Who can make a claim for a deceased family member’s compensation?

Published 09 Apr 2020

If you have a family member who died as a direct result of their involvement in a car accident, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. However, eligibility can vary based on a number of details, and as such, you need to do the proper research and work with an experienced law firm to determine whether you will be able to make such a claim.

The first thing to know is that only certain relatives may be able to make such a claim on a deceased family member's compensation, according to the New South Wales State Insurance Regulatory Authority. The Compensation to Relatives Act of 1897 states these relatives may include the spouse or de facto partner of the deceased, as well as their siblings, half-siblings, parents or children. Also, the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate may be able to make a claim on their behalf.

This differs from accidents in which there are no fatalities, in which only the injured party (or a representative) may make a claim for compensation.

Determining fault

If, in the event of an accident in which someone was found to be at fault, these family members may be entitled to compensation – but that may also be true if the deceased was found to be partially at fault as well. There are blameless accidents for which claims can be made as well. However, in the case of fatal single-vehicle accidents or those in which a person was driving the vehicle that caused the accident (even through no fault of their own) a claim likely cannot be made.

What can be covered?

When making a claim on behalf of a deceased family member, the compensation in question can only be used to cover certain expenses. These include any bills incurred for medical costs, the loss of financial support provided by the deceased, past economic losses, the expense of caring for children and related costs as well as funeral expenses.

If any of the above seems as though it would apply to your circumstances, it's wise to get in touch with legal experts sooner than later. At Gerard Malouf & Partners, we can help you determine your eligibility to make a claim on a deceased relative's compensation as well as the best path forward for success in these difficult circumstances.