Under the Road Victims Compensation Law, a person injured or
killed in a car accident is entitled to receive compensation only
from an insurer, regardless of who was responsible for the accident
(ie, the no-fault system).1
The amount of compensation and entitlement thereto is specified
in the law. In the case of death, the deceased's dependants are
entitled to receive compensation for the loss of the financial
support that they would have received from the deceased.
In a recent decision, the District Court examined the Road
Victims Compensation Law's scope with regard to a
deceased's adult children. This update will examine the
questions of whether there is an age limit and which children are
considered to be dependants under the law.
In KG v The Pool Insurance Company (CA 21953), the
estate and dependants of the deceased, who was killed in a road
accident, filed a claim based on the Road Victims Compensation Law.
The dispute between the parties concerned the scope of damage. The
main question that the court analysed was whether the
deceased's adult children were dependants.
In May 2012 a 62-year-old man died as a result of a car
accident, leaving his wife and two adult children aged 38 (a
psychologist) and 30 (an electronics engineer). According to the
law, only dependants are entitled to compensation.
The deceased's children argued that they were dependants and
thus entitled to receive compensation under the Road Victims
The children argued that even though they were not minors and
earned a regular income from their jobs, they should be considered
dependants, as the deceased had provided them with constant
financial support until his death.
The respondent (the insurer) claimed that the plaintiffs could
not be considered dependants since they were not minors and had
independent lives and careers.
The definition of a 'dependant' is a child who lacks the
ability to support himself or herself independently and relies on
his or her parents for financial support.
The financial benefit granted by a parent to his or her child,
whether monetary or in kind, when the child is financially
independent (eg, financing studies or weddings, helping with
purchasing or renting property and looking after grandchildren)
does not indicate an independent child's monetary dependence on
his or her parents.
The court denied the claim and ruled that even though the Road
Victims Compensation Law does not define a 'dependant' as a
minor, adult children are generally not considered to be
dependants. The court will consider adult children as dependants
only in rare circumstances based on evidence proving actual
dependence and a lack of financial independence.
(1) FC 21953-10-12.
This article was first published by the International Law
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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