A child of the deceased
- - A brother or sister of the deceased
All wrongful death claims relating to the death of an individual must be brought in one action. Typically, the executor or administrator of the estate will bring the action on behalf of all the affected family members.
What Amounts are Payable Under the FAA?
The FAA provides for the payment of a statutory "bereavement benefit." This benefit is:
- - $82,000 payable to the spouse or adult interdependent partner of the deceased.
- - $82,000 payable to the parent or parents of the deceased (if the action is brought for the benefit of both parents, the bereavement benefit is split equally between the parents).
- - $49,000 for each child of the deceased.
In addition, if a family member was dependent on the deceased person for financial support, then they may have a claim for the loss of that support. If the deceased family member was in charge of looking after the home and minor children, the family members may have a claim in relation to the loss of those services. Additional claims can be brought in relation to:
- - Expenses relating to the care of the deceased between the time of the accident and death
- - Funeral expenses
- - Grief counselling expenses
Additional Considerations if the Deceased Was in a Motor Vehicle Accident
The damages assessed under the FAA do not take into account any amount payable under a contract of insurance such as Section B Benefits. If your family member died in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you may be eligible to pursue additional claims through the insurance companies.
Courts in Alberta will consider the fact that a deceased was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident causing death when assessing benefits payable to family members under the FAA. If the lack of seat belt is found to be responsible for causing or contributing to the death of the deceased person, this may affect the family's claim for benefits.
Contact Our Edmonton Personal Injury Lawyers Today for a Consultation
In the aftermath of losing a loved one as a result of another person's wrongful actions, negligence, or defaults, there may be many things for surviving family members to navigate. Matters concerning a wrongful death claim may feel overwhelming. Let our Edmonton personal injury lawyers help. For assistance with any questions concerning a wrongful death claim in Alberta, or to address the specific needs of your case, contact us today and schedule a consultation.
*Please be advised that the information in this article is not intended as legal advice, but rather serves as an introductory overview on a legal topic. For legal advice, please consult with an Edmonton personal injury lawyer.