Before launching a loss of support claim, it is important to understand that you can only claim if the person you depended on, was killed by another’s negligence.
These situations could include medical negligence and malpractice, road accidents, criminal injuries and any other action that resulted in death, due to direct causal negligence.
Who can claim loss of support
The position as to who can claim loss of support has been widened. It used to include, dependants such as minor children and a wife. It is now extended to indigent parents and even aunts and uncles as long as it can be shown that the deceased rendered support to a family member who was unable to support him or herself then the court will consider the claim.
How is loss of support calculated
The monetary value of the claim is calculated on the basis of the portion of earnings which the deceased would have utilized to support the dependants. It is calculated by having regard to the deceased’s earnings at the time of death and also what his or her career progression would have been had he survived. A formula is loosely used to attribute portions of the earnings to the children and the adults;
Generally, an adult is assumed to utilize twice as much resources money wise as a minor child.
What happens on remarriage or when a child becomes an adult?
Generally, loss of support for children is allowed up to the time they take up studying but that depends on the aptitude of the child. A three-year college course or university degree is provided for children who excel at school and who were likely to have the means to study further. When the deceased’s spouse remarries the claim for loss of support is extinguished.
Is the amount capped?
If the claim is against the Road Accident Fund and the earnings are extremely high a cap will apply, otherwise there is no cap which is applicable and the claim is calculated based on the deceased’s likely earnings.
What do I need to be eligible for a claim?
In order to establish a claim one first needs to ascertain whether there is a negligent party which is responsible for the death of the spouse or parent or the person who was providing the support. To establish the claim, a legal duty of support must be shown such as marriage, children, alternatively an indigent family member. This is done by presenting birth certificates, marriage certificates and the like. One also has to prove the salary or earnings of the deceased and salary advice slips or contracts of employment are generally used to do this.
Can I claim loss of support from a work-related death?
Depending on the nature of the event, if the injury was on duty but also involved a negligent third party then one can proceed both against the Workmen’s Compensation Fund and that third party.
How do I pay the legal fees?
We do consider these matters on our ordinary no win no fee basis and are able to assist clients in pursuing claims for loss of support.
Learn more about loss of support claims
If you would like to institute or pursue a loss of support claim with the assistance of Malcolm Lyons and Brivik, contact us on the details below. Malcolm Lyons and Brivik specialise in medical law, personal injury law, labour and road accident fund claims and have been recognised as leading attorneys in South Africa since 1965.
Contact our offices below for further information
0861 MLB INC
+27(0) 011 268 6697
Cape Town Office
+27(0) 21 425-5570