Wrongful Death Claims: Is it better to be killed in Canada or the United States?
Is it better to be killed by someone’s negligence in Canada or the United States?
I’m sure most people would answer that question: “None of the above”. But the reason I ask is to point out the significant differences in compensation claims between Canada and the United States. I was remined, yet again, of these differences when I read a post by Ron Miller on his excellent Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog.
Wrongful Deaths Claims for Elderly Victims
Mr. Miller was explaining how wrongful death claims for elderly victims are valued in the state of Maryland. Defence counsel usually claim that the victim’s claim needs to be discounted because, since they were elderly, their life expectancy was shorter than a younger person. Mr. Miller points out:
The “victim was old anyway” argument is offensive and cold…but not, relatively speaking, entirely untrue.
Wrongful Death Claims Different in Canada
But at least in the United States, the victim’s estate can make a claim for compensation. As I pointed out last week, in my post Nova Scotia Personal Injury Claims: Compensation for Fatal Injuries , in Canada the victim’s estate can’t make a claim for the pain and suffering that caused the victim’s death!
Fatal Injury Compensation Claims Limited in Nova Scotia
In Nova Scotia and other provinces in Canada, the family of wrongful death victims are limited to a claim for loss of care, guidance and companionship.
If you think it’s tough to tell a grieving family: “I’m sorry, but your Granddad’s death isn’t worth much because he was old…” try telling them that Grandad’s estate can’t make a claim…at all!
Who Can Make a Claim?
Worse, only certain family members can make a claim for the loss of Granddad’s care guideance and companionship and in Canada, those claims typically max out at around 60 thousand dollars.
The Winner Is…
So, to answer the question I asked above, if you are going to be killed as the result of someone else’s negligence, at least in the United States your estate (your surviving family members) have a chance at receiving some reasonable measure of compensation for your death.
Here’s hoping everyone reading this has a long, happy and negligence free life!
By the way, if you have questions about American personal injury claims, I highly recommend you take a look at Mr. Miller’s blog.