When a person is injured or killed due to the negligence of another person and/or business, the family of the person is almost always significantly affected, sometimes monetarily or in other ways
According to Ontario’s Family Law Act (RSO 1990, c F.3, Part V), the family of a person who is injured or killed can be eligible to collect damages.
Family members can collect the following damages that include losses for the following on behalf of the family member who is injured or killed:
Actual expenses incurred by a family member on the injured family member’s behalf.
Funeral expenses for those who are killed or die later because of their injuries.
Travel expenses incurred to visit the family member during their recovery.
Nursing, housekeeping and other services necessary for their care or the care of their home or family.
Compensation for the loss of care and guidance that the injured party would have provided.
To collect these damages, a person must be a member of the family of the injured party. A family can only collect damages if the injured or killed family member is entitled to or would have been entitled to recover damages from the negligent party. In other words, if the injured or killed party was not injured due to negligence, their family cannot collect those expenses.
The categories of dependent family members can include:
The court can apportion damages to each category of family if an accepted settlement makes no provisions for apportionment. The court may decide to postpone awards to minors, for instance, until they reach majority. In addition to postponement, the court may approve payments to the family before a formal apportionment.
The law governing collection of personal injury damages by a victim’s family is complicated. Good and experienced Ontario personal injury lawyers can make a real difference by knowing how much can be asked for in which circumstances. Howie, Sacks & Henry is one such personal injury law firm.