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Accidents Causing Death

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Compensation for Death of a Worker

An injury or illness caused during the employment of a worker that ultimately leads to his demise, may entitle you to receive financial compensation as stipulated by the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA) (Act), provided you were a dependant of such deceased worker. All employers in WA are required by law to have a valid and current workers’ compensation insurance policy covering all employees for injuries or illness sustained at work.  A & E Legal can assist.

Our experienced solicitors will engage on your behalf and assist you with lodging a claim with the deceased’s employer (and its insurer) for the compensation that you deserve resulting from your dependency on him or her, which should ultimately resolve by settlement or progression to a Conciliation or Arbitration at WorkCover WA.

Who is WorkCover WA?

WorkCover WA is a State Government agency dedicated to the regulation and administration of workers’ compensation in WA.

Can I Claim?

Anyone who is a dependent of a defined worker pursuant to the Act has a claim for workers’ compensation entitlements. The Act defines a “worker” in section 5 as a worker who is:

  • full-time;
  • part-time;
  • casual;
  • seasonal;
  • on commission;
  • a contractor and sub-contractor (with exceptions); and
  • a working director (with exceptions).

A “dependant” is defined in the Act to be a member of the workers’ family as were wholly or in part dependent upon the earnings of the worker at the time of his death, or would, but for the injury, have been so dependent. This includes a:

  • child;
  • step-child;
  • spouse;
  • de facto partner; and
  • parent.

What can I claim?

You can claim for:

  • a Notional Residual Entitlement amount (NRE);
  • a child’s allowance;
  • reasonable medical expenses incurred by the deceased prior to his death; and
  • funeral expenses including all Cemetery Board charges.

What is an NRE Amount?

The NRE amount is the amount of compensation payable to a dependant as prescribed by regulation on a yearly basis.

What is a Child’s Allowance?

A child’s allowance is the amount of compensation payable to a minor dependant as prescribed by regulation on a yearly basis.

How will the funeral expenses be funded?

The funeral costs may be funded in different ways:

  • sometimes the employer pays for the funeral costs;
  • workers’ compensation insurance may pay the costs to the value of $9,714 (as at 1 July 2016);
  • the deceased’s will may contain details as to how the funeral costs may be funded;
  • if any of the above do not apply, the deceased may have had some type of pre-paid funeral or life cover which may be triggered.

What happens if the deceased was in receipt of workers’ compensation and dies as a result of something other than the injury at work?

It is possible for the dependants of a worker who has died to receive compensation if the deceased worker had suffered an injury, but their death results from something other than the work injury. A lump sum payment may be available if the injured worker was in receipt of, or entitled to, weekly payments of compensation for not less than six months immediately preceding their death.

When and how should I lodge a claim?

You should do the following steps:

  • request a Form 2D: Worker’s Compensation Claim Form for Dependants of Deceased Worker’s (Fatality Claims) from the worker’s employer or download from the WorkCover WA website;
  • complete the Claim Form and hand to the employer with copies of all relevant documents requested on the form; and
  • keep copies of all documents

Are there time limits I should know about?

You are required to submit a notice of an injury and make a claim for compensation as soon as practicable after the death of the deceased.

We recommend that you contact us as soon as possible.

How long will it take and how much does it cost?

We will attempt to get through the claim procedure as quickly as possible by seeking the relevant documents. We will answer all your questions about legal costs at the first free consultation with you. However, in the event of a successful resolution of your claim, your employer or its insurer will make a contribution to cover some of the costs.

Is the first consultation free?

The first consultation is free with no obligation on your part to proceed.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.