The death of a family member in a motor vehicle accident is devastating. The loss to someone can be incalculable from an emotional perspective. Many people are at a loss of what they can do and how to proceed.
Wrongful death refers to the death of a person due to injuries suffered in an accident due to the negligent actions of another person. Wrongful death lawsuits commonly involve someone fatally injured in a car accident. A lawsuit can be brought against anyone who is responsible for the death. Wrongful death claims are considered civil actions and the issue is what damages the family members are entitled to for the death of a family member. In a wrongful death claim, you may be able to sue for both economic or financial loss as well as non-economic losses.
In Ontario, the law governing who can claim damages in a wrongful death lawsuit is the Family Law Act. The Act states that the following family members may collect damages:
- spouses (including common-law)
- brothers and sisters
The types of damages you can sue for in a wrongful death claim include:
- The loss of income that would have been provided from the person if death had not occurred;
- The loss of guidance, care, and companionship that dependents might reasonably have expected to receive from the person if the death had not occurred;
- The loss of income sustained by the claimant as a result of the death (for example, not being able to work for a period of time due to emotional pain and suffering);
- Expenses such as travel, medications, treatments, or hospital bills prior to death; and
- Funeral and burial expenses
As well, in cases involving a motor vehicle accident, your own insurer or that of the deceased provides death and funeral benefits. The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule under a standard policy of automobile insurance obligates the insurer to pay $25,000 to the deceased’s spouse and $10,000 each to the deceased’s dependants in the way of a death benefit. The insurer is also obligated to pay a funeral expense up to a maximum of $6,000.
If you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, please contact me for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your rights. With over 20 years of experience in the personal injury field, I have the experience to help you achieve what you are entitled to recover for the loss of a loved one. I may be reached at 647-490-9444 or via email at email@example.com.
Tullio A. D’Angela
Personal Injury Lawyer in the City of Toronto