Unfortunately, our office deals with a number of claims that have arisen out of the death of an individual, resulting from another person’s negligence. It is important that the family members left behind are aware of their rights to claim compensation, as well as the limits of those rights. In Alberta, there is legislation entitled the Fatal Accidents Act that governs such claims. Section 8 of the Act specifically deals with bereavement claims by family members for the grief and loss of companionship suffered. Once a claim is made and the liability of the at-fault party is established, the amount of compensation set out in the legislation is automatic.
The bereavement amounts are as follows: In addition to bereavement damages, the Act also allows claims for:
- Expenses incurred for the care and well-being of the deceased between the time of injury and death;
- Travel and accommodation expenses incurred in visiting the deceased between the time of injury and death;
- Funeral and burial/cremation expenses; and
- Fees paid for grief counselling for the benefit of immediate family members of the deceased.
In certain cases, there are additional claims that can be put forth on behalf of the dependent family members of the deceased, including loss of income dependency, loss of housekeeping services, loss of guidance, and loss of consortium. These can be extremely complex claims and obviously come at a very difficult time.
When dealing with fatality claims at Cuming & Gillespie, it is our goal to allow the family members of the deceased to focus on themselves and one another, with the peace of mind that their claim is being effectively handled.