Understanding a Parent’s Right to Compensation in Ontario After a Child’s Accidental Death

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The death of a child is an unimaginable tragedy. When the loss results from someone’s negligence, the pain is compounded by a sense of injustice. In Ontario, parents who lose a child due to negligence are entitled to seek compensation.

Legal Framework

In Ontario, the Family Law Act (FLA) provides the basis for parents to claim compensation when their child dies due to negligence. Section 61 of the FLA specifically allows family members, including parents, to sue for damages resulting from the wrongful death of a loved one.

This statute recognizes the profound emotional and financial impact on families and  provides to get some financial compensation.

Types of Compensation Available in a Wrongful Death Case in Ontario

  1. Pecuniary Damages: These refer to the financial losses incurred as a direct result of the child’s death. They may include:
    • Funeral and Burial Expenses: Costs associated with the funeral and burial services are recoverable.
    • Loss of Financial Contribution: If the child was of working age and contributed financially to the household, parents might recover the loss of this financial support.
    • Loss of Services: Parents can claim for the loss of services that the child would have provided, such as household chores and other contributions.
  2. Non-Pecuniary Damages: These encompass the emotional and psychological impact of the loss:
    • Pain and Suffering: This is compensation for the emotional anguish and grief experienced by the parents.
    • Loss of Care, Guidance, and Companionship: This accounts for the loss of the child’s love, affection, and companionship, which significantly impacts the parents’ lives.

In the past 5 years, Ontario juries have started to increase the amount of compensation for the loss of a child.  See for example:  Gill v. Toor and Moore v. 7595611 Canada Corp.

The Legal Process

  1. Establishing Negligence: To succeed in a compensation claim, it must be proven that the death resulted from another party’s negligence. This involves demonstrating that the defendant owed a duty of care to the child, breached that duty, and caused the death as a direct result of this breach.  We have handled these cases where there have been car accidents, cycling or pedestrian accidents, as well as fatal injuries in swimming pools, at school, daycare or at camp are all
  2. Filing a Claim: The parents must file a claim in court, typically with the assistance of a lawyer specializing in wrongful death cases. The claim should detail the circumstances of the death, the negligence involved, and the damages sought.
  3. Collecting Evidence: Building a strong case requires substantial evidence, including accident reports, witness statements, expert testimony, and documentation of financial losses and emotional suffering.  Your lawyer can provide all the help you need to build your case.
  4. Settlement or Trial: Most wrongful death cases are settled out of court through negotiations between the parties. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.

Importance of Legal Representation

Navigating the complexities of a wrongful death claim requires legal expertise. A lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in gathering evidence, negotiating settlements, and representing the parents in court. Auger Hollingsworth’s court experience ensures that the claim is presented effectively, maximizing the chances of a favorable outcome.

Conclusion

While no amount of compensation can truly alleviate the grief of losing a child, pursuing a wrongful death claim can provide a sense of justice and financial support during a difficult time.

In Ontario, the Family Law Act ensures that parents have the right to seek compensation for their loss, acknowledging both the tangible and intangible impacts of such a tragedy.

By understanding their legal rights and the process involved, parents can take steps towards achieving some measure of redress and closure.  If you have lost a loved one as a result of an accident, let the lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth help you get the justice your family deserves. Contact Us: https://ahinjurylaw.com/contact-us/

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