In 2021, there were 1,123 road crash deaths in Australia. This is an increase of 2.6 percent from 2020.
Who can make a claim
The death of a loved one in a fatal road crash is a traumatic time for any family members. If a person dies as a result of a motor vehicle accident, you and other relatives may be able to claim financial compensation under the Compensatio to Relatives Act 1897. Close relatives include a spouse, de facto partner, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, parent or child of the person who passed away.
The issue of fault
The driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, motorbike rider or pillion passenger who had dies can make a claim if you can demonstrate a driver or owner of the vehicle, other than the person who dies, was partially or completely at fault.
You may still be able to make a claim if the person who dies was partly at fault in the accident. The amount of compensation will be less than if they had not been partly at fault. Examples of partial fault include:
- Not wearing a seatbelt;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Exceeding the legal speed limit;
- Failing to follow road rules;
- Travelling in a vehicle knowing that the driver to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Not wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle;
You may still be able to make a claim for compensation even if the accident was a blameless motor accident. Examples of blameless accidents include:
- Accidents caused by a driver suffering a sudden illness such as a heart attack or stroke;
- Accidents caused by mechanical failure of the vehicle;
- Accidents caused by animals crossing the path of the vehicle;
- Accidents caused by falling tress and debris;
You might not be able to be entitled to receive compensation if the driver in a single vehicle accident suffered a sudden illness.
What you can claim
The types of compensation which may be available include:
- Funeral and cremation expenses;
- Medical and hospital expenses prior to death;
- Loss of earnings prior to death;
- Loss of financial support previously provided by the deceased to dependents, children and relatives;
- Psychological injury as a result of witnessing the accident or receiving news of the accident
Making a Claim
There are a number of things to attend to when making a claim:
- Ensure that the accident is reported to the Police and obtain the Event number;
- Obtain the registration number and contact details of the driver;
- Lodge a claim with the CTP insurance company;
- Keep records of the hospital, medical and funeral expenses.
Ensure that compensation claims are made as soon as possible. We understand that families experiencing the death of a loved one will be undergoing a tough time. It will be easier to focus on care and recovery once the claims process is dealt with.
Please do not hesitate to contact our CTP lawyers for a free consultation if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident.