What Damages (Financial Compensation) Can A Family Member Claim Following the Death of a Loved One in Ontario?
Damages is a legal term that refers to the monetary compensation obtained in a legal proceeding or settlement. In Ontario wrongful death cases, the damages will depend on the facts of the particular case. No two wrongful death claims are the same, and the damages will need to be assessed by an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
Wrongful Deaths in Ontario
The main heads of damages in Ontario relevant to wrongful death claims are:
Pecuniary damages (economic losses)
Section 61(2) of the Family Law Act, provides that the damages that the family members can recover may include, but are not limited to:
Family members of the deceased are able to claim the following future and past pecuniary losses: loss of financial support, loss of dependency and loss of household services.
Loss of Financial Support/Loss of Dependency.
The dependents of the deceased are able to claim loss of financial support for the deceased. In Ontario, the maximum amount that a spouse can claim for past financial support, which includes the period from the accident to trial, is 70 percent of the gross income lost during this period. The dependents are unable to claim damages for income loss suffered in the seven days after the accident.
In wrongful death actions, future loss of income is determined based on the number of income earners in the family. The following are the various calculations for determining future loss of income:
Loss of dependency or financial support for the children of the deceased is calculated as an additional percentage of the deceased’s income per child in relation to the amount the surviving spouse is entitled to. The calculation of loss of financial support or dependency is based on the age when the child would no longer be dependent on the deceased parent. This age will vary depending on the circumstances of the child, such as whether the child plans to complete secondary education.
Loss of Household Services
The family members of the deceased are entitled to claim damages for loss of household services to the extent that the deceased completed/contributed to housekeeping tasks. These household services can include: cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, gardening and maintenance and repairs. The amount is typically calculated by determining the average number of hours the deceased spent per week completing housework and then using the average hourly rate of someone employed to complete these tasks. The value of future loss of household services is also based on the life expectancy of the deceased.
The loss of a loved one is always devastating, but may be even more painful when it is sudden and caused by the fault of someone else. Sadly, fatal accidents in Ontario remain all too common. We understand that you will need time to grieve your loss, but it is also important to take the time to speak with an Ontario lawyer to learn about your rights. The loss of loved one can bring unexpected financial hardships on a grieving family. There is usually insurance available to cover such losses. Though it may be difficult, you owe it to your family to learn about your legal options if a loved one has been killed in an Ontario accident. There are strict time limits within which you must commence a wrongful death claim.
In Ontario, when someone is killed as a result of the negligence of another person or company, the surviving family members may be able to make a claim for wrongful death benefits. Wrongful death compensation can include claims for the loss of guidance, care, companionship, support and services of their loved one.
Free Consultation with Ontario Wrongful Death Lawyer
Contact Iacobelli Law Firm to speak with an Ontario lawyer. We offer prospective clients a free case review. There is no obligation and the consultation is strictly confidential.
Contingency Fee Lawyer for Fatal Accident Claims
In recognition that the loss of a loved one commonly result in serious financial hardship, we offer contingency fee retainers, so that you pay no fee unless you win.
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