Compensation For The Wrongful Death Of A Child Is Complex

Wrongful death is a legal situation where a death occurs due to an accident, but that accident was preventable. Under ordinary circumstances, the death should not have occurred. While an accidental death is typically not considered murder or subject to criminal charges and penalties, it is still against the law. Rather than undergoing a jail sentence, those found responsible for wrongful death must compensate relevant surviving parties for the loss of life.

But in the case of the wrongful death of a child, this brings about a different set of tragic and legal consequences that require a different set of considerations.

The Financial Math Of Tragedy

When an adult dies due to wrongful death, compensation for the loss of that adult is straightforward. Most adults have jobs with calculable income. They may have dependents, such as a spouse, children, or other family members, who rely on that person for emotional and financial support.

In these instances, compensation is often calculated by financial loss. If the deceased was considered the “breadwinner” of the family, with income responsible for keeping children in school, insurance covering medical costs, and money for the payment of rent or mortgage, buying groceries, and paying utilities, then all of these factors can be easily broken down into a cost estimate of what the loss of life will mean for surviving dependents and how much compensation they are owed as a result of an existing precedent for expenditures.

The Big Difference

However, in the case of a child, children, being minors, have no job and make no financial contributions. Does this mean that the financial damages in a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of a child must be significantly lower because a child is not employed and has no financial obligations?

On the contrary, the loss of a child, despite having no financial record to consult, can often be significant. Some attempts can be made, especially with older children who may already be in high school, to make predictions based on grades about financial potential. However, the prime considering factor here is the pain and suffering of the parents and the circumstances of the loss. The death of an only child by a couple who can no longer naturally bear children, for example, might be treated by a jury differently from the death of a child in a family with three children, with another on the way.

The nature of the negligence can also play a determining factor, such as in the tragic death of Tyre Samson, aged 14, whose parents are now suing ICON Park in Orlando. Their boy lost his life while on an amusement ride that didn’t properly restrain him, causing him to fall to his death when the ride ascended to a height of nearly 400 feet. The culprit here was improper restraint, which will play a major role in the lawsuit.

Anyone who has lost a child to an act of negligence must bear that grief for the rest of their lives. But they should also talk to a wrongful death attorney to ensure that the people responsible answer for what they’ve done..