In this matter we represented two individuals under the age of 18 years. Their father died in an industrial accident at work. There was no dispute as to the incident itself or as to whether the children were considered dependants. The date of death was in mid-2014. One of our clients had lived with the deceased for 8 years prior to the accident occurring, and the other client lived with his mother, however the deceased provided fortnightly payments to them.
As our clients were under 18 years of age, they required to have legal guardians act for them, and ultimately, hold money in trust for them.
The legal guardians approached the specialised workers compensation solicitors at Gerard Malouf and Partners wanting to know their rights. The issue in this case was one of apportionment. Under the Workers Compensation legislation there is a maximum amount that can be awarded in regards to a death of a worker who leaves behind dependants, and the biggest concern was forging an agreement with the workers compensation insurer as to who the dependants were and what the apportionment ought to be.
The solicitors at Gerard Malouf and Partners organised a number of teleconferences through the Workers Compensation Commission in an attempt to resolve this issue. We were able to determine that our two clients, being the two children of the deceased, were the only dependants, and we agreed upon an apportionment of 50/50 with the workers compensation insurer. That is, we negotiated a settlement whereby each child was awarded half of the maximum lump sum amount to be held on trust by their legal guardians until they were 18 years old. This was over $250,000.00 for each child.
If you or anyone you know was a dependent of someone who has died as a result of a work accident, you may be entitled to lump sum compensation. Please do not hesitate to contact the workers compensation specialists at Gerard Malouf and Partners to determine if you are considered a dependent, and if you are entitled to any lump sum compensation.