Losing a loved one can be tragic. This is especially true when that loved one was not at fault but died as the result of another’s negligence.
Death Due to Negligence or Recklessness
The term “wrongful death” describes an incident where an individual dies due to the negligence or recklessness of another. In a wrongful death suit, the family members seek compensation for their emotional and financial suffering due to the death of that person. Wrongful death suits are typically sought by close members of the family such as the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased.
Percentage of Awards in Multiple Plaintiffs
Several family members can be plaintiffs in a wrongful death claim. In the case where there is more than one plaintiff, any compensation that is awarded is divided among them The amount awarded to each is decided by the court.
Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can be attributed to many different causes. Many are due to automobile and premises accidents. Some other situations where a wrongful death can occur are:
● Medical malpractice and birth injuries
● Product liability
● Occupational hazards
● Nursing home abuses
● Criminal actions
Requirements to Bring a Claim
There are two main requirements for bringing about a wrongful death claim. The first is that the death was caused either by the negligence or intentional conduct of another individual. The second is that the surviving family members have suffered a loss due to that death. These losses can be:
● Medical expenses
● Funeral expenses
● Loss of future financial support
● Loss of companionship
● Loss of inheritance
In the case where the deceased was harmed in a deliberate fashion, the family members may also file for punitive damages. These are specifically designed to punish the perpetrator.
Wrongful Death Claims Can Be Complicated
Although these seem relatively clear-cut, it is often extremely complicated to prove damages in a wrongful death claim. Expenses are simple enough. But other factors are not so easy to prove. It can be difficult to determine how long the deceased may have lived or prove what he or she could have earned over the course of that lifetime.
Family Compensation Act
In BC, the Family Compensation Act was enacted to assist surviving family members during a time of loss. This helps cover some of the financial losses of the family but does not consider all the nuances of a wrongful death claim. This is when the advice of a Burnaby injury lawyer is crucial.
At BIL BC Personal Injury Lawyer, we understand how losing a family member affects all aspects of the surviving family members’ lives, both emotionally and financially. When you have lost a family member due to the negligence of another, it is important to understand your legal rights. Our legal team offers a no-cost initial consultation to discuss your options.