Compensation for the family of the injured
The effects of a personal injury go beyond the injured person. The injured parties family is also affected, emotionally and financially. As a result of significant injury, an individual often loses their independence and are unable to contribute to the family as they did before the injury.
When a loved one is injured because of the negligence of someone else, his or her family has a claim for loss of Care, Guidance and Companionship. This is often referred to as a “FLA” claim. Section 61(1) of the Family Law Act allows a spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters of the injured person to pursue damages arising from their loved ones loss. The law also includes couples with children and common law spouses. This type of claim is for loss of the companionship and the right to each other’s company, cooperation, and assistance of the other in every aspect of their relationship.
This means everything from taking care of finances, housework, enjoying time with each other, and of course, having sexual relations. To be successful in an FLA claim, the family member must present evidence concerning the impact that the incident has had on their relationship.
Recent Ontario FLA award of $390K
In the recent case of Robins v. Wagar, 2017 ONSC 3356, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded a Spouse $390,000.00 to reflect the services of which a husband had been deprived by losing the care, guidance and companionship of his wife, that he could have reasonably expected to have received, but for the negligence of the defendant. Mr. Robins suffered from hearing loss and blindness. He depended on his wife to help him with his activities of daily living. In addition to losing his spouse from the defendant’s negligence, he lost his caretaker, who was his eyes and ears. Given this specific relationship the court awarded damages for loss of care, guidance and companionship and for the cost of future medical care Ms. Robins would have provided to her husband if she was alive.
The Family Law Act also allows for the following claims:
· Expenses incurred for the benefit the injured person or person killed;
· Funeral expenses;
· Travel expenses incurred while visiting the injured person in hospital or rehabilitation facility;
· Nursing, housekeeping or other services incurred for the injured person; and
· Reimbursement for income lost in order to provide services or the value of the services.
The amount of compensation for FLA claims varies and is decided on a case-by-case basis. The courts look at the nature of the relationship that existed before the loss and how the relationship has been affected since the loss.
Loss of Financial Support can be claimed
A claim for dependency can also be made on behalf of a family member who relied on the support of a family member who was injured or killed in an accident.
If you or your loved one is injured by the negligence of someone, it is import that you understand your rights and discuss them with a lawyer who understands all areas of entitlement to ensure adequate compensation is obtained for your family.
Please contact our office if you would like to discuss an injury sustained by a family member that has affected you.