How much money can I expect to receive from a claim?
In the case of a motor vehicle accident
(MVA) fatality, the family of the deceased often has access to two insurance policies that provide some financial assistance with expenses. One policy comes from the vehicle the deceased was in at the time of the accident, and the other police comes from the vehicle of the person who may be at fault for the accident (provided they were insured). In some cases, such as when the deceased person was a passenger in a vehicle and the driver of that vehicle was solely at fault for the accident, there will only be one policy to access.
Provided it had Alberta insurance, the insurance policy from the vehicle of the deceased holds something called Section B Benefits
or “No-fault Benefits.” The ultimate limit of Section B coverage for medical treatment in Alberta is $50,000 per person. That means that if there are four injured people traveling in the same car, and that car is insured in Alberta, each person is entitled to a maximum of $50,000 in Section B medical benefits. The first type of coverage is called, rather insensitively, the “death benefit.” The coverage for the death benefit varies according to the age of the deceased, and the relationship of the deceased to the person or persons making the claim. It is also possible to claim funeral expenses for up to $5,000 for each deceased person, and $400 for grief counselling. The grief counselling benefit is $400 per family; if more than one family member has passed, it is possible to claim a grief counselling benefit for each deceased person. If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to a motor vehicle accident, and you need help with related Section B benefits or the Fatal Accidents Act
, please call or email
Third-Party Liability Benefits
In addition to Section B Benefits, family members of the deceased may bring a claim against the insurance company of the at-fault party. Under the Fatal Accidents Act of Alberta
, this may include the following financial supports to you and your family:
- Funeral, burial, or cremation expenses - the insurance company of the at-fault party pays for all costs related to the funeral service, burial or cremation, and headstone or monument (provided the expenses are within reason). In light of the fact that the Section B portion of the policy only covers $5,000 for all funeral expenses, this is especially helpful for family members of the deceased.
- Bereavement - Section 8 of Alberta’s Fatal Accidents Act (FAA) includes a claim for the grief, loss of care, guidance and companionship of the deceased which may be claimed by a parent, child, spouse or adult interdependent partner. As of May 1, 2013, the bereavement compensation is:
- $82,000.00 to a parent or parents (divided equally) who lose a child, regardless of that child’s age at the time of death;
- $82,000.00 to a spouse or interdependent partner who loses a spouse or partner; and
- $49,000.00 to a child who loses a parent.
A spouse or interdependent partner cannot claim compensation if they were living separately or apart at the time of death. If you are unsure of what “living apart” means in the eyes of the law, please call or email
us and we’ll be happy to help.
- Loss of Dependency - additional compensation can be claimed against the insurance company of the at-fault party for the financial impact on dependants of the deceased. For example, a stay-at-home mother with young children who has lost her husband (who financially supported the family). While parents who suffer the tragic loss of a child are rarely able to make a claim for this, in some cases, parents supported by the deceased child in old age may be able to claim a loss of dependency.
- Loss of housekeeping capacity and childcare - this claim can be significant for families when the deceased was responsible for taking care of the household and children. The calculation is based on the hours per week that the deceased worked in the household such as:
- house cleaning;
- meal preparation;
- transportation services;
- grocery shopping;
- maintenance of the home;
- indoor and outdoor repairs of the home;
- any other household chores the deceased performed.
- The hourly rate used for the calculation is based on the amount it would likely cost to hire someone to do these chores.
- If the deceased was a full-time homemaker caring for several children, the claim is also based on the services the deceased would have provided into the future for many years. This can result in a large payment to the surviving spouse or partner.
- Out-of-pocket expenses - other claims which may be made by the spouse, adult, interdependent partner, parent, child, brother or sister against the at-fault party include:
- Cost of care and well-being for the deceased between time of injury and death;
- Cost of travel and accommodation expenses while visiting the deceased between the time of the injury and death;
- Fees paid for grief counselling.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence and you have questions about filing a wrongful death claim, give us a call or email
today. Our team is standing by, ready to answer your questions and help in any way we can.