The wrongful death of a loved one is a tragic and overwhelming experience that can leave you at a loss for what to do next. Although it is likely not your first priority, it may be possible to file a lawsuit seeking damages for your loved one’s death.
Under Ontario’s Family Law Act, surviving family members are entitled to file a claim seeking compensation after the wrongful death of a loved one. A damages claim will be assessed based on whether or not the deceased could have brought a personal injury claim if he or she had survived the injuries.
The law states exactly which family members can bring a claim:
- Brothers or sisters
In most cases, a surviving spouse will be the primary beneficiary of a wrongful death lawsuit. However, every situation is different.
The law also details the compensation that can be recovered from a wrongful death lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, damages could include:
- Reasonable funeral expenses
- A reasonable amount of travel expenses incurred by dependents while traveling to visit the deceased during treatment prior to the death
- Loss of income or shared family income
- Expenses reasonably incurred for the benefit of the deceased
- Loss of companionship, care and guidance that the deceased would have provided
Disbursement of compensation can vary. In some situations, the defendant may choose to settle a case by paying a global sum, which will designate how the compensation is to be distributed among dependents. If there is no designation, defendants have the option to have the court apportion the sum.
Our wrongful death lawyers can help you determine your legal options after the death of a loved one. Contact Greg Monforton & Partners today for a free, no obligation consultation. We do not get paid unless you do.