What Alberta’s Fatal Accident Act Says About Wrongful Death Accident Claims

No one can wash away the grief that seems to cover every aspect of a family’s life, after a loved one has suffered a sudden and unexpected death. Still, legislators in Alberta, Canada have passed laws that relate to the benefits delivered to those family members that have filed a wrongful death claim.

Who can file a claim for a wrongful death, according to Alberta’s Fatal Accident Act?

A spouse, an adult independent partner, a parent, and a child that is a brother or sister of the deceased, all of those relatives can file such a claim. A former spouse, or a step son or daughter does not have the legal right to file a wrongful death claim.

What losses can be recovered by the person that has filed such a claim?

The expenses amassed by close family members, while any one of them was caring for the relative that had been injured in an accident. Those would be the expenses that arose, following the fatal accident, but before the injured loved one died.

• Cost of travel and accommodations: Any money spent by family members that had to travel a distance, in order to spend time at the bedside of the fatally injured relative.
• Funeral expenses (including disposal of the body) This can be used to cover burial expenses.
• Fees for grief counseling: The legal system cannot remove a family’s grief; consequently, it agrees to pay for grief counseling.
• Family members can claim a loss of dependency, if the decedent was employed at the time of the fatal accident.

A family requesting reimbursement for the expenses listed above must produce proof of the fact that the money requested was spent, as claimed.It may be possible for the surviving relatives to file a bereavement claim. The Fatal Accident Act stipulates the maximum amount of money that can be received by someone that submits a bereavement claim. The maximum is $82,000 for a spouse, $82,000 to be shared by the 2 parents, and $49,000 for each child.

Sometimes insurance companies try to lower the size of the money for the bereaved relatives by alleging that the deceased did not wear a seat belt, on the day of the fatal accident. A challenged family should find and hire a personal injury lawyer in Medicine Hat that specializes in wrongful death lawsuits.

Depending on the age and duties of the deceased, the family members may be able to claim a loss of housekeeping services. Here again, a family that plans to make such a claim ought to hire an attorney, ideally, one that specializes in wrongful death lawsuits. The claim must be filed within 2 years of the loved one’s death.