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Who Has Standing in a Calgary Wrongful Death Case

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
August 17, 2017

Wrongful death cases are always hard on everyone involved. A dedicated Calgary personal injury lawyer makes it easy to see where you stand.

Losing a loved one is always difficult. The void a death leaves in your family and the emotional pain it causes is hard enough to handle, and unfortunately is only made worse by the stress of various practical considerations. This is true even when a death is “expected” and plans and arrangements have been made—a fact of life that Calgary families and communities face every single day.

When a death occurs due to an unforeseen accident, the emotional trauma is often even worse. Not only can the suddenness of the loss make it more devastating and more difficult to accept, but practical stressors can also be more significant when an accident causes an unexpected death. In many accidental death cases, there has been little or no estate planning, there may not be a will or other end-of-life directives, and the number of financial unknowns can be staggering. Adding in a wrongful death suit against the person and/or organization responsible for the fatal accident is often the last thing on a grieving Calgary family member’s mind, and with good reason.

Yet in many cases, filing a wrongful death claim with the Calgary Courts is the best way to combat the practical fallout of a sudden accidental death. Though nothing can ever make up for your loss, receiving financial compensation from a spouse and/or parent’s lost income, for expenses incurred as a result of the accident, and for bereavement can ease the practical burdens you and your family are facing.

Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim in Calgary, however. Read on to see if you may have a valid claim.

Calgary Law: Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

Alberta law is very clear about who has legal standing to file a wrongful death claim. In most cases, the appointed executor of the accident victim’s estate has standing to file suit, on behalf of all eligible family members. This is true whether the executor is a family member of the accident victim or not; if the executor is a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent,or sibling, they may stand to collect on a wrongful death claim as well.

Only those family members listed, as legally recognized by Alberta, are eligible for compensation from a wrongful death claim. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and other “non-family members,” are typically not eligible.

Contact an Experienced Calgary Lawyer with Your Wrongful Death Questions

If you recently lost a close family member in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you no doubt have many questions. To see if you may have a valid wrongful death claim and to discuss your case with an experienced, dedicated Calgary personal injury lawyer, please contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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