Fatal Accident Act

Fatal Accidents Act Alberta

To lose a loved one is truly to live through a nightmare. In 2018, traffic accidents resulted in 289 fatalities in Alberta, leaving behind grieving loved ones to deal not only with the loss of a family member, but also with many expenses and paperwork. Financial support can help alleviate some of the burden and worries about money during such a time, allowing family members to focus on grief and healing.

What is the Fatal Accidents Act?

Families of fatal accident victims can receive financial support through Alberta’s Fatal Accidents Act (FAA). If close family members can make a claim under this act, benefits may be received for things such as:

  • Grief counselling or therapy
  • Damages for lost income
  • Damages for lost services, such as housekeeping, childcare, meal preparation, etc.
  • Damages for loss of companionship and care
  • Damages for bereavement
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Travel and other expenses resulting from funeral attendance

If the accident was a motor vehicle accident, the family may receive benefits from two insurance policies: the policy of the vehicle which the victim was driving and the policy of the vehicle the other party involved in the accident was driving (especially if the other driver was at fault). Only one policy comes into play at times.

One such example is if the victim was a passenger in the vehicle that was clearly at fault for the accident. These claims are generally made by spouses, parents or children of the accident victim. If a spouse or partner was not living with the deceased at the time of the accident, this individual cannot file a claim.

Determining who was at fault and what exactly happened can be challenging. While contacting a personal injury lawyer is not something anyone wants to do while grieving, it truly is in the family’s best interest to do so as soon as possible to determine liability and important deadlines.



Compensation depends on the details surrounding each individual case. “No-fault Benefits” come into effect when it comes to the accident victim’s vehicle, assuming the vehicle was insured in Alberta. The maximum coverage from this benefit is $50,000 for medical treatment, per person, for each individual travelling and injured in the vehicle. The actual amount depends on factors such as the relationship between the deceased and the person making the claim, the deceased’s age, and so on.

Grief counselling compensation is $400 per family, and if more than one person has passed in the accident, the family might be able to claim $400 per deceased family member.

The coverage for funeral expenses is generally a maximum of $5,000; however, if the deceased was not at fault for the accident, the insurance company of the at-fault driver covers all costs related to the funeral, burial and headstone.

The bereavement benefit is due to the loss of care, companionship, and overall grief caused by losing a loved one. As of May 2013, parents who lose a child and a spouse or partner who lost their spouse/partner are compensated up to $82,000. If a child loses a parent, they may be entitled to compensation of $49,000.

Next Steps

All of this information is difficult to process in the midst of grieving a loved one. There are also more details, variables, as well as deadlines to be figured out and considered when filing a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act.

At McGuiness Law, we want to help walk you through this challenging season and provide you with as much support as possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

We are here to lend a hand.