In Ontario Province, the Family Law Act enables individuals to sue for damages when another family member has been killed or seriously injured in an accident. This law applies to parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren, and brothers and sisters. However, they can only sue if the accident resulted from another individual’s careless or reckless actions or behavior. Thus, even if you consider the death as a result of it, discuss it with the lawyer before filing a claim.
In cases involving the death of a loved one, the other family members who are allowed to sue for damages can only do so provided the deceased would’ve been entitled to compensation had they lived. As you can clearly see, cases of this nature can be very complex and they oftentimes require the experience of a Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton lawyer that specializes in personal injury law.
Interpreting the Family Law Act
According to the Family Law Act, Section 61(2), family members can sue for damages for the following:
- Actual expenses that were incurred for the deceased or injured person’s benefit
- Actual funeral expenses for the deceased that were reasonably incurred
- Allowances made for actual travel expenses incurred while visiting the injury victim during medical care and treatment
- Claimant provided housekeeping, nursing, and other services for the injured family member, a reasonable allowance for the value of said services or loss of income
- Compensation the claimant might reasonably expect for loss of care, companionship, and guidance had the death of the person or the injuries to them had not occurred
When a loved one has perished in an accident or been seriously injured, the surviving family members are already overwhelmed emotionally and the last thing they need to stress over or worry about is the interpretation of the law. One of the primary benefits of retaining the services of a Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton personal injury law is that they can help you understand the law and guide you through the legal process.
Damages available to the Claimant
There are two forms of damages that claimants can recover in personal injury cases when they are suing under the guise of the Family Law Act:
- General damages – refers to compensation that reimburses the injured party for the intangible injuries that they have sustained as a result of the accident. They are also known as non-pecuniary damages.
Special damages – refers to compensation that reimburses the injured party for expenses that were incurred as a result of their injuries. They are also known as pecuniary damages.
No amount of money can ever replace the loss of companionship and the emotional bond that has developed over the years when a loved one perishes in an accident. Unfortunately, that is the only remedy that the courts can provide in these situations. If any of the above applies to you, you should consider discussing your needs with a Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton personal injury lawyer.