Whilst road safety standards are constantly improving and motor vehicles are being built with all sorts of safety features, sadly motor vehicle accidents continue to claim lives in NSW and across Australia.
About 1,200 deaths occur on the road in Australia every year and this may not include accidents on private property such as when an infant is run over in the driveway of the family home.
The compassionate personal injury lawyers at Stacks Goudkamp know that no amount of compensation will make right the loss of your loved one, or take away the grief of those close to the deceased. However, it is important to seek specialist legal advice soon after a fatal accident so that we can take steps to protect your rights.
Our experienced team has been bringing claims following fatal accidents for over 40 years. As well as assisting the family members based in NSW, we act for families of victims of fatal accidents both interstate and abroad.
When a person dies in an accident involving a motor vehicle, their funeral is covered by the government’s statutory benefits scheme.
Almost everyone killed in a motor vehicle accident is entitled to have their ‘reasonable’ funeral paid for this way even if they were at fault and caused their own accident or if no one was at fault. What is ‘reasonable’ will depend on the facts in every case but is likely to include the cost of funeral cars, the funeral director, the burial or cremation costs, newspaper announcements, flowers and so on.
Financial support for dependants
If the person killed in the accident was not at fault and someone else was to blame for causing the accident, a claim called a Compensation to Relatives claim can be made on behalf of those who were financially dependent (usually a spouse and/or children). This claim will include the cost of a headstone or plaque, a claim for the income that the deceased would have earned had the accident not happened and the cost of having someone undertake the domestic services performed by the deceased. Whatever damages are awarded will be divided between the dependants and will help give them financial security for the future.
Only one fatal accidents claim can be brought on behalf of all dependants, and strict time limits apply. It is therefore particularly important to seek legal advice when young children have been left behind after an accident.