What Rights Do We Have if a Loved One Was Killed by Negligence?

Losing a loved one is always traumatic, but when that loss comes because of the negligence of another party, it can feel almost unbearable. Add to this the financial difficulties that losing a loved one creates, not only because of funeral expenses but also when income is lost for the family, and those left behind will face difficult days in the future.

When automobile accidents lead to fatal injuries, families who are left behind are left to pick up the pieces, both emotionally and financially. When dealing with your grief, you may overlook the fact that you may have legal rights in these instances. Thankfully, survivors do have options to reclaim some of their financial losses when the accident occurred at the fault of the other driver. While no amount of compensation can bring back a loved one that is lost, it can help reduce the financial pressure that a sudden death creates. Here is a closer look at what you need to do legally after this tragic event.

1. Understand the Time Limitations

Unfortunately, you cannot wait indefinitely to take legal action in cases where negligence lead to a loss of life. In B.C., the Limitation Act says that you must file a claim within two years of the deceased’s date of death. Make sure you seek legal help well before time is up.

2. Know What Damages You Can Claim

You also need to know what damages you are legally able to claim in these cases. First, you are able to claim some financial damages including:

  • Funeral and burial expenses;
  • Medical expenses incurred; and
  • Lost future earnings or loss of wages of the deceased.

Second, you are able to claim damages for survivors. This includes damages for:

  • Loss of the deceased’s care, companionship and guidance;
  • Loss of inheritance;
  • Loss of dependency;
  • Loss of household and childcare services;
  • Loss of the financial support the individual brought to the family;
  • Loss of elder care if the deceased is a child with parents who could need that care;

Finally, you are also able to claim punitive or aggravated damages if the circumstances surrounding the death also included reckless conduct.

Are you curious about which of these instances apply to your case? Talk to the team of auto accident attorneys at BLW Lawyers to have a case evaluation done.

3. Learn Who Can File a Claim

When someone is killed due to negligence, the law dictates the individuals who can file a claim. Typically, the individual filing a claim needs to be an immediate family member, such as a parent, child or spouse. In some instances, the administrator of the deceased’s estate has successfully filed a claim. The individual filing must have suffered financial loss and emotional harm from the death.

4. Get Help from a Qualified Auto Accident Attorney in Metro Vancouver

If you have lost a loved one in a car crash, and the other driver’s actions were the cause, you have rights, but you need to act quickly. At BLW Lawyers, we have been serving the Metro Vancouver region for over 50 years, and we are ready to put our experience and knowledge to work for you. Contact us today to learn more about your rights, so we can start building a solid case that will protect your finances in the future.

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