When a person dies as a consequence of the fault of another (commonly as a passenger in a car accident or at work) their immediate family may have a claim against the other driver or employer under the Fatal Accidents Act.
Macdonald Rudder have handled many claims concerning road accidents and employers – typically Mining Companies.
Factual scenarios include:
- Acting for the family of a dead motor cyclist who collided with another motor cyclist in the Goldfields (both died);
- Acting for the family of a pedestrian walking east of Coolgardie (a hit and run death);
- Acting for a widow of a pilot of an aeroplane that crashed killing the pilot and passengers (we maintained that the pilot was insufficiently trained by his employer);
- Acting for a mother whose three boys were killed in a road accident; and
- Acting for the widow of an underground miner killed at work.
Commonly there can be two separate claims. The first is for loss of dependancy. The second is for nervous shock (a psychiatric disability) arising from finding out of the death of an immediate family member.
Most of these claims settle after extensive negotiation, but some go to trial.
These claims do not happen that often and it is recomended that you consider enaging a firm with extensive experience in this area.
There is a strict time limit in respect of all such claims – usually three years from the date of death.