The death of a loved one is difficult for anyone to deal with. Emotions can be challenging to handle, as can trying to resume your daily life and activities. Family, friends and loved ones all take on the emotional toll of dealing with a heartbreaking loss.
The Canadian legal system recognizes that there is no monetary value that could compensate for the devastating loss of a loved one. As a result, civil claims do not aim to put a monetary value on a person’s life, but rather compensate for the additional losses associated with the wrongful death of a loved one.
‘Wrongful death’ refers to an occurrence where a dies as a result of neglect or the fault of another individual. The Ontario Family Law Act outlines the variety of conditions that family members who intend to claim wrongful death suits must meet.
Compensation for Loss of Care, Guidance, and Companionship
Losing a loved one deprives the surviving family members of the benefits of that person’s care, guidance and companionship. Family members can claim compensation for those losses. These terms have specific meanings in law and the courts undertake a detailed analysis of the relationship between the deceased and the remaining family members to determine how much compensation is appropriate.
Compensation for Loss of Financial Support and Pension Benefits
The loss of a loved one can put great financial strain on the family. This type of claim allows for family members to claim compensation for the income that would otherwise have been provided to the family if the wrongful death did not occur.
Compensation for Loss of Household Services
A loss in the family affects all parts of a household. This type of claim allows family members to claim compensation for the cost of household or caregiver services that otherwise would have been provided should the wrongful death not have occurred.
The daily functioning of any household is severely impacted by the death of a loved one. This claim allows family members to make a claim on the basis of increased home maintenance or repair costs, as a result of the lost loved one not being able to provide these services.
The last thing a grieving family wants to worry about in the event of the death of a loved one is funeral expenses. This type of claim allows family members to claim the funeral-related expenses associated with the wrongful death.
In some circumstances, it may be possible for surviving family members to claim their own income that was lost as a result of the death of a family member.
How to File a Claim
A wrongful death claim can be filed by spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and siblings of the deceased. Typically you have only up to two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but the law has many intricacies and so filing a claim as soon as possible gives you the best chance at recovering all the damages that you are entitled to and ensures that the court will not rule that you waited too long to bring your lawsuit. An experienced lawyer can help walk you through every step of the process with care and sensitivity.
Dealing with a lawyer is likely the last thing you want to think about when grieving your loss. Beckett’s lawyers understand the hardship and emotional toll that losing a loved one has on a family. We will be with you every step of the way, should you wish to file a wrongful death suit. Our experienced team is ready to guide you through the process with compassion and dignity. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Published on February 20, 2021