What is a Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death is when someone dies as a result of another person’s (or organization’s) negligence or misconduct. A wrongful death claim is when the family of the deceased person takes legal action to obtain damages.

What amounts to a wrongful death?

A wrongful death can happen in a number of ways, with the most common arising as a result of a motor vehicle accident, bike accident, defective product and unsafe premises.

For a death to be ‘wrongful’, there must have been some kind of misconduct or negligence which caused the accident and/or injuries. For example, if a pedestrian dies because a driver failed to give way at a crosswalk, the driver’s negligence has led to the accident and the death will be deemed wrongful.

Who can claim for a wrongful death?

Under the British Columbia Family Compensation Act, the family members of anyone who has wrongfully died are entitled to pursue a claim for damages.

Nevertheless, only certain people are allowed to make a wrongful death claim. In fact, this right is limited to the deceased’s immediate family, including their spouse (married or unmarried), their children and their parents. If you were not married to your spouse at the time of his/her death, you must have been living together in a ‘marriage-like relationship’ for at least two years.

Making a wrongful death claim

A wrongful death claim is there to ensure family members are able to recover the damages they have lost because of their loved one’s death. For instance, your spouse may have been the main income-earner, and now he or she has passed away, you are facing financial difficulties.

Therefore to make a wrongful death claim, it is necessary to prove two things –

  1. The death occurred because of another party’s negligence or misconduct
  2. The family members making a claim have incurred some kind of damages as a result of the death, such as the loss of financial support

However, the second point can be difficult to establish, as it involves estimating the deceased’s future earning capacity and other such costs. This makes wrongful death claims extremely complex, which is why most families choose to seek expert legal assistance from a wrongful death lawyer.

Wrongful death lawyer Vancouver

If your loved one has recently passed away and you believe another party’s negligence or misconduct is to blame, it will, of course, be a terribly traumatic time. You will probably be wondering how the accident happened, whether anyone is to blame, and what action you can take. To find the answers to these questions, you need to speak to a wrongful death lawyer.

A wrongful death lawyer will be able to advise you whether anyone is at fault for your loved one’s death, whether you (or any other family member) can make a claim, and will explain what the process involves.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you with a wrongful death claim, please do not hesitate to contact us at John Mickelson Law Corporation. Either fill in the free online enquiry form or call us on 604 684 0040.

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