In the United States, accidents are the most common cause of death in children. Nothing can right the wrong of losing a child, but if someone’s negligent actions caused it, then you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In some cases, wrongful death suits can feel like justice has been served if you cannot take the case to criminal court.
Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a child dies due to an accident, the parents have every right to bring forth a wrongful death claim. If you are divorced, it may become a little more complex. If you have a good relationship with the other parent, you may be able to discuss which one of you should file. If you have legal custody, then you are the one, by default, that can file the claim. When you have joint custody, on the other hand, one parent may be granted the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Nothing has to be court-appointed. If you choose, you can work with the other parent to file the lawsuit.
What Type of Compensation Do You Ask For?
Compensation during a wrongful death claim includes:
- Financial loss
- Emotional distress
- Therapy costs
As a parent, you would receive compensation. The court may look at a child’s age, life expectancy and potential. If you or your child’s other parent has to receive therapy or counseling, those costs may also be included in the award.
If divorced, you may have to come to an agreement with your spouse over who receives financial compensation. You may choose to split it. If there are disagreements, then you may both need to have a lawyer to represent you in the case.
Several factors may contribute to how much each parent receives. A parent who does not have legal custody can still receive financial compensation, especially if he or she spent a lot of time with the child. Child support and visitation can play a role in how much a parent can ask for.
To lose a child is one of the worst tragedies that a parent can ever face. When a child’s death occurs because of the carelessness of another person, then you have every right to seek justice and compensation. Wrongful death lawsuits can sometimes bring parents some amount of closure.