Wrongful Death Claims.

In order to make a claim for compensation, there must be three factors present.

You must be able to prove that someone was negligent. For instance, in a traffic accident, you have to be able to prove that somebody else was responsible for the death. Also, the death has to ensue from the injuries suffered in the accident. The death may occur at some point further on, but if it is from some other cause, such as a long-term illness, there would not be the causation that’s necessary to bring a suit for negligence. The other thing you need is somebody who is economically dependent upon the deceased. If an eight-year-old child is run over in the road and killed, there really is no economic compensation for anybody because the child would have no dependents.

If the accident resulted because of the ordinary negligence of somebody else, then it is compensable. Of course, it does not have to be an automobile accident either. If somebody was going into a restaurant and they slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot, hit their head and died, there would be a claim there as well. Someone is negligent in not clearing that ice.

In Canada, we have what is called contributory negligence. The courts might find that the person was not wearing appropriate foot wear for the occasion, they were not looking out for their own safety, or they were running when they should not have been. In such a case, the court might deduct 25 percent from the compensation, just as they would in an occupier’s liability type of case where someone brings a suit because of the injuries he suffered in an accident. Here the courts can do the same thing with respect to the Family Compensation Act claim.

To summarize, in order to bring a claim under the Family Compensation Act, there must be proof that someone was negligent. The death must be clearly caused by the negligence of this person or persons. There must also be dependents who are affected financially by the loss, and they are the ones who initiate the suit.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the Vancouver, British Columbia Region, contact Stephens & Holman.

This article is taken from a March 27, 2008 interview with Simon Holman, LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Stephens & Holman in Vancouver , a Personal Injury Law Firm.

Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.