Wrongful Death Claim for Death of a Child
A special type of wrongful death claim also may exist specifically for parents or legal guardians who have lost a child. Like other wrongful death claims, the claim focuses on losses the parents or guardians suffered because they lost their child. This includes recovery for the child’s health care expenses, loss of the child’s services, loss of the child’s financial support, loss of love and companionship of the child, loss of the child’s emotional support, and for injury to or destruction of the parent-child relationship. However, unlike a general wrongful death claim, the parents or guardians, not the estate’s personal representative, bring the claim on their own behalf. Each parent is entitled to recover their own losses, regardless of marital status.
This claim is available when the deceased child has no spouse, state registered domestic partner, or children. Further, it is available only to parents or guardians that regularly contributed to the support of a minor child or were significantly involved in an adult child’s life. In all other cases, the claim would proceed as a general wrongful death claim.