Losing a loved one can be devastating. When the death was caused by the negligent or intentional acts of another party, the grief can be unbearable. Knowing that your loved one did not have to die can be overwhelming.
The sudden loss of a family member can also cause a financial burden. In addition to grief, the loss of the family member’s income can make it difficult or impossible to meet the family’s needs.
Our St. Catharines wrongful death lawyers at Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers help you and your family pick up the pieces after a wrongful death. We want to help you hold the person responsible for your family member’s death accountable for their actions. With more than 92 years of combined legal experience and a winning track record, our personal injury law firm serving St. Catharines, Ontario, is the legal team you want to handle your case.
How Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You with a Wrongful Death Action in St. Catharines
A monetary award does not bring back your loved one. It does not ease the grief you experience because of your loss.
However, a wrongful death settlement or jury award can provide the funds your family needs to make ends meet. It also provides a measure of justice as you hold the party responsible for your family member’s death accountable for their actions.
At Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers, our lawyers are dedicated to representing the rights of injured victims and their families in Ontario. We have recovered over $100 million in compensation for damages for our clients.
When you hire our top-rated St. Catharines personal injury lawyers, you can trust we will:
- Monitor the investigations by law enforcement agencies into the death of your loved one
- Review all of the ways your loved one’s death impacts your life to maximize the value of your case
- Investigate the cause of your loved one’s death to gather evidence and identify all liable parties
- Identify and document your damages to calculate an accurate value for your claim
- File insurance claims and lawsuits to pursue all sources of compensation for a wrongful death case
- Aggressively negotiate fair settlement agreements
- Advocate for your loved one and family in court when necessary
The aftermath of a family member’s death can be confusing and overpowering. It can be difficult to think about daily tasks, much less a legal claim. That is what we are here for – we’ll handle the legal matters while you focus on what you and your family need right now.
Contact Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in St. Catharines, ON.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death action is a civil case filed by the family members of a deceased person. The family seeks compensation for damages sustained because of their loved one’s death.
When someone causes the death of another person, they could face criminal charges. However, criminal charges are separate from a wrongful death claim. You can file a wrongful death lawsuit regardless of whether the person is charged with or found guilty of a crime.
Our St. Catharines Wrongful Death Lawyers Handle All Types of Cases
Wrongful death claims can arise from any personal injury case. Our team of legal professionals can help with wrongful death claims arising from the following types of incidents, to name just a few examples:
- Car accidents
- Premises liability
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective products
- Animal attacks and dog bites
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Assaults and other criminal acts
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Recreational and sports activities
- Bus accidents
Wrongful death laws hold negligent parties liable for the damages they cause when their actions take the life of another person. Call now for a free consultation with one of our St. Catharines wrongful death lawyers.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in St. Catharines, ON?
The law limits who can file a wrongful death claim in Canada. The Ontario Family Law Act states the family may bring a civil action to pursue a claim to recover damages if their loved one would have been entitled to recover had they not been killed. However, the statute gives this right to specific family members.
By law, the following family members can file a wrongful death action:
- Surviving spouse
The right to sue gives the family members an action in court. However, the family must prove the elements of a wrongful death action before they can recover damages.
What Do You Need To Prove To Win a St. Catharines Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The injured party has the burden of proving their case to recover compensation for damages. In a wrongful death action, the injured parties are the surviving family members.
The wrong committed against the deceased can be intentional or criminal. However, the death may also occur because of a negligent act.
In malpractice and negligence cases, you must prove that the person owed your family member a legal duty of care. The at-fault party’s failure to provide a certain level of care caused your loved one’s death. You must prove a causal link between the party’s conduct and your family member’s death.
Proving fault and liability for a wrongful death claim is similar to proving a case for personal injury damages. Our St. Catharines wrongful death lawyers search for evidence proving the elements of the case. Examples of evidence in a wrongful death action include:
- Accident and police reports
- Private investigator reports
- Medical records and coroner’s reports
- Testimony by expert witnesses
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Information and reports from the Ministry of Long Term Care for nursing home deaths
- Information from the Ministry of Labor and Occupational Health and Safety Review for worksite accident deaths
- Technical Standards and Safety Authority Investigations for defective produce deaths and premises liability claims
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Videos and photographs of the accident and/or the accident scene
Our law firm has the resources to conduct comprehensive investigations to gather evidence proving your case. Our lawyers understand the law and evidence requirements.
What Damages Can a Family Receive for a Wrongful Death Claim in Ontario?
The law allows families to recover the following damages for a wrongful death claim:
- Funeral expenses and out-of-pocket expenses for travel and other associated costs
- Loss of services, including childcare, household chores, cleaning, elderly care, cooking, handy person services, and more
- The loss of dependency a family member experiences for the loss of income the deceased would have contributed to the household had they lived
- Loss of guidance, care, and companionship
- Actual expenses reasonably incurred for the benefit of the deceased person
- The pain and suffering you experienced because of your loss
The court could award punitive damages and other losses to the family, depending on the facts of the case. Our legal team carefully analyzes all damages to ensure they are included in the total value of your case.
How Does Contributory Negligence Impact a Wrongful Death Claim in St. Catharines?
The Negligence Act does not bar a victim from recovering damages if they are partially to blame for the cause of their injuries. Therefore, if your loved one is partially at fault for the cause of the accident that resulted in their death, it does not automatically bar you from recovering damages in a wrongful death action.
However, contributory negligence can impact the amount you receive for a wrongful death claim. The court reduces the compensation for damages by the level of fault attributed to your family member. Therefore, if your family member is found to be 50% at fault for the car crash that took their life, your compensation for a wrongful death claim would be reduced by one-half.
What Is the Limitation Period for Wrongful Death Claims in Ontario?
If you file a St. Catharines wrongful death claim, you must do so within two years of your family member’s death. Otherwise, the court can dismiss your claim for missing the deadline.
However, claims for statutory benefits for wrongful death could be much shorter. You must act quickly to protect your right to these claims.
The deadline for a minor to bring a wrongful death claim could be extended. Minors do not have the legal right to file a claim. Therefore, a litigation guardian must file the claim for them, or the minor can file the claim when they reach maturity.
It is wise to consult a St. Catharines wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible after your family member’s passing. A lawyer handles all aspects of the case for you, including monitoring the deadlines for filing claims and lawsuits.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our St. Catharines Wrongful Death Lawyers
Wrongful death claims give family members a voice when their loved one is taken from them too soon. Call Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers today to request a free case review with an experienced St. Catharines wrongful death lawyer. We’ll ensure your voice is heard as we pursue a civil claim against the party who caused your loved one’s death.