A person who has passed no longer suffers from pain. Thus, general damages for pain and suffering of the victim are not available under the Fatal Accidents Act, supra. That being said, when the loss is that of a child under the age of 19 or of a dependent child over that age, s. 10 of the Act allows parents to claim for their own grief and the loss of companionship. The assessment is performed similarly to non-pecuniary general damages: Augustus v. Gosset, supra paras 44-50. In Nightingale v. Mazerall (1991), 121 NBR (2d) 319 (CA), the parents had lost their two young children (6 years old and 9 months old) in a rear-end collision. The Court of Appeal awarded $15,000 for the grief associated with each child, plus $15,000 and $20,000 for the loss of companionship of the oldest and youngest child respectively, with all the amounts to be shared equally by the parents. Each parent thus received $32,500 in total for grief and loss of companionship.
Arguably, the unanimous bench of the Supreme Court of Canada appears to recognize, in Augustus v. Gosset, supra para 63, a general right to damages for pain and suffering for the close relatives of a deceased, stemming from the ‘right to life’:
On this point, there can no longer be any question that the distress felt by those close to a person who loses his or her life through the fault of another is fully compensable under the head of solatium doloris. Underlying the recognition of such a head of damages is nothing other than a recognition of the very value of the right to life.
Although that case was decided in the context of the Quebec Charter of Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms also contain an express ‘right to life’ as discussed above. Thus, the right to damages for pain and suffering would not be limited to parents and the Fatal Accidents Act, supra, may be subject to a constitutional challenge should it be found to restrict claims to pecuniary damages.
Except for a parent’s grief and loss of companionship of a child provided under s. 10, s. 8 of the Act expressly limits recovery to the “pecuniary loss resulting from the death”. This means that the claims are limited to monetary losses in the form of financial support that a deceased would have brought to a beneficiary but for his or her passing as a result of the tortious act. The presiding judge then assesses the level of assistance the deceased parent, child, etc., would have contributed to the relative if he or she had survived the accident.
The courts have determined whether the claim for pecuniary damages included the income that the deceased would have earned but for the death. It has been held that post-death losses of income are not recoverable under the Fatal Accidents Act and Survival of Actions Act, supra: Higgins Estate v. Arseneau, supra paras 61 & 68; Adams Estate v. McKiel, 2012 NBQB 106.
A loss of inheritance has also been recognized as a recoverable head of damages: Proctor v. Dyck,  1 SCR 244; Higgins Estate v. Arsenault (No. 2), 2019 NBCA 21 para 13. However, such claims are rare as they inevitably involve a lot of hypothetical elements.
To the extent that funeral expenses have been paid by one of the entitled beneficiaries, a “reasonable” amount can also be claimed on his, her or their behalf: Fatal Accidents Act, supra s. 9; Lamkey Estate v. Layton (1997), 193 NBR (2d) 45 para 13 (QB).