There are specific rules in each state about who has the right to file for a wrongful death suit. Each state varies in their rules but generally speaking, a child’s parent or an administrator can file for a suit against the liable party. If the parents are divorced, then there are some specifications you will have to follow. Wrongful death cases for children tend to get further complicated because of familial disputes about the award of damages and how it should be distributed. It is possible that multiple family members are eligible to receive damages.
There are many causes of wrongful death that could lead to a lawsuit and damages are decided case-by-case. The categories that the court will generally consider for damages recoverable will be set by statute but will typically reflect these:
- If the child has injuries that they have suffered up until death, then their parents may collect for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity and funeral expenses.
- Parents have the right to collect damages for loss of consortium. They cannot exist independently of claims of negligence of a defendant. This will be determined case by case because it is difficult to measure how much a family enjoyed the company of another family member. The court will consider emotional aspects the child provided the family, such as:
These are extremely difficult to measure and may take time for the court to consider and examine. It is important to note that they may not necessarily be able to collect damages for pain and suffering if they seek damages for loss of consortium.
- Punitive damages may be awarded if the death was caused by negligent or reckless behavior or if it was intentional. Punitive damages discourage the behavior from happening again and also punishes the liable party.
- The parents may be able to ask for negligent infliction of emotional distress depending on the particulars of the case.
Call a Wrongful Death Attorney Immediately
The loss of a child is never easy, we believe that children should outlive their parents. However, if the death was caused by negligence or intent to harm, you may be entitled to compensation which can soften at least the financial blow. A wrongful death lawyer Salt Lake City, UT residents trust can give you a good idea of what damages you may seek and if you have a strong case to pursue.
You deserve to be comfortable enough to move on from this horrific tragedy and you deserve justice for your child. Call today for a free consultation to discuss your particular situation and what your legal options are.
Thank you to our contributors at the law offices of Rasmussen & Miner for the insightful information above.