What You Need To Know About Ontario Wrongful Death Claims - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

What You Need To Know About Ontario Wrongful Death Claims


The death of a loved one exacts an emotional toll, but it also results in a loss to family members of the companionship and financial support contributed by the deceased. When the death is caused by the negligent or intentional conduct of another party, family members of the victim could be entitled to compensation for their loss through a wrongful death claim under Ontario law.

Wrongful death claims: Suing for damages

Certain family members of a person killed through the fault or negligence of another party have a right to recover compensation for wrongful death according to the Ontario Family Law Act. Only the following family members of the deceased may make a claim for damages:

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

Examples of situations that could give rise to a wrongful death claim include car accidents caused by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver. A criminal act, such as an assault, could also result in a claim for damages for wrongful death if the criminal act causes the death of the victim.

Damages recoverable for wrongful death

Damages recoverable by family members against the party responsible for causing the death of their loved one include the following:

  • Expenses incurred for the funeral of the deceased.
  • Expenses family members actually incurred on behalf of the deceased.
  • In situations in which the victim survives and receives treatment before succumbing to the injuries, family members may recover the reasonable travel expenses incurred to visit with the victim.
  • An allowance for services rendered by family members to care for the victim following the accident.
  • Compensation for the loss of care, companionship and guidance a family member would have expected to receive had their relative not be injured and killed.
  • Loss of the future income the victim would have reasonably been expected to contribute to the family member making a claim for damages.

Family members should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice and guidance about damages they could be entitled to seek in an Ontario wrongful death claim based upon the facts of their particular case.

For example, it is a mistake to not make a claim for wrongful death damages because the facts of the accident indicate your loved one might have been at fault in causing it. Contributory negligence, which is negligence on the part of a person injured or killed in an accident, does not automatically preclude a wrongful death claim. A court may take into consideration the extent to which the actions of the deceased contributed toward causing the accident or the injuries use that to apportion the damages award to surviving family members.

Time limitation for filing a wrongful death claim

It can be difficult to think clearly and make informed decisions following news of the sudden death of a beloved member of your family. If you suspect your family member died because of the negligence or intentional act of another person, it is imperative that you do not delay filing a claim for wrongful death damages.

The Limitations Act in Ontario places a two-year limitation period on wrongful death claims. You have only two years from the date of death to file a claim for damages before your right to recover compensation is lost.

Ontario wrongful death lawyers

If a loved one has been injured or killed due to the fault of another party, you should speak with the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond. They have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of injured accident victims and their family members in wrongful death and other types of personal injury claims. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

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