Losing a child is perhaps the most difficult thing that a person can endure in their lifetime. The shock and trauma are multiplied when the death was untimely, and someone else was to blame for a child’s death.
North Carolina law allows certain family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. A lawsuit for the wrongful death of a child can be worth a considerable amount of money.
The Wilmington wrongful death attorneys at Horton & Mendez can handle your case today in a compassionate manner while fighting to maximize your financial recovery. Call us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Causes of Unintentional Deaths of Children
According to the Centers for Disease Control, accidents are the leading cause of death among children of all ages. Here are some types of accidents that can cause the tragic death of a child:
- Motor vehicle accidents (including school bus crashes)
- Swimming pool accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Playground accidents
- Daycare or school injuries
- Injuries caused by dangerous or defective products
No matter how a child died, the legal principle is the same. If the family can prove that someone else was to blame for the death of the child, the responsible party has a legal obligation to fully compensate them.
Who Can Claim Wrongful Death Damages When a Child Passes Away?
North Carolina law determines who can receive money in a wrongful death claim. In a child wrongful death case, the following family members can receive money:
- The surviving parent or parents of the deceased
- The surviving siblings of the deceased
- The grandparents of the deceased child
Not all the people listed above can receive compensation in every case. Everything depends on which loved ones are alive. For example, the siblings or grandparents could step into the parents’ place if they are no longer alive.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case Involving a Child
Wrongful death claimants can be paid for the damages that they have suffered when a child died. It is difficult enough to properly value the life of an adult who tragically died. It is even harder when a child passes away because there are so many unknowns.
In general, families can be paid the following damages in a child wrongful death case:
- The income that a child would have earned over the course of their life working (this is a very difficult element of damages to actually value, especially when a young child died)
- The family’s grief and trauma from suddenly and unexpectedly losing a child
- The loss of the close and loving relationship that they had with the child
In addition, the estate can also file a claim for the damages that the child suffered between the time of their injury and death. This case is called a survival action. These damages can include:
- The medical expenses to treat the child
- The pain and suffering that they endured
- Emotional trauma and distress
- Lost wages that the family incurred to care for a child
It is difficult to know how much your claim is worth without knowing more specifics of the situation. One thing that we can say with certainty is that there is a wide range of outcomes. Another sure bet is that the insurance company will try to underpay the damages that they would owe you, making your life even more difficult.
Factors that Affect Compensation in a Child Wrongful Death Case
The compensation in a wrongful death case can vary. Two families could receive different compensation for the same exact accident. Here are some factors that could influence how much money a family receives in a child wrongful death case:
- How much insurance coverage the responsible party maintained
- How hard you fight the insurance company when they try to underpay you
- The age of the child at the time of the accident
- The child’s school status and their future earnings potential (for example, if the child was a straight-A student, they may be able to earn more money in the future)
- The closeness of the child’s relationship with the parents
- How much the parents have suffered from the loss of their child
Your attorney will be able to hone in on factors that could increase your financial compensation. After all, your family wants full and complete justice when someone else has caused your child’s death.
How Our Attorneys Help Families After the Accidental Loss of a Child
The last thing that your family has the ability or desire to do is fight the insurance company to get full compensation for a child’s death. Things are already difficult enough for you without the added stress of dealing with the legal case. The lawyers at Horton & Mendez will handle the details of your case while standing up for your family’s right to full financial compensation.
Here is what we can do in a wrongful death case:
- Speak to you to learn the details of your case and conduct a full investigation
- Help you determine the best way to obtain financial compensation
- Communicate on your behalf with the insurance company and the defense attorney
- Attach a financial value to your case, so you can know how much you deserve
- Fight for your family to obtain full financial compensation, either by negotiating with the insurance company or taking your case to court
These are tasks that you would need a lawyer for to bring the strongest possible legal case.
Contact a Wilmington Child Wrongful Death Attorney Today
The attorneys at Horton & Mendez help families in cases that involve wrongful death of a minor
child fatalities. We will work to hold someone responsible and for your family to receive the maximum possible compensation. We understand that your family is enduring the most difficult experience possible, and we will handle your case in a responsive and compassionate way.
To speak with one of our attorneys, you can contact us online or call us today at (910) 668-8067. The initial consultation is free, and you do not owe us anything unless you receive money in your case.