With the recent reduction in motor vehicle accident benefits, many people are depending heavily on the Family Law Act (FLA) for compensation, Windsor personal injury lawyer Gino Paciocco tells Law Times.
As the article notes, in Part V of the FLA, entitled “Dependant’s claim for damages,” s. 61(1) gives a spouse, including common law spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of a person injured or killed by the fault or neglect of another the entitlement to recover their pecuniary loss resulting from the injury or death.
“FLA claims are a way to get around accident benefits now that they are minimized, and optional benefits are not pursued,” says Paciocco, partner with Paciocco & Mellow.
“Just about everyone I see has no optional benefits because they are not told about them by brokers, or they don’t want to pay more,” he adds.
Law Times explains there are two types of claims that can be advanced under the FLA, as outlined in s. 61(2), including pecuniary claims, which are actual expenses reasonably incurred for the benefit of the person injured or killed, such as funeral expenses and a reasonable allowance for the loss of income or the value of nursing or housekeeping services.
There are also non-pecuniary expenses — compensation for the loss of guidance, care and companionship that the claimant might reasonably have expected to receive from the person.
When you present a non-pecuniary claim, says Paciocco, it’s “more of an art than a science. You are not able to prove actual expenses.”
To deter individuals from going forward with minor non-pecuniary claims, the government has also introduced a deductible, says the article.
Paciocco tells Law Times it makes sense the deductible wouldn’t apply to pecuniary losses, where you can calculate the loss of income.