Ontario Wrongful Death Laws
When a person dies at the fault of another person or entity, the surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for the survivors’ loss. Wrongful death lawsuits compensate the surviving family for damages suffered by the surviving family for pain and suffering, medical bills at the time of injury and at death, and funeral expenses. Damages are paid to the victim’s estate, but some money may eventually pass to the family members.
Wrongful death suits can be brought against a wide variety of persons, companies, and employees, but family members must prove that their loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s recklessness or deliberate act and not by their loved one’s own action or inaction.
These claims are a civil matter and can be brought upon people of all ages. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is different than criminal charges being brought against the negligent person or persons. If the negligent person or party is not found guilty of murder, the family of the deceased can still file a wrongful death claim.
In certain instances, even separated spouses can file wrongful death suits for the death of their estranged spouse. Parents can file wrongful death suits if their child dies from negligence, and likewise children can file suit if one of their parents dies from negligence.
Damages in a wrongful death case are structured so that the surviving spouse receives 60 to 70 percent of the net income of the deceased from time of death. In Ontario, intestacy laws are in place to distribute a person’s estate if the pass without a will. If the deceased was married at the time of death, then the deceased’s spouse takes a share of $200,000 and the law divides the balance by giving an additional portion to the spouse and the remaining portion to the deceased’s children, in equal shares depending on how many children there are surviving. The children might have the right to sue for support under Ontario Canada’s Succession Law Reform Act if they were considered dependents of the deceased and the deceased was under legal obligation to provide support. Visit www.Ontario.ca for more details.
Data on wrongful death and intestacy laws in Ontario is provided by Cariati Law.