The widely-publicized accounts of one motor vehicle accident in Alberta pushed the Province’s Minister of Transportation to introduce the provisions found in the new Fatal Accidents Act. Every personal injury lawyer in Alberta should become familiar with those provisions. This article highlights some of them.
Sources of financial assistance for surviving family members
Money will be made available to specific relatives, if a loved-one died in a motor vehicle accident. Specifically, money will be promised to the deceased’s spouse or adult partner, the deceased’s parent or child and to any of the deceased’s siblings.
Size of assistance package:
Parents can receive a maximum award of $82,000. Each sibling can receive a maximum award of $49,000. The claim for such an award must be made no more than 2 years after the passing of the beloved relative.
If evidence shows that the deceased was a driver at the time of the accident, the award gets reduced by 25%. If evidence indicates that the deceased was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, the award becomes between 10 and 25% smaller.
Expenses covered by money awarded to named family members:
• Cost of medical care given to deceased
• Cost of travel undertaken by family members, in order to be at the bedside of the injured relative
• Funeral expenses
• Cost of grief counseling; no monetary value for grief, but money spent on counseling services is acknowledged.
If deceased was employed, the named family members can claim loss of dependency. Still, claiming a loss of dependency does not guarantee the ability to win a fair compensation. In order to determine the value of their claim, those same family members should work with a personal injury lawyer in Medicine Hat, with an eye towards tapping into the knowledge of an economic expert.
Could those filing a claim seek punitive damages?
That would only be possible if evidence exposed the fact that the defendant had exhibited a pronounced disrespect for the victim/deceased, while behaving recklessly. Moreover, any request for punitive damages would have to be well-framed, in addition to being well-substantiated.
Lawyers understand how a family can make a presentation that is both well-framed and well-substantiated. Lawyers can craft a request for such damages, one that does not sound like just a demand for money. Those facts highlight the advantages to hiring an attorney.
An experienced lawyer knows what can happen if the court feels that a family, even a grieving one has brought forward a set of what appears to be frivolous charges. It should be clear to anyone involved with a personal injury claim that no court in Alberta wants to set aside valuable time for the pursuit of some family’s frivolous charges.