Seattle Child Wrongful Death Lawyers
Legal Help After a Child Wrongful Death in Washington
It's extremely difficult to even think about losing a child. But should the tragic event occur, it's important for parents to know their legal rights and options. For some parents, filing a wrongful death claim for a lost child is part of the grieving process; others view it as a way to punish the negligent party that contributed to the cause of death. Also, many parents file wrongful death claims on behalf of their child in an attempt to get policies, practices, or standards changed and prevent another child's death being caused by similar factors. To find out more about a child wrongful death law, you'll need to consult an experienced Seattle fatal accident attorney.
If you reside in the Seattle area, or anywhere else in the State of Washington, the law offices of Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can answer any questions you may have regarding a child wrongful death claim. Call Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. today at (888) 228-3860 to schedule a free consultation.
Damages in a Child Wrongful Death Claim
Damages in a child wrongful death claim can be tricky, because parents don't usually rely on younger children for financial support. The parents of an adult child can sue for lost income and benefits, but not the parents of a young child. The damages parents of a younger child can seek compensation for are as follows:
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before they died
- The loss of love and affection of the child, and for the destruction of the parent child relationship
- The loss of household duties performed by the deceased (such as childcare, yard work, and other chores, etc.)
Who Can Be Sued For the Wrongful Death of a Child?
In short, the same parties that can be sued in the death of an adult, and more. Since children, especially the younger ones, require supervision throughout the day, a party that is assigned the duty of supervising that child can be sued for wrongful death if the child dies while under their supervision. An example of this could be a babysitter or nanny charged with looking after a two year old child. While the nanny or babysitter is enthralled in a TV show, the two year old wanders away, falls down a set of stairs, and dies.
But those assigned supervision of a child aren't the only adults that can face a child wrongful death lawsuit. Following are examples of parties whose negligence could lead to a child wrongful death claim:
- A neighbor has a swimming pool in their backyard, but leaves the gate of the fence surrounding the pool open. A neighbor child wanders in and drowns. The pool owner was negligent.
- While playing at a friend's house, a young child finds a bottle of prescription medication. The child takes the medication, overdoses, and dies. The parent who left the medication where it was easily accessible to the child was negligent.
- A school bus driver falls asleep at the wheel and gets into an accident that causes several children to be killed. The bus driver and their employer can be found negligent.
- A physician examines a child but fails to diagnose a serious illness or injury that the child later dies from. The physician can face both medical malpractice and wrongful death charges.
- A child is in a grocery store, slips on spilled cooking oil, and is killed. The manager and owner of the store can be found negligent.
- A company produces a toy for toddlers. A part on the toy has a tendency to come off. A small child chokes on this small part of the toy and dies. The company can be sued for wrongful death.
As you can see, anyone who has a duty of care and does not uphold that duty of care can be sued for the wrongful death of a child.
Leading Causes of Child Mortality
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidents are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 19. These fatal accidents include suffocation, drowning, falls, strangulation, burns, poisoning, and motor vehicle accidents. For children under the age of one year old, the leading causes of death were developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth, premature birth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Contact an Experienced Seattle Wrongful Death Attorney
We at the offices of Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. hope you'll never need our services, but if you do, you can trust that our Seattle child accident lawyers will handle your case in a sensitive and professional manner. For over four decades Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. has represented the families throughout Washington State who have lost a loved one due to negligence.
Call us today at (888) 228-3860 for a free, comprehensive consultation.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents Are Still a Major Source of Child Deaths, says Department of Health
- Motor Vehicle Accident Fatalities in Children - IIHS
- Child Passenger Safety: Get the Facts