In 2010, it was estimated that there were roughly 3,000 fatal car accidents in Canada alone. Most of these involved male drivers aged 35 to 44. Today, that number has declined very slightly to between 2,800 and 2,900 – according to the Canadian Transportation Safety Board. However, they did note that there are approximately 160,000 accidents in Canada per year.
With so many accidents taking place, and no significant drop in fatal ones since 2010, it’s important to know more about wrongful death claims.
First, the legal basis for claims in fatal accidents is found in the Family Law Act. As a family member, it is your right to claim damages for the loss of care, guidance and companionship when someone you know is killed.
While an amount could never replace the loss of a loved one, it is the only thing courts can award as compensation to help ease the burden.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
In Ontario, wrongful death claims fall under Part V of the Family Law Act that regulates the rights of spouses and dependents on the above-mentioned matters. On behalf of the victim, spouses, children, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, and essentially anyone of close related blood can make a wrongful death claim. Those making the claim must prove that they were dependent on the victim in some way or another.
Pecuniary damages are much easier to determine an exact amount as there are specific invoices for any expenses. Non-pecuniary damages tend to lack invoices and can be more difficult to determine an exact amount.
In most cases, the courts seem to be fairly consistent in terms of dollars awarded for non-pecuniary damages. This actually works to speed up the process as insurance companies and their legal team can determine how much should be assessed in each individual case much faster.
How long do you have to make a wrongful death claim?
According to the statute of limitations, in Ontario, a claim can be filed up to two years after the victim’s death. Minors are also able to make a claim and have until two years after they become of legal age to do so. For example, if a 16 year old wishes to make a wrongful death claim because they had lost a family member due to negligence of a third party, that individual would have time, until they turn 20 years of age, to file the claim.
Can MG Law help you with a wrongful death claim?
Absolutely. MG Law has a team of lawyers experienced in these types of claims. We understand how difficult the process of losing a loved one can be. Let us be the voice of reason on your side and get the compensation you deserve. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Call today for your free consultation (613) 730-8460.