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Learning the Basics: How Wrongful Death Claims Work in Ontario

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Learning the Basics: How Wrongful Death Claims Work in Ontario

A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit in which someone dies as a result of the defendant’s negligence or an intentional act. Wrongful death claims allow the estate of the deceased to file a lawsuit against the party who is legally responsible for the death. In Ontario, wrongful death claims allow family members to recover financial and non-economic losses that were incurred as a result of the death.  

While no amount of money can truly compensate for the death of a loved one, Ontario law does provide family members of an individual killed by another person’s negligence or wrongful act with legal rights. Wrongful death claims are brought under the Family Law Act, which designates that certain family members are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. This includes: 

  • Spouse 
  • Children 
  • Siblings 
  • Parents 
  • Grandparents 
  • Grandchildren 

 In a wrongful death claim, the deceased person’s family members can recover for their own damages resulting from the person’s death. This may include: 

  • The costs of caring for the deceased person after his or her injury; 
  • Expenses incurred by the victim; 
  • Traveling expenses incurred from visiting the deceased during treatment; 
  • Lost income from the deceased person before death; 
  • The loss of income the deceased person would have provided for their family; 
  • Compensation for the loss of the deceased’s guidance, care, and companionship; and 
  • Funeral and burial expenses. 

For wrongful death claims, there is a limitation period. A limitation period is the amount of time in which an individual has to file a lawsuit. Under the Limitations Act, an individual has two years after a family member’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. As such, family members should consult a wrongful death lawyer as soon as a possible after losing their loved one. A wrongful death lawyer can work to protect your rights, to gather evidence and build a compelling case, and to achieve the justice your family deserves.  

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