There is nothing more tragic or more devastating than the wrongful death of a child. Whether they are lost to a sudden accident or succumbed to injuries resulting from a medical error, parents deserve the chance to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence. By filing a wrongful death of a child claim, the surviving family can pursue compensation for the loss of their child. If you or someone you know has lost a child, there are some important details one should know before filing such a claim.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim, regardless of the victim’s age, is a form of injury claim filed by the surviving family members to recover damages for their loss. In a wrongful death claim, the claimant will present evidence that supports their case and demonstrates the following factors:
- The claimant’s loved one passed away
- The death was caused by another’s negligence or intent to cause harm
- The surviving family is suffering monetary injury due to the loss, such as lost income or medical bills
What Damages Can I Claim for a Wrongful Death of a Child?
In a wrongful death claim, you will be able to claim several types of damages. The first of these are special damages, or any costs you have accumulated related to the accident. This included medical expenses incurred due to the fatal accident, emergency medical transportation, life support, medications, and other costs. It isn’t uncommon for a child to accumulate a significant number of medical expenses leading up to their passing, especially if they sustained injuries during birth or due to medical negligence.
You may also be able to claim loss of consortium, or damages meant to compensate you for the loss of your relationship with your child. It can be a challenge to put a monetary amount on love, affection, and yet-to-be-made memories. Generally, these amounts are calculated using factors such as the child’s age, health, psychological capacity, and the parents’ situation after the loss of their child.
Additionally, you may be able to claim damages for your own emotional pain, grief, and suffering. These damages can also include costs that were inevitably caused by your child’s death, including therapy costs, grief counseling, psychological treatments, professional support for the family, and psychological medications. An expert psychological or psychiatric witness can be especially helpful to support your claims regarding these damages.
Wrongful Death Cases Involving Adult Children
If your child was 18 years old or older, there will be a different set of laws that apply to your claim. In order to recover damages for the death of an adult child, you must be able to demonstrate that you were dependent on them in some way. This can include being financially dependent on them, but it also may apply if you are dependent on them to provide care. The cost of your loss can add up quickly if it becomes necessary to hire a caregiver or if you suffer the loss of your child’s income. The only way parents are able to claim compensation for their child’s death after the child has reached adulthood is if the parents are dependent on the child.
If you or a loved one has lost a child, our compassionate and experienced Kansas City personal injury attorneys are here to support your family. We are sensitive to the pain your family is going through. Our legal team at Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. will take the time to provide personalized legal solutions that best fit your family’s needs. Schedule a free consultation with our team to learn more about how we can assist you during this difficult time.
Contact our firm today by calling (888) 398-2277.