What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Claims
Did you know that according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, nearly 500 died as a result of fatal car accidents in Ontario? Although these tragic accidents are relatively rare, in that same year, 439 car crashes resulted in at least one fatality. Families and friends of the deceased persons who perished were left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
If your loved one died in a Toronto car accident, you know that nothing can replace them or restore your loss of companionship. Your family may be facing financial hardship or uncertainty, and while no amount of money can compensate you for the person you lost, a wrongful death claim settlement from the at-fault driver in the fatal accident can help ease some of your financial burdens. A Toronto personal injury lawyer, like those at Wynperle Law, can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death action is brought under the Family Law Act, which entitles the relatives of a deceased family member to sue for compensation if the death resulted from an avoidable accident due to recklessness or negligence.
Wrongful death cases can arise from many circumstances, from car accidents to accidental poisoning from a contaminated consumer product or complications from medical malpractice. In some cases, the individual or entity that is responsible for the accident may be held liable.
At Wynperle Law, our insurance & liability services in Hamilton can help you recover damages if you have a family member who was fatally injured due to someone else’s negligent actions.
Elements of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
- They are related to the deceased in one of the manners set forth in Part V of the Family Law Act (relations include spouse, children and grandchildren, parents and grandparents, and siblings)
- The deceased died due to negligence on the part of another party
- The deceased would have been entitled to damages if they had not died
- Surviving family members suffered damages of their own due to their loved one’s death
The familial relationships are fairly straightforward to prove. However, it’s the other elements of a wrongful death lawsuit that can be more difficult to determine in an Ontario court of law.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
If your loved one died due to negligence on the part of another party, or if their death resulted from unsafe premises or working conditions, we can help.
Proving negligence entails gathering evidence that another party acted with willful recklessness or that they lacked oversight to ensure a safe environment for employees or premises visitors. The elements of negligence and liability will vary by circumstance, but you can depend on the personal injury lawyers at Wynperle Law to determine who was responsible for the death of your loved one.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover From a Wrongful Death Claim?
The damages that families can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit include both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages, like:
- Medical bills the individual incurred after the accident but before their death
- Traveling to visit the deceased before they passed
- Loss of income due to the need to care for the individual before they died
- Loss of income the deceased would have provided for their family
- Increased expenses the family incurs after the loved one’s death, such as caring for children or home repairs, if the deceased person performed those duties
- Compensation for loss of companionship, consortium, guidance, and care
- Funeral costs and burial expenses for the deceased person
Your wrongful death lawyer will work with you to pursue a claim that compensates you for all of these expenses you incurred and covers the financial burden you’re suffering because of the loss of your family member.
Is There a Limitation to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Ontario?
Although you likely aren’t thinking about hiring a personal injury lawyer right after your loved one dies, if their death was the fault of another party, then you may wish to seek financial justice and compensation. However, there is a time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.
If you or your personal injury lawyer try to file your wrongful death claim after the limitation time has passed, then the defendant (the at-fault party) may ask the court to dismiss it. The court typically will dismiss such a claim, no matter how strong the facts are in your favor.
What is the limitation for filing a Toronto wrongful death claim?
The Limitations Act established a statute of limitations for all personal injury claims, including wrongful death lawsuits. Generally, parties have two years from the date of the person’s death to file a wrongful death claim. However, if the defendant is an Ontario municipality, such as the City of London or Toronto, then the time period is shorter. Therefore, even if it is difficult, it’s important for families to seek legal representation as soon as possible after the accident.
How Can a Toronto Wrongful Death Lawyer Help Me After Losing My Loved One?
Losing a family member is always a stressful and traumatic event. It’s even more so when you know that their death could have been prevented. Recovering from your loss takes time. We are here to help you heal.
The laws in Ontario can play a role in helping provide financial compensation for families when a relative dies due to the negligence of another party. Your Toronto wrongful death law firm can gather evidence against the other party and build a case for your claim.
Contact Wynperle Law for Support With a Wrongful Death Claim
Wynperle Law is a personal injury law firm representing families who have lost a loved one in a tragic, avoidable accident. As your legal advocates, we will diligently defend your rights and make sure that you and your family get a desirable outcome. In addition to wrongful death claims, our other practice areas cover virtually all aspects of personal injury law in Ontario, so don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss personal injury cases, medical malpractice cases, or any other legal issue.