Wrongful Death Lawyers Edmonton

There is perhaps no worse feeling than losing a loved one. Mourning the loss of a family member can be even more difficult knowing that the loss was avoidable and caused by someone’s negligence. In Alberta, there is an established legal framework for those who have lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence or wrongful act.

Unfortunately, losing a loved one can also result in significant financial losses. Immediate costs can include funeral expenses and grief counselling. There may also be a loss of financial support which came from the deceased family member. This can derail the financial stability of a household and cause an already stressful situation to snowball.

If the loss of a loved one was caused by the negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. While no amount of money can fill the void of a person, compensation is viewed by many as a form of accountability. In some situations, a civil suit can lead to positive change – causing a wrongdoer to modify their behavior or policies, particularly in cases involving corporations, government agencies, and other organizations. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, contact our Edmonton wrongful death lawyers today for a free consultation. You may be eligible for compensation.

What constitutes wrongful death in Edmonton?

A wrongful death occurs when someone loses their life because of something another person or organization does or fails to do. The conduct must amount to negligence in order to have a viable wrongful death case. Some examples include fatal motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall or trip and fall accidents, assaults, product liability, medical malpractice, and more.

Motor vehicle operators, property owners and occupiers, licensed professionals, the government, medical practitioners, and other parties and entities throughout the province have legal obligations to mitigate the risk to human life by taking reasonable, preventative safety precautions. If someone fails to uphold their duty of care, they may be liable for damages to the surviving family.

Who can bring a wrongful death case?

The death of a relative does not mean you have an automatic right to bring an action. Alberta’s Fatal Accidents Act allows for only one civil action to be brought from the same incident. If more than one family member decides to pursue a wrongful death claim, they must do so together. While the action must be brought by the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate, the following relatives could be eligible to participate in a wrongful death claim:

  • Spouses
  • Adult interdependent partners
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Stepchildren
  • Siblings

For more information on how you can advance a claim, we recommend you consult with one of our wrongful death lawyers for legal assistance.

Types of compensation available for the relatives of wrongful death victims

In Alberta, families can bring claims for mental and emotional suffering, lost dependency and a loss of household services. Section 8 of the Fatal Accidents Act provides set values for bereavement:

Spouse or partner: $82,000

Parent: $82,000 (this amount is to be shared if the claim is brought by both parents)

Each child: $49,000

When children lose a parent or a spouse loses their partner due to the negligence of another party, there will almost certainly be a loss of dependency claim. For example, if the deceased was the breadwinner for the family, the surviving spouse and children will be able to pursue a claim for lost financial support. Each case is fact specific. It is also possible for parents or siblings to bring this claim – it all depends on the dynamic of the relationship before the loss. Cultural expectations are also relevant. It is common, for example, to claim loss of dependency on behalf of elderly parents in cultures where it is expected for adult children to care for parents after retirement.

Loss of household services are separate than a loss of dependency. Most members of a household help in some way with household chores and duties. This includes cleaning, doing the laundry, groceries, and outdoor maintenance such as shoveling the snow or maintaining the lawn. The Alberta law says these activities can be assigned a value and can be claimed in addition to other losses in a wrongful death case.

Statute of limitations in wrongful death lawsuits in Edmonton

Understandably, it can take a great deal of time to feel ready to begin thinking about taking legal action. Unfortunately, per the province’s Limitations Act, bereaved family members who are entitled to take legal action generally have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to start a wrongful death lawsuit.

In the 24 months after losing a close relative, grieving family members may be consumed by extreme emotions. Taking legal action to recover monetary compensation for their loved one’s death may feel like an impossible challenge, and one that is farthest from their minds.

Our wrongful death lawyers handle all aspects of our clients’ claims so that they can focus on what is most important: coping with their grief, and devoting time to their emotional support systems. Our Edmonton wrongful death lawyers are passionate about helping bereaved families get fair compensation and a providing a sense of emotional closure.

How can a wrongful death lawyer assist with a wrongful death lawsuit

There are many common challenges in pursuing a wrongful death claim aside from the emotional and financial challenges involved. A thorough investigation is required to identify what exactly happened and who is involved. The investigation determines who should be named as a defendant(s) in the lawsuit. The investigation usually requires a combination of requesting government or privately held records and interviewing possible witnesses. Given the general 2-year limitation period, it is important for this to be done as soon as possible after the loss.

Wrongful death claims can often be more challenging than traditional personal injury cases since the deceased is unable to give evidence on what happened. This is especially true in fatal motor vehicle accidents or a slip or trip and fall accidents. In some cases, it may be necessary to retain a forensic engineer to tell us what likely happened and who is responsible.

Liability aside, proving loss of dependency and loss household services requires gathering important evidence including reports from experts who can quantify the value of the loss. It is common for insurance companies to do their own calculations, which can substantially differ from your calculations. Identifying weaknesses in the insurance company’s case is an important negotiating tactic that can help settle the case.

Our team of wrongful death lawyers can help with identifying possible defendants, pre-litigation investigations, issuing a lawsuit, gathering further evidence, and negotiating with insurance companies.

Call us today for a free consultation

Coping with the tragic loss of life is a difficult and emotional experience. Adding financial pressures onto grief can be overwhelming and stressful. Our legal team can handle the legal side of things, leaving you and your family to focus on what’s most important.

Preszler Injury Lawyers have been helping Canadian families since 1959 with their wrongful death claims. Knowing whether you have a case may not always be clear. If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’s possible negligence, we highly recommend you connect with us for a complimentary and no-obligation consultation to go over the details of your case. You don’t need to do anything to prepare for the initial consultation other than to have some basic details about what happened. Call us today and let us put our experience to work for you.


Our Edmonton practice group can assist with various types of claims.

Since 1959, Preszler Injury Lawyers has been helping Canadians pursue meaningful compensation from insurance providers.

To speak with a member of our legal team today, book a free consultation. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and the best part is, you don't pay anything unless you decide to hire us and we successfully recover compensation for you. Yes that's right - you don't pay unless we win!

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