Earlier this year, fatalities and crash statistics from the past three decades in Australia were released by the Australian Road Death Database. The figures showed that 48,592 people have died on Australian roads since 1989.

What is most surprising about this figure is that:

  • 43% of those deceased were not driving at the time of the accident, but were either pedestrians, passengers, or cyclists;
  • Nearly 1 in 10 motor vehicle accidents kill more than one person;
  • Risk factors include fatigue, speed, inexperience, and drug and/or alcohol intoxication;
  • The most common age to be killed on the road is 18;
  • Motorbike riders are most at risk of a fatality on weekend afternoons; and
  • Most road deaths involve just one vehicle.

Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld)

Queensland laws provide rights and protections for survivors of a person who has been killed in a motor vehicle accident. A claim is possible where the deceased person was not to blame for the circumstances of the accident. For instance, a spouse and children are entitled to bring a claim where they can show they have been deprived of an economic benefit provided by the deceased person. These family relationships can become quite complex if there are step children or ex partners who were also financially dependent on the deceased person, eg. by way of spousal maintenance or child support.

The Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) also provides for an award of damages for the loss of services provided by the deceased to their dependents, such as personal care and assistance, domestic duties, yard and home maintenance. Only one action can be brought on behalf of all dependents. If there are multiple dependents, any compensation monies must be apportioned between all parties.

Strict time limitations apply to dependency claims. Dependents will also need to comply with important pre-court procedures contained in the relevant legislation.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by an accident that is not their fault, we strongly recommend seeking advice from a compensation lawyer. Our compensation team can assist you with every step of the compensation process after a motor vehicle accident. Please do not hesitate to contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form should you have any queries.

Bronwyn Green
Solicitor
Compensation Law