Wrongful Death Claims: Is it better to be killed in Canada or the United States?

by John McKiggan

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.

One Response to “Wrongful Death Claims: Is it better to be killed in Canada or the United States?”

December 31, 1969 at 6:00 pm, Mortimer Tournebulle said:

Seniors have almost zero value when it comes to their right to sue for personal inujury and wrongful death. The health care system is geared to protect Doctors and professional health care workers in spite.Canadians need to be educated to the facts of getting older. There is little consideration for the elderly when it comes to negligence and wrongful death as a result of negligence, criminal negligence. How do I know? My mother was killed at a nursing home.Prior to that she was injured while under the care and supervision of the nursing home. Beat up by an unnamed assailant- had her heel broken- thumb broken- knee fractured- among other injuries… all neglected and in the end she was physically hurt by a medical professional and the injuries she sustained directly led to her death.The nursing home faced multiple orders of non compliance.. and the medical professional remains annoymous to this day.

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