Wrongful Death Lawyer – Fatal Accident Compensation Claims – Canada
A wrongful death lawyer is a specialist personal injury advocate with expertise in fatal accidents. A wrongful death lawyer represents the victim’s family and dependants. Most wrongful deaths are caused by the negligence or deliberate act of another person. Our wrongful death lawyers offer a wealth of experience and give free advice with no further obligation on liability and the potential value of a claim. Payment for legal services is agreed on a contingency fee basis which means that we get paid when you get paid. If the case is lost there is nothing whatsoever to pay. There are time limits and failure to take legal action for wrongful death within the limitation period can mean that the opportunity to claim compensation is lost forever. Accidental death is as catastrophic as it gets and it affects the victim’s family’s lives forever. A wrongful death lawyer will make sure that you get a fair deal.
Cases of wrongful death involve the unexpected demise of an individual due to the negligence, unlawful behavior, criminal acts or wrongdoing of another person or legal entity. Wrongful death is different from other compensation claims because the person who would have been the claimant has died and the lawsuit is usually carried out on behalf of the children or spouse of the deceased person who have lost the financial support of the deceased.
A wrongful death law suit involves a fatal injury that was caused by another person or company which affects living relatives that depended on the decedent income for support. This is usually the children of the decedent or the spouse of the decedent, although in some cases, it can involve claims on behalf of dependent parents of the decedent. The categories of potential claimants are defined by law. In certain circumstances usually involving malicious acts including the commission of a criminal offence, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the person who caused the death of another.
Dependants of the deceased may include the spouse, the dependent children (under age 18), other legal dependants, other extended family members or infirm parents of the decedent. These are the people that lose income upon the death of the individual and suffer the most because of the decedent’s death. These people have the opportunity to file a wrongful death claim in order to recover monies lost because of the death of the decedent.
The basis of wrongful death is that the death of the person results in subsequent loss of income for their family, the cost of medical care of the patient before death, funeral costs and any future costs the family may have to incur on their own as a result of the death of the individual. Wrongful death claims mainly apply to the death of individuals who have dependent children and those wives or husbands who were previously supported by the decedent.
Award of Damages
There can also be an “award of damages” which compensates the family of the deceased for any pain and suffering the decedent incurred at the time they were being treated for their ultimately fatal injuries. The award of damages also includes income lost from the time of the accident up until the time of the death of the patient. Funeral expenses are also a part of the award of damages. The award of damages is separate from monies awarded because of loss of income incurred after the patient’s death.
One of the more common places to precipitate a wrongful death injury is at the workplace. Workers can fall from height, suffer fatal burns or scalds, be exposed to dangerous chemicals, be in a motor vehicle accident or be injured by machinery. In some cases, the incident is unavoidable but in most cases, the employer has failed to put in safety measures that would have prevented the injury. A negligent employer will become the defendant in the wrongful death suit however the matter will inevitably be taken up by the employer’s insurers. Safety measures that could have come into play include a safe work environment, providing proper safety training, providing adequate safety gear, keeping equipment properly maintained and minimizing extraneous dangers in the workplace.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
The other major class of wrongful death injuries is that of motor vehicle accidents. In a wrongful death accident, one party has broken the law or has made a negligent traffic error that caused the death of another party. In some cases, the negligence is clear cut and a claim can be made against the other driver. In other cases, things are not so clear cut and the judge may determine that the decedent was partially negligent and apportion damages accordingly. In such cases, the claim is still made but if it is awarded, it is reduced by the percentage of negligence of the decedent. It often takes an accident reconstruction in order to determine exactly how the accident happened and who was at fault.
Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you and your family are dealing with the unexpected accidental fatality of a loved one, you should speak to a qualified wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. This is a lawyer who has spent much of their practice working on wrongful death compensation claims and has detailed experience of drafting schedules of loss—the calculations that determine how much a given deceased person would have made in their lifetime, given their present job, their education and future expectation over the years. These are complicated calculations but give the best determination of how much the decedent should have made, given a normal life with a normal lifespan. Punitive damages may also be awarded, depending on the circumstances of the fatality.