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What to do if you have lost a loved one in a car accident in Quebec

Accident de voiture décès

If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, the SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) can help you file a claim for death benefits and funeral expenses.

The SAAQ and all our staff offer you our sincerest condolences. At this trying time, rest assured that we will do everything possible to assist you in filing a claim for compensation.

How do I make a claim after a car accident?

There are two ways to make a claim after the death of a loved one in a car accident.

  1. Complete the online application form.
  2. Call the SAAQ or hire an SAAQ lawyer help you make your claim.

You will be given a number that you can use to fill out the documents and make the proper application.

You must choose one of the following three options to get your form.

  • Download a PDF version of the form directly from the SAAQ website
  • Ask your lawyer or the person who opens your file to help you receive it by mail
  • Go directly to an SAAQ point of service to obtain the form

You have 3 years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a claim for compensation with the SAAQ.

What documents should be included with the SAAQ claim?

  • Proof of accident
  • Certificate or proof of death, usually from the funeral director or registrar
  • Evidence of psychological treatment, receipts and bills from medical professionals

Are there any additional documents required?

You must attach proof of income if the deceased was an employee, such as a statement of income from the employer or income tax returns, billing notices or proof of business or professional income and expenses in Quebec or proof of income.

Be sure to include the application number on all attachments.

Once all documents and forms are complete, you can submit your application online through the Document Filing Service. You may also submit it by fax or mail. If you submit the documents online or by fax, you do not need to mail the original documents.

How long does it take to process a claim?

It is difficult to give a specific timeframe for processing a claim.

Your processing center will contact you by phone or writing to notify you of their decision. If your application is approved, the compensation officer will inform you by mail of the amount you will receive.

If your benefits claim is denied, you can contact your compensation officer for more information. You also have the right to contest an SAAQ decision. Our law firm would be happy to help you if you need to be assisted by a professional.

What is the amount of death benefits paid by the SAAQ?

If the SAAQ approves your claim, here are the benefits to be paid to the deceased’s family:

Death benefit paid to the spouse

The amount of the death benefit is calculated by multiplying the deceased’s gross annual income by 1 to 5, based on his or her age. The maximum amount paid to the deceased’s spouse is $440,000.

Death benefit paid to dependents

The children of the deceased are entitled to receive a death benefit for dependents. The benefit is calculated based on their age at the time of their parent’s death.

If the deceased had no spouse, the children are entitled to receive—in addition to the death benefit for dependents—the amount of the death benefit that would otherwise have been payable to the spouse.

Dependants other than the spouse, if disabled at the time of the deceased’s death, will receive an additional benefit of $31,283.

Death benefit paid if the deceased had no spouse or dependents

A lump-sum benefit of $60,787 is paid to the parents or guardians if the deceased was a minor.

If the deceased was of full age, this amount is paid to the estate upon proof of acceptance of the estate.

Compensation for diminished quality of life between accident and death

If the person died more than 24 hours after the accident, the SAAQ might pay compensation for mental suffering, pain and diminished quality of life.

The amount of the compensation for diminished quality of life is calculated based on the severity of the injuries.

Compensation for psychological support

To help you cope with your loss, the SAAQ can reimburse you for up to 15 hours of psychological counselling, to a maximum of $94.50 per hour.

Please note that the professional must be a member of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec for expenses to be covered.

To qualify for psychological support, you must be granted a death benefit.

Reimbursement of certain expenses

If your loved one was hospitalized before their death and you remained by their side at the doctor’s request, you can be reimbursed for travel and living expenses.

The SAAQ can also pay you a daily allowance for accompanying your loved one before his or her death.

The maximum amount of this allowance is:

  • $35 for 4 hours or less
  • $70 for more than 4 hours

The SAAQ may pay $5,683 to the estate to help cover funeral expenses upon proof of acceptance by the estate.

For more information see: Compensation for traffic accident victims in Quebec

A professional lawyer can help you with SAAQ claims

After losing a loved one in a car accident, it is normal to be confused and not know how to react. That is why you may choose to seek professional help, especially for complex issues like filing a claim to the SAAQ.

Me Bégin, a victim lawyer in Quebec since 1992, can help you with your claim or decision.

We can also assist you if you are the victim of a work accident or criminal offence. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

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