Have you lost a loved one and need help with a Wrongful Death Claim? Best is with you.

Depending on the circumstances of your loved ones death, you may be able to bring a Wrongful Death claim.

If a loved one has died due to an accident or serious injury, you and your family may be entitled to compensation.

We understand that right now, compensation and starting a claims process might be the last thing on your mind. We also know that losing a loved one, especially under traumatic circumstances can impact your ability to work and live your life.

It can be tough to know who to trust and what the claims process is like. That’s where the Best team can step in, provide you advice and take care of your claim for wrongful death while you grieve. 

At Best Injury Lawyers, our team are experts in all types of wrongful death claims. This includes dependency claims, nervous shock claims, car or work accident death claims as well as insurance claims.

We have a team of compassionate, expert lawyers standing by, ready to review your case for free and advise you on the next steps. 

A few frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims

A wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of another person’s negligence, reckless behaviour, or intentional actions. This can include a wide range of scenarios, such as deaths caused by car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, or criminal acts.

A Wrong Death Claim is a claim or claims for damages that arises after the death of someone due to someone else’s negligence.

There are a number of claims that might be available:

  • A Dependency Claim: for those that were financially dependent on the deceased. This type of claim can be commenced by a representative or a group of family members collectively. When there is more than one dependent claiming, they must share the settlement. All settlements for people under 18 years of age must be ‘sanctioned’ (approved) by the Supreme Court of the Public Trustee.
  • A Nervous Shock Claim: this is a claim by a family member who directly witnessed the incident or are impacted by viewing the scene or hearing of the accident afterwards. If the person suffers a psychiatric injury (known as nervous shock) then they may be able to make a nervous shock claim.
  • Loss of Consortium Claims relate to loss of companionship of a loved one, and it can also relate to a claim for loss of a key person in a business.
  • Wrongful death at work
  • Car and road accidents resulting in a fatality
  • Insurance Claim: Many people have death insurance either purchased directly with an insurer, or included in their superannuation. Claims can be made and the amount paid to the nominated beneficiary.

In Queensland, a wrongful death claim can be brought by a “dependant” of the deceased. A dependant typically includes the spouse or de facto partner of the deceased, their children (including step-children), parents, and potentially others who were financially dependent on the deceased at the time of death.

Dependency claims arise when an individual’s death results from an accident caused by another party’s negligence. In such circumstances, surviving family members may be eligible to seek compensation for their loss.

Family members can pursue damages for the loss of services and support that the deceased would have provided to them. This legal framework aims to provide support to grieving families during challenging times..

A Dependency Claim is a type of claim we can help with in the event of a wrongful death.

The duration of a Wrongful Death Claim varies based on complexity, negotiations, and legal processes. To be successful, you must prove that:

  • You were financially dependent on the deceased;
  • The at-fault party caused your loved one’s death and would have been liable to compensate the deceased for injuries had they survived.

Sometimes, these can be easy things to prove and these claims generally settle within 12 to 18 months. However, more complex claims can take a number of years to resolve.

There are strict time limits that apply to Wrong Death Claims in Queensland. Generally speaking, the dependants must commence a claim within 3 years of the accident resulting in the death of their loved one.

This three-year period is known as the limitation period. It’s important to note that specific circumstances may affect the limitation period (for example, for children, where the limitation period doesn’t commence until their 18th birthday), so ask the team at Best about whether you are still within time to pursue your case.

The dependents of the deceased have the option to seek compensation for the loss of anticipated financial support from the deceased, including superannuation, as well funeral expenses, and medical expenses.

However, it is important to be aware that damages cannot be pursued for emotional distress, sorrow, or similar forms of suffering experienced by the dependents.

In certain situations, some dependents may be able to claim for loss of services previously performed by the deceased. These services include routine household upkeep, maintenance of the residence, personal assistance and gardening services.

To prove a wrongful death, it must be demonstrated that:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased.
  • The defendant breached that duty of care.
  • The breach of duty directly resulted in the death of the individual.
  • The death caused the damages that the plaintiff is trying to recover.

This will often require gathering substantial evidence, including medical records, accident reports, and expert testimony. A lawyer can help gather this evidence and build a strong case.

The amount you can sue for in a wrongful death case depends on a variety of factors, including the deceased’s earning capacity, the financial dependency of the claimant, the claimant’s relationship with the deceased, and the circumstances of the death. In addition to economic damages, claimants may also be able to recover non-economic damages for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other intangible losses.

However, it’s important to consult with a lawyer to understand the potential value of your specific claim.

Wrongful death settlements are typically paid out in one of two ways: as a lump sum or as a structured settlement. A lump sum payout provides the total amount of the settlement at once, while a structured settlement pays out the total over a series of instalments. The method of payout will be agreed upon during the settlement negotiations.

The types of damages you can recover in the case of a wrongful death depends on the claims available to you.

If you have suffered nervous shock resulting in a psychiatric injury as a result of witnessing or finding out the circumstances of your loved one’s death, you could be entitled to:

  • General damages – for pain and suffering;
  • Past and future loss of wages;
  • Loss of superannuation;
  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Other past and future out of pocket expenses;
  • The cost of past and future care; and
  • Legal costs.

For more information about what you can claim, click here.

If you are making a dependency claim, you could be entitled to claim for the loss of any future financial contributions that would have been made by your loved one. You could also claim the cost of any domestic services they would have provided to you or your family.

If you are making a life insurance claim, the amount you can claim will be detailed in the insurance policy.

We know it can be overwhelming to know which firm to trust with your road accident claim, there’s a lot of us out there! We also know it can sound a little biased when we tell you to choose Best.

There are a few reasons we think you should choose Best as your road accident lawyers:

  1. We hire the Best people: our team aren’t only some of the sharpest legal minds in Queensland (no really, we win awards for it) but they’re also genuinely good people, who care about their clients. When we say we hire the Best, we mean we hire people who care about every case and every client, people you’d want fighting for you that you’d also happily catch up over a cuppa with.
  2. We will never leave you out of pocket: how so?
    • No Win, No Fee. Forever. You will only be charged if we win your case, so you can rest easy that we will be doing everything we can to put you in a better place than when you started your CTP claim with us.
    • 30% fee cap. Some firms take around 50% of your compensation claim, we cap at 30% +GST to cover our fees (so even if our fees are more than that, we won’t charge you for it).
    • We cover out-of-pocket expenses. There are necessary expenses that must be incurred to successfully run your claim, because we want you to focus on your recovery and not the cost of your case. We will cover the cost for outlays needed to run your case, and you will only be expected to pay for these if your case is successful (these will be added as a part of your compensation claim, for the insurer to pay for).
  3. We take on cases other firms won’t, and we win them: we have a history of taking on claims other firms won’t, because we’re not afraid of hard work and because we know the difference a successful claim will make to you and your life.

Would you like to learn more about why you should choose Best? You can read more about our firm and our promises to you here.

How do you get our Best?

These are our promises to you, every case, every client.

Free Case Review,
by our Principal

We put our Best on your case from day one, and we take on cases others won’t – because we really are the Best.

No Win, No Fee.

If we can’t win your case, you owe us nothing. We never let you walk away in a worse position.

30% +GST
Fee Cap

Because your Best outcome only matters if it’s in your pocket and goes towards your Best life.

Your Case,
Our Best

We hire the Best industry professionals and place senior lawyers on all cases, so you get your Best result.

What do clients say about
working with Best?

Ryan Stehlik from Best Injury Lawyers and his team are without a doubt the best law firm I have dealt with. He was very clear of the process every step of the way. Not only did Ryan achieve a great result, but his service was always very professional, was always focused on the matter and was always available to discuss any questions.
Alan M.
A big thank you to the team at Best Injury Lawyers. Outstanding services across all elements, from communication, the efficiency in their work and dedication they show throughout. My entire experience was stress free, Ryan in particular is an amazing lawyer who provides constructive legal advice, reassurance, and exceptional client service. Nothing but pure professionalism from Best Injury Lawyers. Number one law firm
Julia K
Quality plaintiff lawyers who have their client’s best interests at heart are hard to come by, but Ryan is definitely one of them. Professional and personable, he is certainly the only plaintiff lawyer I would recommend to friends/family.
Elanor F.
I would highly recommend Ryan and his team to represent you should you require his services. Ryan and his team are professional, will tell you what you need to know and keep you informed every step of the way. They are a pleasure to deal with and take all the stress out of your claim for you.
Arch D.

We’re here when you’re ready to talk

We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time and you might not be ready to talk about a possible claim. When you do feel ready, the Best team is here for you.

Talk to Best