(Continued from page 49, Issue No. 3142, Fri. Dec. 22, 2017 issue ofthe Amandala)
Death in traffic accidents
In cases of death as a result of traffic accident the laws mandates specific payments up front, one being burial and funeral expenses, but this cannot exceed four hundred dollars. However, in addition there are payments where the deceased has a surviving spouse and/or dependents. The payments are as follows per Section 5(4) of the Act:
If the deceased third party is survived by a spouse or a dependent the insurer shall in addition pay death benefits based on the age and the status of the deceased third party as follows:
Status of Deceased (age) – under 4 years; Surviving Spouse 0; Dependent Child 0; Parents 500.
Status of Deceased (age)- 4-12 years; Surviving Spouse 0; Dependent Child 0; Parents 1000.
Status of Deceased (age)- 12-16 years; Surviving Spouse 1500; Dependent Child1000; Parents 1500.
Status of Deceased (age) over16 years; Surviving Spouse 2500; Dependent Child1000; Parents 1500.
Thus as can be noted from the chart, if the deceased is a child, then the parents are entitled to some compensation and that compensation increases where the person is already a legal age to be in a marriage, which is 16 years and over.
Then there is Section 5(5) which mandates that “the insurer shall also pay a supplemental death benefit of one thousand dollars for each surviving dependent other than the first where the deceased third party is survived by a spouse and one or more dependents or by more than two dependents.”
It is critical to note that within sixty days after the receipt of the claim the insurer shall make your payments. If they don’t, please report them as being in violation of the law to the Inspector of Insurance, who oversees and regulates the conduct of insurance companies.
Now I write about this topic, not because I am not praying for the best and accident-free holidays, but because it is best for readers to know the law, should there ever be need for it. Also, too many past accidents have taken place and I am almost sure many of the surviving victims do not even know that they have these rights. Likewise the spouses and dependents of deceased victims are clueless, in many instances, that the insurance companies must make these payments regardless if the victims is negligent or not.
On a positive note, I wish all my readers and supporters of Amandala a blessed, joyous and health-filled holiday surrounded by loved ones and filled with love from those that form the fabric of your lives. From my personal family to yours, I say bless up!