Wrongs Act dependency claims

Who is eligible?

If a person dies in a transport accident and this has resulted in the loss of financial support or services to a dependant, the deceased's dependant spouse/partner, and/or children are able to claim under the Wrongs Act (1958). A child born after the accident is also deemed to be a "dependent child", if paternity can be proved.

What is considered in the assessment?

To succeed in recovering damages, the claimant must first establish negligence against the driver of the vehicle involved and that they were financially dependant on the deceased.

The deceased's potential future income must also be determined usually by examining tax returns together with the extent to which the claimant would have been dependant. With regards to children this usually is taken to be until they reach 18 years of age.

Note that the Wrongs Act (1958) does not provide for any reduction of damages for the deceased's contributory negligence, accordingly unless the deceased can be proved to be 100% at fault, no reduction of the assessment can be made.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.93(8)

What is payable?

Under the Transport Accident Act 1986, the amount recoverable for any claim under the Wrongs Act (1958) is restricted to the TAC's maximum indexed amount. Refer to the TAC's Indexed Statutory Amounts. Also refer to the When a family member dies policy.