What do I need to know about wrongful death lawsuits for the loss of a child?

FAQs About Wrongful Death Law

No matter what the age of the loved one you have lost, the grief is powerful. The law, however, often takes age into account when it assesses your loss. Because your loved one cannot be replaced, the law is at a disadvantage to truly compensate you. Money is one measure that the legal system can objectively use to reflect what has been lost. For more information on how the law applies to the wrongful death of your child or elderly relative, contact an attorney.

The Wrongful Death of a Child

When an adult dies, it is easier for a court to quantify the economic loss. The court can consider the wages the person earned and how he or she contributed to the finances of the family. A minor child (under the age of 18) is typically not contributing to the household income, but a child contributes in other ways. Parents therefore can recover, in most states, for the loss of the child’s companionship and affection.

Parents who can recover for the death of a child generally include the child’s mother, the child’s acknowledged father or the child’s adoptive parents. People who act as the child’s parents, but are not legally the child’s parents, usually cannot recover compensation.

When an adult child suffers a wrongful death, the court may approach the situation from a different angle. For the parents to recover, often the child must have been contributing money to the parents’ household or providing valuable services to the parents. This view of the law, however, varies from state to state. Whether the child was married also may affect the parents’ rights.

The law changes when an unborn child has suffered a wrongful death. In some jurisdictions, the success of a wrongful death claim depends on whether the fetus was viable (able to live outside the womb) at the time of death. Other states allow or disallow such a wrongful death claim whether the fetus was viable or not. An experienced attorney can offer you insight on your own state’s laws.

Contact an Experienced California Wrongful Death Attorney for Compassionate and Caring Legal Representation

The trial and appellate attorneys of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver, LLP, are well known and respected for the quality of the legal representation they provide and for the impressive results they achieve for their clients.

All four lawyers are AV Rated* by Martindale Hubbell’s peer review rating process and all three trial attorneys are listed in Best Lawyers in America. *CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary.

Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

To arrange a free consultation with a member of our law firm, call us at (562) 435-8300 or contact us by e-mail. From offices in Long Beach, our lawyers represent clients in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California. To learn more about our attorneys, please follow the links below:

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