Compensating the Spouse and Family of the Injured

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      Accident Benefits

      Compensating the Spouse and Family of the Injured

      Compensating the Spouse and Family of the Injured

      If your family member has been injured in an accident or has died due to another’s wrongful action, you are entitled to benefits for your loss. Spouses, children and parents are all eligible for these benefits.

      Below you’ll find out how this type of lawsuit works, and how to proceed after a loved one is impacted by an accident.

      Loss of Consortium

      In most provinces, spouses and family members of the injured party can recover what are known as loss of consortium damages if another person caused the injury or death due to negligent behavior.

      The family is eligible for benefits because the person who was injured or killed can no longer provide their family members with the same level of care and companionship that they could before the accident. Because the third party is responsible, the family members have a claim against them.

      It is important to note that claims for loss of consortium are usually only awarded if the injured person experiences catastrophic circumstances like paralysis or amputation, or ultimately dies.

      Calculating the Loss

      Loss of consortium falls under general damages, which are non-economic and cannot be truly remedied by money. Pain and suffering and emotional distress are other examples of general damages. Because it’s difficult to put a dollar value on these damages, working with an Accident Benefits Lawyer is essential.

      Spouses and Partners

      In the past, only spouses were legally allowed to file a loss of consortium claim, but in many locations long-time partners, including same-sex partners, are legally allowed to file this type of lawsuit. The rules vary by province, but your lawyer will have the information you need.

      Children and Parents

      In some provinces, children or parents can bring a loss of consortium claim. In order for them to be eligible, they would need to prove that the injured parent or child cannot provide the same amount of care as they could before their injury, and that this has permanently altered their relationship.

      Legal Limitations

      In most provinces, if you are a spouse filing a claim you will need to prove that you are or were officially married to the injured or deceased party. If you divorced before the claim was made, the amount of damages you can be awarded will decrease. In other locations, you may not have to prove your marriage.

      Insurance Policy Limitations

      Typically, liability policies include a cap on how much the insurance company will cover for each accident. These are known as single injury limitations. You can determine whether there is a limit by reviewing your policy. It is usually not possible to receive compensation beyond what the policy allows unless the defendant has substantial wealth or assets.

      Loss of Consortium Considerations

      Before filing this type of claim, it’s important to know that during the legal process many private and intimate parts of your marriage will be discussed. This includes any infidelities, separations or abuse that were part of the marriage. There will be intensive questioning during both the examinations for discovery and the trial, so you should consider whether you are willing to participate in this.

      If your family member has died or been injured in an accident, seeking legal help right away can help you have a clearer understanding of your rights. Most consultations are free, so it can be worth it to discuss your situation with an experienced lawyer.

      If your loved one has been injured in an accident, find out more about your legal rights by downloading our free personal injury recovery kit, or contact us for a free consultation.

      Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.