Dealing with the loss of a loved one is hard enough as it is, but when the loss is a wrongful death, it can leave people with many questions, and in hardship they may have never encountered before.
At Wynperle Law, we want our clients to know that we understand how difficult a time this is. Consulting with a Wynperle Law lawyer, and pursuing a wrongful death claim, can provide you with answers, support, and compensation you deserve, but more than that, it can help put your mind at ease and assist with the sudden emotional and financial loss.
Wrongful Death Claims
When a wrongful death occurs, it usually means that someone has passed away before their time. It’s unexpected, and it can happen anywhere, even in a hospital.
For example, it can happen when a medical professional, one that had a duty of care toward their patient, performed actions that were negligent and that resulted in the patient’s death. The term wrongful death signifies that an individual or institution is purported to be responsible for causing the death.
But in these cases, sometimes family members are reluctant to act on wrongful death claims. Why? Because they feel hopeless in the face of a tragedy. Legal action, they sometimes feel, can’t replace the loss of their loved one, which is the most important thing on their minds.
And of course, from that perspective, they’re right. However, survivors should seek monetary damages for non-pecuniary loss. They represent the damages of more than just a financial loss, but also:
- Emotional loss
- Loss of care
- Loss of guidance
- Loss of companionship
The list above represents what are called “non-pecuniary losses,” and are difficult to measure in compensation. It’s essential to consider the non-pecuniary damages, particularly since they will be mentioned at a mediation or at the trial.
While it may not bring your loved one back, filing for pecuniary and non-pecuniary compensation is a way to achieve some level of justice. Especially if you suspect negligence, your loved one and your family have the right to seek compensation. We can help you explore those options.
According to Part V: Dependents’ Claim for Damages in Ontario’s Family Law Act, a wrongful death claim is a tort claim that allows family members of the deceased or the estate to sue the person at fault. A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought about for both negligent and intentional action. A representative of the deceased’s estate is entitled to file a lawsuit on behalf of the family members who are affected by the wrongful death.
COMPENSATION FOR THE WRONGFUL DEATH OF A LOVED ONE
The Family Law Act also outlines the types of damages recoverable, such as:
- Actual expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Travel expenses if the deceased was visited during a treatment or recovery period
- Loss of income or the value of the services
- Loss of household or childcare services formerly provided by the deceased
- Non-Pecuniary damages (mentioned above)
In addition to the financial losses, your family may also be awarded up to $125,000 as compensation for loss of guidance, care, and companionship. The family cannot receive more than $125,000 since it’s the maximum amount set in Ontario at this time.
Timing is Key
With any type of law, time is of the essence. A wrongful death claim carries a 2-year limitation, which means that as soon as you discover that the death was caused by negligible or intentional actions, the clock starts ticking.
By law, wrongful death lawsuits must be started within two years of the day of discovery. The date of discovery can also be defined as when you started doing research or speaking with medical professionals about your suspicions. The Court won’t extend the period despite how the death is affecting the family.
We encourage people to consult wrongful death lawyers for a second opinion, so you can know whether or not your suspicions hold water.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
Every case is different, but in the event of a wrongful death, both criminal and civil action are taken. Wrongful death lawyers have the task of proving that the individual or institution being sued is solely responsible for causing the death. This includes providing evidence that the individual or institution:
- Had a duty of care to the deceased
- Breached the duty of care by acting recklessly or neglectfully towards the deceased
- Caused the wrongful death of the victim as a result
Our personal injury lawyers are thorough in their investigations. Our law firm has handled many wrongful death cases.
Common Causes of a Wrongful Death
Across Ontario, there are many ways by which a wrongful death can occur, such as:
- Car accidents because an individual was impaired, reckless, or negligent
- Insufficient roadway warnings provided by government agencies
- Medical malpractice from medical practitioners and staff who are negligent, inexperienced, or who perform actions based on a technical error
- Faulty products made by manufacturing companies
The loss of life partners, parents, siblings, and other family members is devastating and can be made worse by hospital bills, funeral costs, and other fees that survivors may not be able to pay. That’s why consulting with a wrongful death lawyer in Ontario can provide you with a type of relief from the stress.
Wrongful death claims are a complex part of personal injury law. Working with a wrongful death lawyer takes the burden of proof and investigating off of your shoulders. You’re not alone in this. A Wynperle personal injury lawyer can assist you with a wrongful death claim and help you receive the compensation you deserve for losing your loved one too soon.
Speak with our Team of Wrongful Death Lawyers
Wrongful death can occur from a motor vehicle accident as well as medical malpractice. Our Wynperle lawyers are familiar with a variety of circumstances, including product liability cases. We want you to feel comfortable working with us during this life-altering situation. We encourage clients to ask questions, so that everything is clear and we can proceed with a wrongful death claim if necessary. We are happy to provide support should a family member require it.
Contact us for a free consultation to speak with our wrongful death lawyers right away.