Placing A Value on Wrongful Death Claims

January 19, 2015 | Cynthia P. Carels

Bereavement Damages


When a family member dies as a result of an accident, placing a monetary value on the grief of their loved ones is a challenge. 

Alberta is just one of three provinces in Canada that prescribes legislated amounts, which are awarded to survivors once the liability of a wrongdoer is established and the basis of the relationship is proved. There is no need to provide testimony or evidence of the claimant’s suffering or sadness as a result of the tragedy.

These awards are known as “Statutory Damages for Bereavement,” and are defined within Alberta’s Fatal Accidents Act.

As of May 1, 2013, the Statutory Damages awards are as follows: 

  • $82,000 for a surviving spouse or adult interdependent partner
  • $82,000 for surviving parents (to be divided equally if there are two)
  • $49,000 for each surviving child

The awards were previously adjusted in 2002. For fatal accidents occurring in the 11 years prior to May 1, 2013, the Statutory Damages awards were: 

  • $75,000 for a surviving spouse or adult interdependent partner
  • $75,000 for surviving parent(s)
  • $45,000 for each surviving child. 

Family members may also be entitled to compensation for other amounts in addition to these Statutory Damages, including pre-death costs for care, funeral expenses, grief counseling, and loss of dependency claims.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers are well equipped to guide families through the process of recovering these losses as well.


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