Wrongful Death & Fatal Injury Lawyers in Nova Scotia
Losing a loved one can be a devastating and upsetting experience. Especially, if the death of your relative was the result of someone’s negligent actions. Since, in addition to grief, this can result in unexpected expenses or the loss of financial support, you may want to speak to a Nova Scotia wrongful death lawyer to see what your legal options are.
When a family member dies, not only do you have to cope with grief, but you may also be worried about your financial future and the expenses that you have to incur as a result of the accident. Although compensation cannot replace your loss, it can help alleviate the financial difficulties that you may be going through.
If you want to file a lawsuit against the negligent party, the lawyers at Kimball Law can help you determine if you have a wrongful death claim. Schedule a free consultation today so we can explore your legal options together.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Nova Scotia, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim that certain family members can bring against the negligent party that caused their relative’s death. This claim allows survivors to recover compensation for the financial and non-economic losses that they suffered.
As a simple definition, a wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of another person’s or entity’s negligence. Examples of situations that can lead to fatal injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall accidents
- Product liability
- Pedestrian accident
When a person dies because of the negligence of another, the Nova Scotia Fatal Injuries Act allows certain family members to take legal action against the other party for the damages they suffered.
These damages can refer to quantifiable financial losses, but also for harder to quantify losses like loss of guidance, care, and companionship.
If you decide to pursue a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused or contributed to your relative’s death and that this caused you and your family to sustain a loss (whether monetary or non-monetary).
Wrongful death is a unique type of claim, because under the Nova Scotia Fatal Injuries Act, you only have up to one year to bring a claim. This means that, after the date of the death, you have twelve months to file a claim.
If the legal action does not start within this period of time, you may not be able to file your claim in the future. Additionally, it is important to note that, no matter how many survivors are suing for compensation, you can only file one wrongful death claim.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
First and foremost, the executor or administrator under the deceased’s will can bring an action. However, if there is no executor or administrator OR if they do not bring an action within 6 months, the following people would be eligible to file a claim:
- Common-law partner*
*To be eligible for claiming wrongful death compensation, common-law partners must have been cohabitating and in a conjugal relationship with the deceased for at least one year prior to the death.
**You must be the age of majority (19 in Nova Scotia) to begin a court proceeding.
Damages that Can Be Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The goal of a wrongful death claim is to seek compensation for the damages that you and your family suffered due to the death of your loved one. Depending on their nature, these damages can be classified as pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.
In simple terms, compensation can cover the actual expenses that you and your family incurred as a result of the death. These monetary losses would be your pecuniary damages. In addition to these expenses, wrongful death compensation also covers non-pecuniary damages which are intangible losses that you sustained when your loved one died.
According to the Nova Scotia Fatal Injuries Act, some of the damages that you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Loss of guidance, care, and companionship.
- Medical expenses, housekeeping, or services incurred prior to the death.
- Loss of income.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Reasonable travel expenses sustained prior to the death.
To have a better understanding of how much your claim is worth, you may want to speak to a wrongful death lawyer.
Contact a Nova Scotia Fatal Injury Lawyer
The sudden death of someone due to another person’s negligence can be devastating. If you want to pursue legal action against the other party but you do not know if you have a claim, you should speak to a fatal injury lawyer.
Kimball Law is a Nova Scotia personal injury law firm that represents clients with insurance claims throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality, Annapolis Valley and surrounding areas. Call us at 1 (902) 422-8811 to schedule a free non-obligation consultation.