Can family members claim compensation as a result of injuries sustained by their loved ones?

Our lawyers regularly meet with clients who have sustained serious injuries because of a motor vehicle accident. In many cases, the injured person’s spouse and/or children provided significant care to their loved on and became essentially their caregivers. After a serious accident causing injuries, family roles often change, and care, guidance and companionship are lost. The law in Ontario recognizes those changes and their economic impact on families. Compensation can often be claimed under section 61 Family Law Act, called a “family law act claim”.

What does Section 61 of the Family Law Act, RSO 1990, c F.3 say?

The spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of a person injured may claim compensation for their pecuniary (i.e., monetary) loss. Moreover, the family members may claim for these expenses:

– Reasonable expenses incurred for the injured person;
– Reasonable funeral expenses;
– Reasonable travel expenses when visiting the injured family member during his treatment;
– Nursing, housekeeping or other services provided by the claimant to the injured person;
– Loss of care, guidance and companionship.

Pecuniary losses incurred by the family members for the benefit of the injured person that are not named above may still be compensated. Indeed, Macartney v Islic, (2000) 129 OAC 96, 2000 CarswellOnt 19 (ONCA)(WL Can) states that the list is non-exhaustive and that it was intended purely as an example of possible pecuniary loss claims. In the end, the test for a Family Law Act pecuniary loss claim is that the plaintiff needs to show a causal relationship between his claim and the family member’s injury or death.

In Macartney v Islic, the parents of the deceased were able to claim for a loss of income incurred because of the death of their child (which was not one of the examples provided in section 61 of the FLA).
Listed family members may be compensated for their monetary loss linked to the injuries or death of their loved one.

Our Ottawa personal injury and accident lawyers are specifically trained to ensure you get fair compensation for your injuries and advance Family Law Act claims for family members.
If you or someone you care about was injured in an accident, please contact one of our lawyers for a free consultation. We work on a no-fee-until-you-win basis. Call us at 613-315-4878.