7. A member of my family died in an accident. Can I initiate personal injury proceedings on behalf of my family member? What is the procedure that I have to follow before suing the wrongdoer?
In case of a fatal accident, a claim may be made by the deceased's estate (i.e. the claim is made under the deceased's name but handled by his/her representative). Where a Grant of Letters of Administration or Probate has been issued, particulars, such as the date of the Grant, the Grant number and the details of the executor/administrator of the deceased's estate must also be provided in the Statement of Claim.
Non-financial losses and financial losses that have been incurred between the date of the accident and the date of death can be claimed against the defendant. Financial losses include medical expenses, funeral expenses and loss of future accumulation of wealth. A claim may be made by the deceased's dependents (such as the children or the spouse) for loss of dependency. A claim for non-financial losses, such as bereavement (mental depression/suffering due to the death of a relative), may also be brought by the deceased's relatives.
The names and dates of birth of the deceased and the person who wants to seek compensation must be written in the Statement of Claim. Other particulars to be mentioned in the Statement of Claim and the Statement of Damages include: the extent of dependency of each dependent, the income and occupation of the deceased, a summary of the injuries, the medical treatment received, and medical and funeral expenses.