Fatal Injury Lawyers in Halifax, NS
Has a loved one suffered fatal injuries at the fault of someone else? This can be a very upsetting and stressful time, which is why it is very important to get legal advice as early as possible. The time limitation for starting a claim in court for a fatal injury is less than it is in a regular motor vehicle accident or other type of accident case. Certain relatives are permitted to bring a claim as a result of a loved one’s fatal injury.
Because of the serious nature of these claims and the financial consequences for some of the relatives of the deceased person, and because of the special rules associated with making fatal injury claims, it is important that you meet with a lawyer as soon as possible after the event. It is sometimes more difficult to gather information in fatal injury cases relevant to questions of liability. The lawyer must also determine in consultation with the heirs of the deceased or legal representatives of the estate who will be represented in any claim and how the claim should best be advanced. Fatal injury claims are governed by legislation in Nova Scotia, as in most other provinces, but are also informed by case law in this province and across the country.
The Fatal Injuries Act of Nova Scotia provides for a one-year limitation period. This means that the action must be filed with the court within 12 months of the date of death of the deceased person. The statute also provides for which individuals have the right to maintain an action or to obtain compensation for loss. The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased person may bring the action but after 6 months if no such action has been brought then any individual who is entitled to compensation under the Act may bring action. Those entitled to receive compensation include the spouse, common-law partner, parent or child of the deceased person. Child includes children, stepchildren and grandchildren. Parent includes mother and father, grandparents, stepfather and stepmother.
The law does not recognize grief as a component of damages per se. Claims for general damages are with respect to loss of care, guidance and companionship. The larger claims associated with fatal injury actions often relate to economic loss. These include the kinds of loss of financial support that often occur in family situations, particularly if the deceased person is an adult with a family who they are supporting.
All of the regular tort principles in relation to the determination of injuries and liability for the events giving rise to the death are applicable in fatal injury cases. For this reason and because of the peculiar rules associated with fatal injury actions, it is important to obtain legal advice as soon as possible.