Many serious Ontario car accidents result in catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and complex orthopedic injuries that require multiple surgeries. Per Ontario law, catastrophically injured individuals may receive accident benefits that cover their medical and rehabilitation costs and lost wages. In addition, they may file tort claims against drivers that caused the crashes.
What happens when serious car accidents result in fatalities? Do the loved ones left behind qualify for any type of accident benefits? Do they have legal rights against the at-fault drivers? The answer to those questions is yes. This article will discuss accident benefits available to surviving family members.
Death and Funeral Payments Benefit
Surviving family members may receive a lump sum payment to help pay for the expenses of a funeral if they qualify to receive payments. Pursuant to Ontario law, surviving family members may receive death and funeral payments if:
- the deceased individual is a spouse or a former spouse from whom the applicant is receiving support under a domestic contract or court order,
- the family member was dependent on the deceased individual, or
- the deceased individual is dependent on the applicant.
How much surviving family members receive after the death of their loved ones in Ontario auto accidents depends on who the surviving family members are.
1. Surviving spouse – A surviving spouse may be entitled to a lump sum payment of $25,000.
2. Dependants –If the deceased individual also had dependants, then each dependant may receive $10,000.
If a driver tragically dies in a car accident in Kingston and leaves behind his wife and 2 children, then his wife would receive $25,000, and each of his children would receive $10,000.
It is important to note that if optional death and funeral benefits were purchased on the auto policy, then the amount surviving family members receive doubles. In other words, the surviving spouse would receive $50,000 in the above example, and the children would each receive $20,000.
In addition to death benefits, surviving spouses and dependants may receive funeral benefits, up to $6,000. If additional benefits were purchased, then that amount increases to $8,000.
In addition to receiving accident benefits, surviving family members may file tort claims against the at-fault drivers. We will discuss that in another legal article.
Help After a Kingston or Ottawa Car, Truck or Pedestrian Accident
If your loved one was tragically killed in an auto accident, the last thing you want to think about is dealing with the insurance company to apply for accident benefits. We are here to help. We can help you with the accident benefits application process to make sure you receive the benefits. If you want to explore your legal rights, we can answer your questions and concerns about filing a tort claim. Call our office to schedule a FREE consultation. 1-866-384-5886