Who was at Fault?
The first thing you need to do is hire an experienced fatal accident lawyer who will hire an accident reconstruction engineer to determine who was at fault for the motor vehicle collision. This is crucial as in Alberta fault determines the amount that may be claimed as a payout for compensation.
There are many tragic motor vehicle accidents in Alberta involving high-income earners in the oil patch. The death of this high-income earner is a catastrophic financial loss to the surviving widow and children. If the deceased husband was the innocent victim, or only partially at fault, for the motor vehicle collision, then the surviving widow and children have a claim for the loss of the future income that her husband would have earned over the balance of his normal life expectancy.
The bottom line is that the widow and children have a very large claim for the long-term future loss of income of the deceased husband. If the deceased is in his early 30’s with another 30 years of expected career earnings, this claim is very large, several million dollars, and the widow and family should contact an experienced fatal accident lawyer to immediately investigate the accident and not just rely upon the RCMP analyst report and investigation. The RCMP are looking at the collision only with respect to criminal charges and they are not looking at other aspects such as partial liability or contributory negligence of each of the drivers. This is important in a civil claim as the deceased family and widow can still have a claim for partial compensation if the deceased husband was partially at fault for the motor vehicle collision.
Hire an Economist
Calculation a long term future potential stream of income is complex with many assumptions. Of course, deductions are made for the income tax the husband would have paid and the amounts he would have spent on himself, called “personal consumption”, and there are other deductions as well. However, there are also “positive contingencies” to be considered such as future job promotions, the inflation rate, change to a different job, etc. which would have resulted in an increase in the income of the deceased husband which must now be projected. These competing economic assumptions can make the calculation very complex. You cannot rely on the insurance company’s economist to do this for you and make a fair offer as they have no legal obligation to advise you what is a fair amount. On the contrary, their job is to minimize the amount of the insurance payout to you and your family. In order to do this accurately you must hire an economist to perform this complex future calculation. At Handel Law Firm we have two economic experts we use we know from experience are very good in court.
We have acted for families who have been involved in the all-too-frequent tragic fatal accidents. There are over 300 fatal accidents in Alberta each and every year. Handel Law Firm can assist a family who has suffered the tragic loss of a husband or wife to ensure that the family has the lost income replaced entirely for the benefit of the widow and the children. See a video and more detailed discussion of fatal accident claims under our Practice Area – Fatal Accidents: http://helpandhope.ca/practice-areas/fatal-accident-injury/.