According to numerous legal dictionaries, wrongful death is defined as “the death of a human being as the result of a wrongful act of another person.” Wrongful death is oftentimes the basis of personal injury lawsuits filed by the surviving family members against the entities or individuals that caused the person’s death. If you recently lost a family member due to medical malpractice after they were involved in an accident, you need to be aware of the 6 key points of wrongful death claims:
First and foremost, not everyone can file a wrongful death claim – in Alberta, the rules pertaining to a wrongful death lawsuit are found in the Fatal Accidents Act of 1976. Section 3 of the Act clearly states that it can only be the brother or sister, child, parent, partner, or spouse of the deceased who can file such a suit.
All wrongful death claims must be filed under one lawsuit – according to the Fatal Accidents Act, only one lawsuit is allowed per wrongful death claim. This applies even if some of the family members listed above aren’t speaking to one another.
A will is not required – in many cases, the executor named in the decedents will file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the other family members. However, when there is no administrator or executor, any of the surviving family members are eligible to file. If the administrator or executor refuse to file a wrongful death claim within the first year, then an eligible family member can take legal action if they choose.
Only eligible family members can file a claim – putting a dollar value on a wrongful death claim can be extremely difficult. According to Section 8 of the Fatal Accidents Act, every daughter, son, or grandchild can claim up to $49,000 while every parent can claim up to $82,000. It is important to discuss these details with your lawyer so that they evaluate your case and check as per your specific case.
Dependent family members can file a claim – if there were family members that depended on the decedent’s household services or income, they can file a claim for those losses as well.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer that specializes in wrongful death cases – the right personal injury lawyer in Grand Prairie can make all the difference in the outcome of a wrongful death lawsuit. In many cases, they have access to a network of legal professionals and other resources throughout Alberta Province. They can file your claim in many jurisdictions, investigate the most complex issues, and rely on other legal experts. It is always an asset to have the best lawyer in your corner to help you navigate through this difficult time.