Death Of Child Injury Law
How does the death of a child affect the damages in a birth injury case? Are there limitations on how the money can be spent?
In most cases where a child dies, damages awards decrease significantly. When a child dies, the lawsuit goes from being a medical malpractice case to a “wrongful death” case. In a wrongful death action, the lawsuit is usually filed by the parents for the benefit of the parents. There are generally no damages awarded to the child, with the possible exception of damages that may have arisen when the child was alive (for example, pain and suffering).
In theory, parents are supposed to be able to recover what they would have received from the child in terms of money and services; however, whatever amount that ends up being is reduced by an estimate of what the parent’s would have spent on the child. In most cases, the amount spent on rearing a child outweighs the amount that parents receive from a child. Funeral expenses and reimbursement for medical expenses are generally available. Many states allow parents to recover for non-economic damages. These damages are based on an estimate of the money value of a child’s love and companionship.
In general, limitations are not placed on how a plaintiff can spend an award in a wrongful death case unless agreed to by the parties. Seek the advice of an knowledgeable wrongful death attorney if you have experienced the death of a child. Your case can be assessed for free by completing our case evaluation form; an experienced personal injury lawyer may then contact you at no cost and with no further obligation.
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