The loss of a child is devastating. No matter the circumstances, it is a tragedy that most parents hope to never endure. To make it worse, when a child is lost due to the negligence of another person, it adds an insult to injury. To know that death is avoidable is hard to overcome and it is hard to know what to do when you know that someone ought to be held responsible. As the parent, can you file a wrongful death claim after the loss of your child? Yes, you can, but often it applies for minor children rather than adult children.
Punitive damages are not a guarantee in every case. Some states do not even offer punitive damages. Punitive damages occur when the judge wants to punish the other party for his or her gross negligence. For instance, if the defendant acted in an extremely reckless way and it resulted in the death of your child, then the court may award you punitive damages because of it. The idea behind punitive damages is to punish the defendant so that he or she does not commit the same act ever again. It can also deter people in the future from conducting themselves in the same way. Since there are no guarantees when it comes to punitive damages, it is important that you speak to your lawyer on what you are able to request and what you have a possibility of winning.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is when you lose companionship or affection from a family member. You have to prove that you experience a loss that the child would have provided if he or she had lived. Loss of consortium is often based on financial contributions, but with children, this is not always the case. Instead, the courts may look at life expectancy contributions and the child’s present value. This means that the court would take into consideration the projected contributions that the child may have provided the parents.
To lose a child is one of the worst times in a parents’ life. When you know that your child died due to the recklessness or negligence of another person, it can be even worse. Fortunately, there are legal resources that parents can take when it comes to a child’s death. If you need more information about it, then reach out to a wrongful death lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Houston, TX, today for more information.
Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into the legal recourse that could occur after the death of a child.