The unexpected death of a spouse, child, or other family member can have emotionally and financial devastating consequences. Under normal circumstances, the death of a family member or loved one does not warrant filing a wrongful death personal injury claim and suing for compensation. However, when someone dies because of another party’s negligent,careless or reckless behavior, the survivors may have the right to file a wrongful death claim according to the Ontario Family Law Act. This is usually when a person dies in an accident for no fault of their own.

Who can file?

In 1990, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed the Family Law Act. It designates which surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death claim and lawsuit. Those family members that are eligible to sue on behalf of the deceased include:

• spouses and children
• parents and siblings
• grandparents and grandchildren

These individuals can sue companies, individuals or groups of individuals, and any other entity in order to receive compensation for the loss of their loved one or family member. Basically, the surviving family members are entitled to sue for their loss and receive compensation that the victim would’ve received had they survived the wrongful act or behavior. Thus, to ensure that the deceased victim receives the rightful dues, they are eligible to file compensation for a host of factors including funeral costs.

What Damages are recoverable?

Establishing the value of a personal injury claim or case usually comes down to one word – damages. Damages are calculated by determining how much your injuries have cost you emotionally and financially as well as physically. In some cases, where the defendant’s behavior is deemed as outrageously egregious, the plaintiff may be entitled to punitive damages as well. However, it is best to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer before you take the next step.

In a wrongful death claims and lawsuits, the surviving family members can sue for the following damages:

• burial, cremation, and other funeral expenses
• damages attributed to the care and guidance of the family member that would’ve been provided by the deceased as well as loss of companionship
• expenses incurred on the victim’s behalf
• housekeeping, nursing, and other related expenses that individuals provided up to the time of the victim’s passing
• traveling expenses that family members incurred when visiting the victim

Calculating the damages in a wrongful death personal injury case can be extremely difficult. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, you should discuss your circumstances with a personal injury lawyer. They will be able to help you collect evidence, calculate the damages and assist with filing the claim for compensation.