What compensation can be sought in the wrongful death of a child?Robert A. Solomon, P.C.
The death of a child is one of the most tragic experiences a parent in Newark can face. If the child’s death was due to the carelessness or negligence of another, the situation is even more unbearable, as parents are forced to reconcile the fact that, but for the actions of another, their child would still be alive. Parents who find themselves in this situation may want to consider pursuing compensation through a wrongful death claim. However, the compensation that may be available when a child passes away is different than the compensation that is available when an adult passes away.
When an income-earning parent passes away, not only will their future earning potential be considered, but their child-rearing services, along with the companionship with other adults may be considered. However, when a child passes away, the child’s parents generally may only pursue compensation for financial losses.
These financial losses are determined by several factors including: the child’s age; gender; health; life expectancy; earning potential; relationship to those pursuing financial losses and the health, age and circumstances of those pursuing financial losses. Many of these factors are mere speculation and the younger the deceased child is, the more difficult it is to ascertain an accurate picture of the financial losses their parents suffered due to the child’s death. After all, it is easier to hypothesize the earning potential of a 17-year-old who gets good grades and is planning to go to college, versus the earning potential of an 8-year-old.
No parent wants to outlive their child, but, unfortunately, these situations do occur, sometimes due to the wrongful acts of another. Parents in such situations may want to seek compensation through a legal filing. However, they should understand that the amount of damages they may recover may be different than those they could recover had the child been an adult. Still, pursuing a wrongful death claim may provide parents with at least some financial compensation, and, sometimes, more importantly, a sense that the responsible party was held accountable for their actions.