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Published April 4, 2019

If a person is injured or killed by the fault or neglect of another, their family members may be entitled to compensation under s. 61(1) the Family Law Act.

The Family Law Act will allow you to bring a claim if you are married to the injured or deceased person, or lived with this person for no less than 3 years. Additionally, even if you are not married to each other or lived together, but you are natural or adoptive parents of a child, your claim may be heard.

What can a family member recover?

According to s. 61(2), a family member can recover:

  • Expenses incurred for the benefit of the person injured;
  • Funeral expenses;
  • Housekeeping, nursing or other services;
  • Loss of income;
  • An amount that will compensate the person for guidance, care, and companionship that the claimant might reasonably have expected to receive from the person if injury or death had not occurred.

A family member can advance dependency claims for the financial support and/or household services that would have been provided by the injured/deceased family member had the accident not occurred.

A family member can also claim their own income loss

When it comes to damages for loss of guidance, care, and companionship, the Court of Appeal in Fiddler v. Chiavetti[1]ruled that the high-end range of damages in Ontario is $125,000.

General Damages for pain and suffering are subject to deductible pursuant to s. 267(7) of the Insurance Act. Please note that Family Law Act claims where the main plaintiff is deceased is not subject to deductible. The deductible is also not applicable to slip and fall cases, medical malpractice cases, product liability, or other cases that do not involve motor-vehicle accidents.  

When you need help defining damages, MG Law can help

As you can see above, finding out what you or your family are entitled to in the event of an accident isn’t always so easy to understand. You don’t need to feel alone in your search for answers though. For more information, please contact MG Law at (613) 730-8460. We’d be more than happy to go over your options with you.


[1] Fiddler v. Chiavetti, 2010 ONCA 210
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