Suing For Injuries Suffered By Members of Your Family | Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Suing For Injuries Suffered By Members of Your Family


People generally associate a personal injury lawsuit with a claim filed on behalf of a person injured or killed in an accident caused by the negligence or carelessness of another person. If the victim is a member of your family, you might be able to file your own claim for damages under Ontario law.

Ontario Family Law Act

Certain members of the family of a person killed or injured in an accident may be entitled to sue for damages under the Family Law Act in Ontario. The law gives the following dependents of an accident victim the right to sue:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Brothers and sisters

The right of the specified family members to recover damages only exists in cases in which the victim is entitled to sue the responsible party for damages or, in the event of the death of the victim, would have been able to sue had he or she survived.

Damages recoverable by family members of an accident victim

If you are within one of the categories of family members of an accident victim authorized to file a lawsuit for compensation, the damages you may recover are limited to those specified under the law. Recoverable damages include:

  • Money you spent on behalf of the victim: Included in this category of damages might be medical equipment or related items purchased to care for an accident victim while recovering at home.
  • Actual funeral expenses: If the victim died as a result of the accident, you could recover the costs you actual paid toward the person’s funeral.
  • Travel expenses: These expenses are limited to reimbursing you for the costs associated with traveling to and from visits with the victim while he or she was recovering from the accident.
  • Nursing, housekeeping and other services you provided: You may recover the reasonable value of the services you personally provided to the victim. If you lost time from work, you could recover the lost income in addition to the value of the actual services.
  • Loss of guidance, care and companionship: Courts may award an amount to compensate you for psychological harm and similar damages if the death or injuries of the victim affected your relationship with the person.

A loss of companionship claim under the law might involve the death of a man killed as he was crossing the street and was hit by a car driven by someone who ignored a red light. If he had been married for many years, his widow might recover damages for loss of companionship by proving the death left her emotionally devastated and in need of psychological counseling to deal with the loss. His children, even if they were adults, might be entitled to recover for the loss of the guidance their father provided to them.

Apportionment of damages awarded for the loss of a family member

In cases in which multiple family members are suing for damages, the party at fault in causing death or injury to the victim has the right under the law to settle the claim without specifying how it will be shared and distributed. In that case, the court hearing the claim for damages has the authority to order apportionment of the compensation among the various family members.

Skilled personal injury lawyers

If a family member is injured or killed due to the conduct of another party, you could be entitled to compensation for your loss. Protect your claim for compensation in Ontario by consulting the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond. They have years of experiencehandling all types of personal injury claims, including cases under the Family Law Act. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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