When a close family member passes away as a result of another person’s negligence, then his or her family members may be entitled to compensation.
There are two types of claims which close family members can bring in the event their loved one passes away in those circumstances. These claims are:
- Compensation to Relatives Claims
- Nervous Shock Claims
Compensation to Relatives Claims
A compensation to relatives claim is available to any close family members who had a financial and/or practical dependency on a deceased person.
The law in New South Wales works to compensate close family members for the loss of financial and practical services which the deceased would have provided over the reminder of their life.
These claims can make a significant financial difference to the lives of close family members who relied on the deceased person, especially spouses and children.
It is important to know that only one set of compensation to relatives claim can be brought on behalf of a deceased’s persons family members.
Nervous Shock Claims
A claim for nervous shock is available to any close family members who have suffered a psychiatric illness as a result of the negligently caused injury or death of a close family member.
Under the law in New South Wales, ordinary grief and sadness is not compensable. To be entitled bring a nervous shock claim, a person must have suffered a recognisable psychiatric illness (i.e. PTSD, depression, anxiety etc). This condition would need to be formally diagnosed by a psychiatrist.
If a person has suffered a recognisable psychiatric illness then they will be entitled to be compensated for the impact the psychiatric illness has on their life, employment, need for future treatment expenses and any other care requirements they may have.
A coronial inquest is a court hearing in which the NSW State Coroner investigates the facts and circumstances of a reportable death. This involves calling witnesses, considering the deceased person’s history and any expert evidence.
The Coroner’s duty is to hand down his or her findings in respect to the manner and cause of a reportable death.
In NSW, a reportable death is a death that was:
If you require legal advice regarding the death of a loved one being referred to the Coroner’s Court, or would like to know your legal entitlements in compensation arising out Coronial Inquests, please contact one of our experienced lawyers at Stacks Goudkamp.