Unfortunately, wrongful death cases are rather common. They are regarded from two different prospective – from the criminal and personal injury standpoints. There are dramatic differences which need to be carefully laid out. For instance, the only intention of the plaintiff in the civil lawsuit of filing for wrongful death is to get compensation for damages that he had incurred. On the other hand, when the topic at hand is a criminal suit, the intention of the prosecution is to legally punish the victim and put him into a rehabilitation facility which is supposedly going to enable him to do better.
The historical standpoint
Wrongful death claims have undergone a considerable change for the past two centuries. Prior to the 19th century the only one who could claim personal injury damages was the victim himself. Therefore, when the victim, or the potential plaintiff, had died, his relatives weren’t able to claim damages on his behalf. This is obviously inappropriate and it has been therefore changed.
Now, in order to spread the light over the potential confusion – this doesn’t necessarily mean that the person isn’t going to go to jail. In fact, the criminal charges would still be absolutely intact and the person would face the full force of the law. The only thing that was different lies within the fact that the relatives weren’t entitled to compensation.
The modernistic approach
Currently, there isn’t a trace of this particular approach in the legislation of Canada. What is more, the Family Act of Ontario provides clear and legal regulations as to who is capable of filing a wrongful death lawsuit and the damages which are claimable. With this in mind, those who are able to file a claim for wrongful death are:
· The spouse
· Immediate family members
· Distant members of the family (grandparents and siblings)
· Parents of a fetus that’s deceased
· Domestic partners
· People who were directly dependent financially on the decedent
As you can see, the circle of people who are entitled to file a lawsuit is rather wide. This is only logical and legislatively defined. The truth is that filing a wrongful death claim is particularly challenging and overwhelming. Not only are your decisions clouded by the emotion that you have to go through because of the loss of a loved one, but there are numerous procedures that have to be dealt with. That is a major reason that most people prefer to hire the expert services of injury lawyers and allow them to be represented in the court of law. The lawyers understand the nuances of tort laws and can negotiate a tough deal with the insurance company.
This is why you need to make sure that you have a reliable personal injury lawyer who is going to handle the entire thing as quickly as possible. The last thing you’d want is to drag this through time and be reminded of the loss on a regular basis.