When a death is expected, the onset of grief and loss are feelings you know you will face. However, when the death of a loved one is unexpected and traumatic, feelings of grief, shock, and disbelief are often much more pronounced.
Seeking legal advice may be the last thing on your mind, but if someone you love has been killed due to another person’s negligence, reaching a Hamilton wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible is vital. Compensation can never bring your loved one back and no award of damages can replace the love and care that you received, but compensation is a remedy that could help you adjust financially and replace financial support that your loved one would have contributed into the family. If you depended on your loved one to help pay for the mortgage, car payments, hockey, dance lessons, insurance, summer camps, food, utilities etc. then you should not be deprived of these family requirements and necessities that you have been used to, because a negligent driver killed your spouse.
If a person’s wrongful or careless conduct has caused the death of your loved one in a car accident, it’s important that you seek legal advice early on. We understand that you have been grieving extensively – but it’s also important that you help protect your family’s financial future, sooner rather than later. By hiring our lawyers, you can assure that the person that caused your loved one’s death will be held financially responsible for his or her negligent conduct.
If you’ve lost a loved one unexpectedly, contact our Hamilton Wrongful Death Lawyers to learn what options you and your family. may have. We have over two decades of wrongful death experience and can provide professional representation to ensure that you receive compensation that you are your family are entitled to. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment with our firm. Call our Wrongful Death Lawyers today, toll-free, no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in Southern Ontario at 905-333-8888 or fill in a contact form on our website and we will be happy to get right back to you.
In Ontario, wrongful death compensation is available to the surviving family members of a person who has died as a result of the negligent or intentional actions of another person or entity. The compensation covers losses related to the death, such as funeral expenses, loss of income and support, and loss of guidance and companionship. The Family Law Act of Ontario governs wrongful death compensation, and the amount awarded can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. To be eligible for compensation, the death must have been caused by someone else’s wrongful act or neglect, and the deceased person must have had dependents or beneficiaries. Seeking legal advice from a wrongful death lawyer experienced in wrongful death cases can help surviving family members understand their rights and options for pursuing compensation.
In Ontario, families of wrongful death victims may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages (or pecuniary damages) refer to the financial losses incurred as a result of the death, such as funeral expenses, loss of income and support, and other out-of-pocket expenses. These damages can be calculated based on the deceased person’s age, earning potential, and other factors. Non-economic damages (non-pecuniary) on the other hand, are intended to compensate for the emotional and psychological impact of the loss, including loss of companionship, guidance, and care.
These damages are not easily quantifiable, but are typically determined based on the specific circumstances of the case, including the relationship between the deceased and the surviving family members. To pursue compensation for wrongful death, families should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help them understand their rights and seek the maximum compensation available under the law.
These Economic and Non-economic Damages in Ontario wrongful death cases are typically comprised of (but not limited to):
Our Hamilton Wrongful Death Lawyers are often hired by clients all over Ontario. We understand that legal issues can arise no matter where you are in Ontario. That’s why we make it easy for clients to hire us no matter where they are located. With the convenience of technology, our wrongful death lawyers are equipped to work remotely and communicate with clients through video conferencing, email, phone calls, and other digital tools. Our team is committed to providing quality legal services to clients across Ontario and ensuring that distance does not prevent anyone from receiving the representation they deserve. Whether you are located in a major city or a small town, we are here to help you with your legal needs. Don’t hesitate to contact our Hamilton Wrongful Death Lawyers today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case, no matter where you are in the Province.
At our law firm, we understand that losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is a devastating experience. We have experience representing families in many various types of wrongful death cases – some of the more common being:
Car Accidents and Wrongful Death – car accidents are an unfortunate and sobering reality that claim countless lives each year, with serious accidents causing particularly devastating consequences. High-speed collisions, head-on crashes, and rollovers often result in severe injuries or fatalities, leaving families and communities reeling from the tragic aftermath. In many cases, these accidents are preventable, stemming from factors such as distracted driving, impaired driving, or poor road conditions. The emotional toll of losing a loved one to a car accident is immense, forever altering the lives of those left behind. Read more about Car Accidents and Wrongful Death here.
Motorcycle Accidents and Wrongful Death – – motorcycle accidents are often also the cause of wrongful death due to the serious injuries that riders can sustain in a collision. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable on the road as they have less protection than drivers of other vehicles. The force of an impact can cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal injuries that can be fatal. In many cases, motorcycle accidents occur due to the negligence of other drivers, such as failing to check their blind spots or violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. In situations where a motorcycle accident results in wrongful death, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for their losses. Seeking the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help families understand their legal options and pursue the compensation they deserve. Read more about Motorcycle Accidents and Wrongful Death here.
Pedestrian Accidents and Wrongful Death – pedestrian accidents can often result in fatalities due to the vulnerability of pedestrians on the road. Pedestrians have no protection against vehicles, and even low-speed collisions can result in severe injuries or death. Pedestrian accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, such as distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. In cases where a pedestrian accident results in death, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for their losses. Seeking the assistance of an experienced Hamilton wrongful death lawyer can help families navigate the legal process and pursue the compensation they need to cover expenses such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and spousal or dependent’s loss of income. Read more about Pedestrian Accidents and Wrongful Death here.
Bicycle Accidents and Wrongful Death – bicycle accidents can lead to devastating consequences, including wrongful death, which refers to fatalities that occur due to the negligence or recklessness of another party. In urban environments where cyclists share the road with motor vehicles, the risk of accidents is heightened, often resulting from factors such as speeding, distracted driving, or failure to yield to bicycles at intersections.
Some of the more common causes of bicycle accident fatalities that we have seen are :
When a cyclist falls victim to wrongful death, their loved ones are left grappling with emotional distress, financial burdens, and the pursuit of justice. In such cases, it is crucial for the victim’s family to seek the assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney who can navigate the complex legal landscape and advocate for the compensation they deserve. Through the pursuit of justice with a Hamilton Wrongful Death Lawyer, families can find solace and closure, while also raising awareness about the importance of bicycle safety and the need for greater precautions to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Read more about Bicycle Accidents and Wrongful Death here
Drunk Driving Accidents and Wrongful Death – drunk driving accidents are a tragic and preventable cause of wrongful death, which occurs when someone loses their life due to the negligent or reckless actions of another person. Alcohol-impaired driving significantly impairs a driver’s ability to react, make sound judgments, and operate a vehicle safely, leading to a higher likelihood of accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The consequences of drunk driving accidents extend beyond the victim and their families, impacting entire communities and serving as a stark reminder of the importance of responsible alcohol consumption.
When a wrongful death occurs as a result of drunk driving, the victim’s family members are left to navigate the aftermath of their devastating loss. In addition to the emotional turmoil and grief they face, they may also be confronted with financial challenges related to funeral expenses, loss of income, and medical costs. Pursuing legal action against the intoxicated driver responsible for the accident can help the victim’s family seek justice and obtain the compensation they need to alleviate their financial burden.
Working with an experienced Hamilton wrongful death lawyer is essential in such cases, as they can help navigate the complexities of the legal system and ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions.
No matter the type of wrongful death case, our experienced lawyers are dedicated to helping families seek the justice and compensation they deserve. We understand the complex legal issues involved in these cases and are committed to guiding our clients through the process with compassion and expertise.
Distracted Driving and Wrongful Death – distracted driving has emerged as a significant contributor to road fatalities, encompassing a range of accidents that involve cars, bicycles, pedestrians, and motorcycles. The proliferation of technology, such as smartphones, has intensified this issue, as drivers become increasingly preoccupied with texting, social media, or other digital distractions while behind the wheel. This lack of focus compromises reaction times and situational awareness, leading to devastating consequences for all road users. Car accidents may result in multi-vehicle pile-ups, while vulnerable road users like cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists often face more severe injuries or fatalities due to their relative lack of protection.
Stunt Driving and Speed Racing and Wrongful Death – stunt driving, reckless driving, and speeding are dangerous behaviors that pose a significant threat to public safety and contribute to wrongful deaths on our roads. These high-risk actions often involve a blatant disregard for traffic laws and the well-being of other road users, resulting in unpredictable and hazardous situations. Drivers who engage in such activities, whether to impress others or for an adrenaline rush, put themselves and innocent bystanders at risk for serious injuries or fatalities. The consequences of these reckless choices can be life-altering, leaving families devastated and communities mourning the loss of loved ones. Read more about stunt driving, speed racing and wrongful death here.
Truck Accidents and Wrongful Death – Truck accidents are a problem across Canada. Almost 2,000 Canadians die each year in accidents with heavy trucks, and the numbers are increasing. As fewer Canadians shop at stores and more make purchases online, the truck traffic throughout the country is increasing.
More trucks on the road mean more risks to drivers and their passengers. Both Canadian and American trucks clog roads in Ontario. These days, truck drivers’ habits have become even more dangerous, as they are under pressure to deliver their cargo in time.
Truck drivers have contributed to the increase in accidents through:
Passenger vehicle drivers have much less chance of escaping a truck accident without serious injury. They are much more likely to die in these crashes because trucks are far bigger than their own cars. What is even worse is that truck accident victims may require multiple surgeries and lengthy hospitalization before they succumb to their injuries. Their medical bills before they died could impose significant financial burdens on their surviving families.
Losing a loved one in a truck accident will cause a family to experience overwhelming grief. Their loved one has gone out in their car and not come home because of the carelessness of a truck driver, who should know how to properly do their job and follow traffic laws.
If the deceased had children, their loss will cause them lifelong impacts from growing up without a parent. Without financial compensation, the family could struggle financially, both now and permanently.
You will likely have many questions about what happens to your family after a truck accident has taken your loved one. While financial concerns will be foremost in your mind, you will also want justice when a truck driver has done something wrong.
You will want a company that employs the driver to pay a price. You can do this through a wrongful death lawsuit. This will not bring your loved one back, but it can help your family survive in the aftermath of the accident and get some degree of closure for the accident.
Truck accident lawsuits are more complex because they require additional investigation. However, they also mean that you can sue a trucking company with “deeper pockets.” This is where our lawyers can help you. We will ask all the relevant questions in figuring out who was to blame for the crash and help your family establish its strongest possible case.
No, the driver will not pay your compensation personally. The negligent driver’s automobile liability insurance will cover claims made up to policy limits, which is typically $1 million- $2 million in Ontario.
In Ontario wrongful death cases, certain family members of victims who died have the right to seek compensation for their losses. The Family Law Act specifically enumerates and defines the family members that can bring an action for the loss of care, guidance and companionship, as well as pecuniary loss resulting from the injury or death. The legislation permits:
A deceased person’s same sex partner may also be able to make a claim in Ontario.
In Ontario and for the purposes of a wrongful death case, a spouse is defined as two people that are married to each other or that have been living with each other continuously for three years – or if they are the natural or adoptive parent of a child. Dependent kids could also be kids from a previous marriage who is receiving child support, paid by the car accident victim.
Looking for an Hamilton wrongful death lawyer while you are grieving may seem premature or even inconsiderate – but remember not all people mourn the loss of their loved one the same way, and some people will take longer than others to get back to start getting back to normal.
We understand that families are often overwhelmed and emotionally, they may feel like they might be in an insurmountable place in their lives. What is important, however, is that it’s still very important to at least talk to a wrongful death lawyer to check and see if you have a valid case.
We would recommend that you interview several lawyers and retain a lawyer or law firm that you feel most comfortable talking with. You will meet some lawyers that smile, and some that don’t. You will meet some lawyers that understand your situation, and some which you feel that simply do not. You will meet some lawyers that feel your pain and are passionate, and some that simply recite the law to you from across the table. You will meet some lawyers that you feel that you could pick up the phone, call and talk to, and others that you will not.
Remember this, a wrongful death car accident case is a very long process – and it’s important that you do not feel intimidated by the person you work with. You need a lawyer to make you feel like you are part of the team. It’s important that everyone works together and everyone has a connection, from boardroom to Courtroom.
In Ontario, family members are entitled to bring claims for economic and non-economic damages in a wrongful death. Below is a summary of both:
Economic damages – is something your lawyer might call pecuniary compensation. This typically refers to the loss of money as a result of injury or death. Pecuniary damage in the context of wrongful death, may include loss of potential earnings – meaning the potential earnings that your loved one would’ve made and contributed into the family.
It’s important to understand that the basis of any wrongful death lawsuit is to put family members in the same financial position that they would have been in, had their loved one not been killed. In the case of wrongful death compensation, it’s necessary to measure the financial loss suffered by all surviving dependents.
Typically, compensation such as the loss of income is limited to the spouse and kids of the person killed in a car accident. The financial loss is normally calculated with reference to the income that your loved one would’ve made, after deducting income tax and the amount that he or she would’ve personally consumed, had he or she lived.
In other words, the focus is to allow you and your loved ones to maintain the same quality of life, from a financial perspective, as would have been maintained had your loved one not been killed.
Non-economic damages – there is no actual definition for wrongful death compensation in Ontario. Instead, family members that are considered dependents, are eligible to recover compensation for the loss of guidance, care and companionship that they would have received had their loved one not been killed in a car accident.
The loss of care guiding companionship is hard to quantify. Typically for a spouse, the loss would be measured in terms of the loss of companionship. For a child, there is a loss of guidance and care. Calculating compensation and wrongful death cases is not an easy thing because there is no amount of money the can ever replace a loved one’s life, or the contribution that he or she makes to the people around him or her. Emotional bonds cannot be calculated in terms of dollars and cents.
What’s important to understand is, despite how they feel, judges and juries are not entitled to award millions of dollars in compensation for the loss of care guidance and companionship. They must follow a range consistent with compensation previously made by other judges in other cases. It’s important to talk to the lawyers that you interview about this. Experienced car accident fatality lawyers will be able to give you a range of compensation in this regard.
In assessing damages for the loss of care guidance and companionship, courts typically follow prior decisions rendered bu Judges in other cases that are similar to yours. For example several factors that have been examined by judges in awarding compensation and wrongful death cases are:
Your income loss – in addition to the loss of your loved ones income into the family, the living spouse might have suffered a personal loss of income due to the psychological grief he or she suffered as a result of the death of the family member.
Loss of benefits – if your loved one had medical dental and drug coverage benefits, you may be able to claim these losses as a pecuniary losses.
General expenses – dependents may advance claims for expenses as pecuniary losses. Recording of all such expenses including funeral expenses, parking, meals, travel or any other expenses incurred as a result of the death of your loved one should be kept and provided as a part of your losses.
Rehabilitation or attendant care services: you or your surviving family members may require counseling services and other rehabilitation type services to help move on through the grieving process. Some surviving dependents have required lifelong psychological care. You and your loved ones may be entitled to future care costs if those costs are not provided for in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.
Household and Childcare Services – you or your surviving family members may be able to claim household and childcare services. Spouses and children are entitled to be compensated for the value of the loss of household services provided to them by the deceased family member. Children also must be compensated for the value of loss childcare services that would’ve been provided by the decease, had he or she survived. These awards are typically not dependent upon the likelihood of replacement costs being incurred. Rather the awards are an attempt to monetize the value of the deceased contribution to the household.
Loss of inheritance – in certain situations, dependents may advance a claim for loss of inheritance. In other words, if not for the deceased premature death, the accident victim would have built up a larger estate that would’ve been available to beneficiaries, and therefore the beneficiaries would’ve been deprived of the benefit of the increase in the estate.
Management fees — Entitlement of a management fee is dependent on two factors: (1) the sophistication of a claimant and (2) the necessity for a manager to achieve a certain rate of return and ensure the lump sum award is not depleted too quickly.
Yes. In Ontario, the Trustee Act generally governs survival actions by estates, which cover the deceased’s losses that occur before death. Section 38(1) of the Trustee Act provides that the executor or administrator of any deceased person can sue for the injuries in the same manner and with the same rights and remedies as the deceased would, if living, have been entitled to do. The compensation, when recovered for the victim’s family, shall normally form part of the personal estate of the deceased. The Trustee Act in Ontario allows an estate’s executor to maintain a lawsuit on behalf of a deceased person – however, the executor may not pursue compensation for “death or for the loss of expectation of life” – but rather, for the suffering that the deceased endured.
It’s important that you speak to one of our Hamilton wrongful death lawyer for more information on the Trustee Act and how it may apply to your case.
What happens if the breadwinner of the family passes away unexpectedly? Who will help pay the mortgage, the bills, tuition, hockey, dancing, etc.? If the loved one who died was working at the time of death, and it can be shown that he or she would have continued to earn income in the future, then the survivors and family members may claim a loss to compensate them for a portion of the lost income.
This is what is called a “dependency” claim. It is calculated based on the net income your loved one would have contributed to your family members and the household. As experienced wrongful death lawyers in Hamilton, we certainly know how to have the value of the dependency claim properly assessed in order to help protect your family’s financial future.
It would be unfair for surviving family members to suffer financially because their loved one was taken away unexpectedly by someone else’s negligence. A wrongful death lawyer from our firm will seek justice and nothing less.
In Ontario, the loss of a spouse’s pension or benefits can certainly be quantified. In some cases, a person’s death may end medical, dental, and drug coverage benefits for a survivor. These benefits can be claimed without any type of dependency reduction.
Similarly, the loss of pension is the loss of income which derives from a contractual agreement. A surviving spouse certainly has a claim to a deceased’s pension income. This is a direct financial loss for income he or she otherwise would have received directly if not for the death of a spouse.
You never pay our Wrongful Death Lawyers anything upfront. We understand that a legal bill is the last thing you need after losing a loved one. We also understand that you may be hesitant to contact a Hamilton wrongful death lawyer because it may cost too much.
At our firm, we never charge up-front fees to meet and talk about what rights you might have in your wrongful death case. Our Hamilton wrongful death lawyers are happy to spend as much time with you as you need—with absolutely no obligation. In fact, we encourage you to meet several lawyers to find the best fit for your family.
Secondly, if you decide to retain Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers, we will never ask you for money up front. There are no fees or expenses paid unless we win your claim. When we accept a wrongful death case in Hamilton, we pursue it with the dedication and devotion that your family deserves.
We are happy to advance the entire cost of handling your lawsuit, only recovering our fees upon the successful resolution of your case. Our legal fees and how you are charged will be fully laid out for you in an easy-to-read agreement so you and your family understand exactly how we are reimbursed at the end of your case.
Accident-related injuries that most often lead to wrongful death can vary depending on the type and severity of the accident. Some of the most common injuries associated with wrongful death cases include:
Traumatic Brain Injury – is is one of the leading causes of death in personal injury cases. The brain controls the flow of oxygen to the rest of the body. A sudden impact will immediately kill brain tissue and keep it from sending messages to the rest of the body that control vital life functions. Traumatic brain injuries are often irreversible. If they do not result in immediate death, the victim may perish soon afterward. Brain swelling can reduce blood flow to the rest of the body, and it is very difficult for doctors to manage the swelling in the brain.
Spinal Cord Injuries – present a severe danger for the accident victim in the hours immediately following their injury. One of the major problems that accident victims encounter is damage to their respiratory system. The paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury keeps accident victims from breathing normally. Even people who survive the initial period after their injury face risks in the coming years. The most common cause of death among spinal cord injury patients is pneumonia. If your loved one dies years later from this illness after suffering a spinal cord injury, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Chest Injuries – are a common cause of wrongful death, particularly in high-impact accidents like car crashes, falls from heights, or sports-related incidents. The chest houses vital organs such as the heart and lungs, which are susceptible to damage in traumatic events. When the chest is subjected to a significant force, it can lead to a variety of life-threatening complications.
Rib fractures are a common chest injury that can cause significant pain and difficulty breathing. In some cases, broken ribs may puncture the lungs or other internal organs, leading to internal bleeding and potentially fatal complications.
Pulmonary contusions, or bruising of the lung tissue, can also occur as a result of chest injuries. These contusions can cause respiratory distress and difficulty breathing, potentially leading to respiratory failure if not treated promptly and effectively.
Damage to the heart is another serious concern in chest injuries. Blunt force trauma to the chest can result in myocardial contusions, which are bruises on the heart muscle. In severe cases, this can lead to irregular heartbeats, heart failure, or even death.
Additionally, the aorta, the body’s main artery, can be damaged in high-impact chest injuries. Aortic injuries, such as an aortic dissection or rupture, are life-threatening and require immediate medical intervention.
In wrongful death cases involving chest injuries, it is crucial to establish the negligent actions of the responsible party that directly led to the fatal injury. This may involve investigating the circumstances of the accident, consulting with medical experts, and gathering evidence to support the claim.
Damage to Internal Organs – will often result in death. One of the most common areas where accident victims can suffer a devastating internal injury is to their chest. This is where the heart and lungs are. Serious rib injuries can puncture the heart, killing the victim almost instantly. Punctured lungs will keep a victim from being able to breathe, and they present an immediate health emergency.
Internal injuries in the stomach area can lead to life-threatening infections, especially when the intestine is punctured or ruptures. These injuries could also disrupt vital kidney functions that clean the body of toxins. These injuries are often not apparent right off the bat, costing the victim vital treatment time. Doctors will then need to perform emergency life-saving surgery, which is not always successful.
In Ontario, negligence is proven by establishing four elements, known as the “tort of negligence.” These elements are:
To establish negligence, the plaintiff must prove each of these elements on a balance of probabilities, meaning that it is more likely than not that each element has been met.
In addition to these elements, there are several other factors that may be relevant to proving negligence in Ontario, such as the standard of care, foreseeability, and contributory negligence. It is recommended to consult with a Hamilton Wrongful Death Lawyer for specific legal advice related to your case.
As Hamilton Wrongful Death Lawyers, our goal is to not only obtain compensation on your behalf for your pain and loss, but also to help financially protect your children and family by making sure there is enough money in place to continue funding shared family expenses, pay the mortgage, put food on the table, and pay for kids’ activities. The untimely loss of your loved one shouldn’t mean you can’t afford vehicle payments, tuition, or any other type of shared expense.
Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers understands that dealing with an insurance company can be a complex, confusing, and aggravating time for families who have lost loved ones. Our Hamilton wrongful death lawyers understand that many people have never dealt with a wrongful death lawyer before.
Our firm makes it easy. We simply encourage any inquiries, and we will discuss your legal options thoroughly. Our consultations are free of charge, free of obligation, and completely confidential. Our lawyers are flexible and can arrange a consultation at a time that is convenient to you and your family—and we are happy to answer any questions you have.
To schedule your free consultation with our wrongful death lawyers, call us toll-free, no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-888-LALANDE or local throughout Southern Ontario area at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can chat with our live operator 24/7 or send an email through our website and we will be happy to get right back to you.
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In Ontario, spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and siblings are able to make a wrongful death claim in Ontario
In Ontario you are entitled to claim damages for the loss of care, guidance and companionship, funeral expenses, loss of housekeeping expenses, loss of inheritance, loss of shared family income, future care, attendance care, future health expenses, loss of pension and benefits and well as past and future direct pecuniary losses.
If your loved one suffered you can sue for the pain and suffering he or she endured before death.
Yes, in Ontario, dependent family members are entitled to compensation for their losses of family income.
Yes, family members are entitled to bring a claim for economic and non-economic damages in Ontario if their loved one was killed as a result of the careless or negligence of another person.
The no-fault benefits available in a wrongful death matter are 1) a spousal benefit – which is a payment to the deceased’s spouse in the amount of $25,000 (or $50,000 if optional coverage was purchased) 2) a dependent benefit is payable to each of the deceased’s dependents in the amount of $10,000 (or $20,000 if optional coverage was purchased) and a funeral benefits, which are payable for funeral expenses up to $6,000 (or $8,000 if optional coverage was purchased).
A death is considered wrongful when it occurs due to the fault or negligence of another person, company or entity. Damages are assessed by reference to loss with a focus on what the claimants’ position would have been but for the death and to restore that position so far as possible.
Yes. unmarried life-partners can claim damages. For a spouse to bring an FLA claim, sections 1 and 29 of the FLA combine to allow claims in any of the following situations, where the FLA claimant:
Was married to the injured or deceased person;
Was in a marriage that was voidable or void but entered into in good faith;
Lived with the injured or deceased person for three years or more;
Had a child with the plaintiff or
Was in a relationship of some permanence with the injured or deceased person.
Section 61(2)(e) of the FLA states that a family member is entitled to receive an amount to compensate for the loss of “guidance, care and companionship” that the claimant might reasonably have expected to receive from the injured or deceased person if the injury or death did not occur. These claims are fact specific and require examination and attention to detail. The phrase “loss of guidance, care and companionship” is not defined in the Act. Thornborrow v. MacKinnon, 1981 CarswellOnt 574 (Ont. H.C.) is the case which provides guidelines on how the terms are defined.
In a wrongful death claim, claimants may also be entitled to compensation for their loss of the deceased’s income based upon their dependency on the deceased. This claim is based on the loss of shared family income. The shared family income is the portion of the deceased’s income that would have been spent on the family member. Calculation of shared family income in dependency claims is complicated, and best left to an economist and actuary. The rate of dependency that the FLA claimants had on the deceased will be calculated. The rate will be considered along with positive and negative factors that could have impacted the deceased’s income and the extent to which the claimants would have been defendant.
The future loss of shared family income encompasses what the deceased would have spent out of revenue in the post-trial phase during a natural life-span on the dependents’ cost of homemaking of a family including not only their basic necessities but also amenities and enjoyments of life, taking into account for the relevant period of loss. The decedent’s revenue includes potential income from all sources including pre and post retirement earning periods.
The future loss of wealth in a wrongful death case covers all capital assets which dependents would have derived from the deceased but for the death. Usually this claim in effect represents loss of inheritance, but may also include assets which would have been obtained during a deceased’s lifetime.
The loss of an inheritance is awarded as damages in fatal accident claims where the claimant is able to establish the deceased would have accumulated assets that would have entered the estate and that therefore the deceased’s premature death resulted in a decreased inheritance.