In most personal injury actions, the person who was injured is the primary plaintiff. Whereas in a wrongful death suit, the family members generally advance claims under something called the Family Law Act for the loss of care, guidance, and companionship services rendered and economic losses arising from the death of a loved one.
Therefore, in a wrongful death action, it is not the person who died that is the primary plaintiff, but rather their surviving family members. A well-versed lawyer at our firm could help improve your understanding of wrongful deaths claims in Barrie so you can maximize your chances of success.
If you are going to advance a claim against someone for a wrongful death, you have to establish that they were negligent in some way. This usually involves proving that they did something or failed to do something to prevent foreseeable harm from befalling your loved one. If you cannot establish negligence and liability in a Family Law Act claim, you won’t have a viable wrongful death action.
The outcome of criminal charges brought against the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s untimely passing can be used as evidence in a wrongful death action. There is going to be a presumptive finding that the defendant in a criminal investigation for a wrongful death meets the civil standard of liability.
Concurrent criminal investigations can be problematic because while a criminal investigation is under way, the police authority may not release the file. This means that important information needed to commence a Family Law Act claim cannot be produced because a criminal investigation is under way.
However, you may bring something called a “Wagg motion” to get disclosure of the criminal file, including OPP investigation reports, TTCI accident reconstructions, witness statements, and other evidence which may be helpful to your case. Our lawyers could help families in Barrie understand their rights and options in a wrongful death claim.
A lot of people enter Family Law Act claims thinking they are going to punish the person who did wrong. It is important for families to remember that the purpose of a wrongful death claim is to get compensation for the loss of a loved one. It is the job of the government, criminal courts, provincial regulators to punish the defendant for a person’s unexpected passing.
In cases where someone suffers an untimely passing in a motor vehicle accident, the surviving family members might have a valid no-fault accident benefit claim. If you are entitled to no-fault benefits, you may be able to get psychological counseling paid for by the insurance defense firm. Sometimes, seeing a psychologist, a grief counselor, or a social worker can help after the sudden loss of a loved one.
A legal representative could help move your case along as quickly as possible. Our clients find that moving the case forward and getting disclosure leads to some level of closure for them. Knowing that you have experienced and competent counsel by your side could give you and your family some level of comfort during this otherwise difficult time. For help with understanding wrongful death claims in Barrie, get in touch with our firm today.