Historically wrongful death laws did not exist in our country. Under common law, any right to a personal injury claim was lost when the injured individual died. In cases where another party was responsible for the death of a loved one, grieving families were left with no legal recourse.
To correct this, provinces have enacted statutes which enable aggrieved family members to seek compensation
for the death of a family member from the negligent party. In British Columbia, the legislation that allows aggrieved family members to bring this type of claim is the Family Compensation Act. According to this Act, if someone dies through the fault or negligence of somebody else, the family members who were economically dependent upon the deceased are entitled to bring a claim. Through the Act, dependent family members may seek compensation for the income and support that they would have received if the family member who supported them had not died. Medical or hospital expenses may be recoverable as well as reasonable funeral expenses.
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