When an individual passes away as a result of the negligence of another person or entity, the individual’s family (known as survivors) become entitled to a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act. Survivors include individuals such as a spouse or adult interdependent partner, siblings, children or stepchildren, parents or stepparents, and grandparents. This act allows the family to claim for bereavement damages, loss of dependency, and various expenses.
Bereavement damages are meant to compensate a plaintiff for the grief and suffering caused by the loss of a family member. Under the provisions of the Fatal Accidents Act, a spouse or interdependent partner is entitled to $82,000. A parent is also entitled to $82,000, however, if both parents are alive, then the amount is shared. Children are entitled to $49,000 each. Bereavement damages are limited to spouses or adult interdependent partners, children, and parents. Siblings, stepchildren, and grandparents generally do not have a claim under this head of damage. These amounts are set by the provincial government and are reviewed on a regular basis. It is likely the amounts will increase in the future.
Damages for loss of dependency are awarded to compensate a plaintiff for the loss of valuable services performed and financial assistance provided by a deceased family member.
Survivors are entitled to claim for costs incurred while caring for an individual as a result of the negligence before they passed away. In addition, survivors are entitled to claim for travel costs to visit the individual, as well as funeral expenses and counselling that is required as a result of the death.
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