A dependency claim from the death of your spouse, partner or someone you were financially dependent upon may arise because of a motor vehicle accident, medical negligence or an accident at work. Most claimants in dependency compensation claims are the young children of the deceased person and their spouse or defacto spouse.
The grief you feel following the death of your loved one can also result in your suffering from mental injury that is more than normal grief. This is called nervous shock and is also compensable, but it is a claim that can be made in addition to a dependency claim.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident or incident, then we can provide you with some initial guidance and advice about your rights to make a dependency and nervous shock claim.
Dependency compensation claims can include compensation for:
• Reasonable funeral costs;
• Wage losses up to their anticipated retirement, if the deceased was an income provider;
• The financial cost of domestic services the deceased performed such as cleaning, laundry, gardening, personal care, car and house maintenance.
If you have a nervous shock claim as a result of your loved one’s death, you may be able to claim:
• Treatment costs for any psychiatric condition;
• Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life;
• Loss past and future of income and superannuation, if your nervous shock injury prevents you from working to the same level as you did before they died; and
• Any care and assistance you may need resulting from the mental injury you now have from your loved one's death.
If you are making a dependency claim, then:
• Your initial claim notice must be submitted to the insurer of the at fault person within 9 months from the date of accident or incident or within one month of you consulting with a lawyer about potentially making a claim. You can be late but you need to explain why you are late.
• If it is a motor vehicle accident and if you cannot identify the vehicle in the accident that caused your injury, your initial notice of claim must be submitted to the Nominal Defendant Insurer within 9 months of the accident. If you are late there are no second chances, you will be prohibited from making a claim.
All negligence claims have a three year limitation period from the date of the accident or incident.
All court proceedings must be commenced within three years from the date of accident or incident if the claim has not been resolved before then.
The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.