A Complete Guide on Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful Death Claims Woman Crying

We don’t always know where to begin when the unfathomable happens. The sudden and accidental death of a loved one is often traumatic, and heartbreaking. It’s something that no one is ever consciously prepared for. In the event that you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it is important that you know your rights.

If it becomes your responsibility to ensure your family’s financial stability during this difficult time, the best thing you can do is contact a trusted Lawyer. Though no amount of financial compensation can bring back the life that was lost, it is your legal right to file a civil lawsuit to seek monetary damages.

Whether your loved one was in a car accident or suffered a fatal medical malpractice, Personal Injury Lawyers effectively help clients file wrongful death claims, and they do everything they can to ensure the case is successful.

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<em>When accident happens it is important that you know your rights or the next things to do<em>

What is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal claim brought on behalf of the surviving family members and/or estate of a person who has died due to the negligent or intentional acts of another. In Ottawa, these suits are governed by The Wrongful Death Act and are filed in civil court.

Statistics of Wrongful Death Claims in Ottawa

Every year, the Office of the Chief Coroner in Ottawa records statistics on deaths that occurred due to negligence or intentional harm. In 2019, there were a total of 137 wrongful death cases where compensation was awarded to surviving family members. The number of wrongful death claims in Ottawa is expected to increase due to more people becoming aware of their rights.

Wrongful death lawsuits are unfortunately a tragic reality in Ottawa, with negligence being one of the leading causes. According to data from the Ottawa County Courthouse, many wrongful death claims stemming from negligence accounted for nearly two-thirds of all wrongful death cases filed in 2019.

Most cases of wrongful death due to negligence are caused by car accidents, defective products, hazardous working conditions, and other forms of unsafe practices. In cases of medical malpractice, the doctor or medical staff responsible may be financially liable for the death of a patient due to negligence. This can include misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an illness in a timely manner.

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<em>Negligence is the most common cause of wrongful death claims in Ottawa Canada<em>

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ottawa?

In Ottawa, wrongful death suits can be filed by a deceased person’s legal representative or estate. This can include the personal representative of the estate, an executor or administrator, and any beneficiaries of the estate such as family members. In some cases, close family members who were dependent on the deceased may also have the right to file a lawsuit.

Immediate Family

The spouse of the victim as well as the children have the legal right to seek compensation for any financial and emotional losses caused by the defendant.

Distant Family

In some cases, depending on the caregiving arrangements, family member such as siblings and grandparents may have the right to file a lawsuit.


In the tragic case that a newborn dies after being born alive, the parents can take legal action to cover financial and emotional damages.

Financial Dependents and Life Partners

Life partners can also file a wrongful death claim for their companion, as the law recognizes common-law couples and putative spouses. Financial dependents can include children over the age of 18, as well as adults who have a disability. Remember that you do not have to go through this process alone.

What Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Suit?

In Ottawa, damages that are typically awarded in wrongful death lawsuits can include: medical, funeral and burial expenses; lost wages and benefits that the deceased would have earned if he or she had lived; loss of companionship and emotional distress for surviving family members; and punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct is found to be especially egregious.

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<em>Medical expenses of the deceased can be part of the claims<em>

Types of Wrongful Death Claims


The plaintiff can claim damages such as pain and suffering of the victim prior to their death, hospital fees, funeral and burial costs, loss of current and future family income. The plaintiff can also claim other factors causing financial or emotional strain on the family of the victim.


The legal representatives of the plaintiff (the plaintiff is usually a close family member of the deceased) must prove the death was caused by the negligence of the defendant. If the defendant was driving recklessly over the speed limit, causing an accident resulting in a fatality, they would be considered at fault.

Breach of Duty

In order for wrongful death claims to be granted, it must be proven that the individual(s) in the wrong had a duty to the plaintiff. Using the example of the reckless driver, their duty to follow road safety rules was breached. They chose not to obey the law, which classifies the situation as a breach of duty claim.


Similar to proving negligence on the defendant’s part, causation requires proof that the defendant’s actions caused the death of the victim.

How to Prove Negligence in the Case of Wrongful Death?

In order to prove negligence in a wrongful death suit, you must demonstrate that the defendant (or defendants) had a legal duty of care towards the deceased, that the defendant breached that duty of care, and that this breach was the proximate cause of the victim’s death. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate each element of negligence with clear and convincing evidence.

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<em>In filing cases you must be able to prove everything in court<em>

Filing the Wrongful Death Claim

In Ottawa, Canada, it is important to understand the rules and regulations of filing a wrongful death claim in order to achieve success. A key element of such claims is establishing a valid cause of action. To establish a valid claim in Ottawa, certain elements must be proven by the survivor filing the lawsuit.

You will need to gather evidence that demonstrates the negligence of the defendant. This may include medical records, accident reports, witness testimony and other pertinent documents.

The survivor must prove that death was caused by the negligence or intentional misconduct of another person or entity. This includes showing that the deceased’s death was a direct result of the defendant’s wrongful conduct.

In order to prove negligence in a wrongful death suit, you must demonstrate that the defendant (or defendants) had a legal duty of care towards the deceased, that the defendant breached that duty of care, and that this breach was the proximate cause of the victim’s death. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate each element of negligence with clear and convincing evidence.

Next, the survivor must prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased and suffered a monetary loss due to their death.

Finally, the survivor must establish that they have incurred damages and losses resulting from the wrongful death of their loved one, such as medical and funeral expenses, lost wages or earnings, benefits, pain and suffering etc.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Ottawa

When filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Ottawa, there are several common mistakes to avoid.

First and foremost, do not delay in filing your claim as the statute of limitations may expire before you even have time to file. In Ontario, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the victim’s death. However, in some cases, this time period may be extended depending on the circumstances of the case.

It is important to make sure that all evidence is properly gathered and all legal documents are correctly drafted. Finally, you should never accept a settlement offer from the defendant without first consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney.

How An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help With Your Case

An experienced personal injury attorney can be invaluable when pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in Ottawa. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action, ensure that all evidence is properly gathered and presented, and negotiate with the defendant’s legal counsel in order to reach a fair settlement. Furthermore, they can provide invaluable guidance throughout the entire process and help you cope with any emotional distress associated with the tragedy.

The best way to ensure a successful outcome in your wrongful death suit is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about Ottawa’s wrongful death laws. With their help, you can be sure that your rights are protected and all legal requirements for a successful claim are met.

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<em>The help of a personal injury lawyer is beneficial in this kind of claims<em>

By taking the time to understand the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Ottawa and consulting with knowledgeable attorneys, you can take steps to seek the justice that you and your family deserve.

Our legal team always has your best interest in mind. For more information about lawsuit settlements, you can refer to the Family Law Act of Ontario. When you’re ready to take legal action, we’re here to help. Feel free to give us a call.

author avatar
Daniel Badre Founder, Partner
Daniel Badre is a distinguished personal injury lawyer based in Ottawa, renowned for his unwavering commitment to justice and advocacy for those who have suffered from accidents or negligence. With a legal career spanning over two decades, Badre has established himself as a compassionate and tenacious advocate for his clients.
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