No amount of compensation makes up for the loss of life of a loved one that you have experienced. A lawsuit can, however, help you afford childcare, pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, and make up for the lost income that your loved one will now never earn—income on which your family depended. Here at Preszler Law Firm, our Scarborough wrongful death lawyers assist clients by maximizing the compensation they recieve in wrongful death claims. We hold careless, reckless, and otherwise negligent parties responsible for their actions and can help you seek civil justice today.
Our wrongful death lawyers can meet with you in Scarborough for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Unintentional Injuries Are a Leading Cause of Death in Canada
According to Health Canada, unintentional injuries are the sixth leading cause of death in Canada, but the first leading cause of death for those between the ages of 1 and 34. Falls, poisoning, and motor vehicle traffic collisions are the top three types of fatal unintentional injuries. Over 16,000 Candians die in unintentional, preventable incidents each year. These include the following:
- Poisoning or drug overdose
- Car collisions
- Truck collisions
- Pedestrian collisions
- Bicyclist collisions
- Motorcyclist collisions
- Slip, trip, and falls
- Work accidents
Scarborough Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can be Filed When the Victim Was Killed by an Act of Violence
Homicide is the criminal act of killing a person, and it is a leading cause of death for younger people, particularly those in their 20s. Homicide can be committed unintentionally, such as while driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, or it can be intentional and classified as either second degree murder or first degree murder. Frequently, homicide is committed during the act of sexual assault or domestic violence; regardless of why the perpetrator committed the crime, they can be held accountable in civil court in addition to criminal court.
On top of compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering, lost earnings, medical costs, etc., the surviving loved ones of the victim can also sue for punitive damages. Punitive damages are imposed by the court when other penalties may not be enough. They are an additional form of punishment, and are not awarded to the victim’s loved ones based on their damages. As such, the more wealthy the defendant, the higher the punitive damages must be in order to make an actual impact on their wealth and therefore act as a useful form of punishment.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If your loved one was killed in a preventable accident, you can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. The following relations are eligible to file Scarborough wrongful death lawsuits:
- Adult interdependent partners
The maximum compensation for the loss of a child used to be $125,000 in Ontario. That number has been raised in recent years, as evidenced by cases reported by the Ottawa Sun.
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Compensation for Wrongful Death
- Lost earnings of the deceased
- Lost wages for the plaintiff due to time spent in emotional turmoil
- Pain and suffering that the deceased may have suffered
- Loss of care, guidance, and companionship or “loss of consortium”
- Out of pocket medical expenses of the deceased
- Extra expenses caused by the death, such as childcare expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
Non-Pecuniary Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Most of the damages eligible for compensation are pecuniary—damages that have an actual monetary value. Ever since 1978 and the case of Andrews v. Grand & Toy Alberta Ltd., Canada has had a cap on non-economic or “non-pecuniary” damages. Originally, that number was set at $100,000, according to the Journal of Air Law and Commerce. Today, that number is around $360,000—still far too low. While it is impossible to place a monetary value on a life, financial compensation is the only means for attempting to make the surviving party whole. While personal injury and wrongful death cases attempt to do this, the law capping non-pecuniary damages severely limits the level of compensation a plaintiff can receive for:
- Pain and suffering of the deceased victim
- Loss of joy of life for the plaintiff
- Emotional distress of the plaintiff
Uninsured and Underinsured Driver’s Insurance
Three of the most common ways unintentional fatal injuries occur are:
- Medical malpractice
- Premises accidents including slip and falls
- Motor vehicle collisions including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists being struck by vehicles
In the first two scenarios, the at-fault parties (doctors, hospitals, homeowner, and business owners) will generally have large insurance policies to pursue. In the third, motor vehicle collisions, the at-fault party may have limited insurance. The minimum third party liability coverage that an Ontario driver needs to carry is $200,000. This coverage is applied when that driver causes a crash injuring another party, and can be applied for personal injury expenses, property damage, and wrongful death. $200,000 may sound like a lot at first, but considering that a catastrophic injury can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs, it may not be enough, especially in a wrongful death claim when the plaintiffs are seeking compensation for a lifetime of lost income and loss of companionship.
Furthermore, many drivers do not have any insurance at all, and are operating their vehicles illegally. In either case, whether the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you can seek compensation through your own UM (underinsured and uninsured) driver coverage. For example, if the other driver only has a liability policy that amounts to $500,000, and your damages are in excess of $1 million, you can be compensated by your UM coverage as well, which maxes out at $200,000.
Reach Out to a Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Whether your loved one was killed in a car crash, in premises accident, by a medical error, or any other type of preventable incident, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim. The wrongful death lawyers at Preszler Law Firm can help you get started today. Call 1-800-JUSTICE to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Scarborough today.