Seattle Child Wrongful Death Lawyers
Compassionate Legal Help After the Loss of a Child
Losing a child is one of the most tragic things that can happen to a family. When it does, it’s important for parents to understand their rights. The loss of a child leaves a hole in the lives of everyone who knew the child, and nothing can truly make up for that. We do not know what a family experiencing such a tragedy is going through, nor can we do anything to undo what happened.
What we can do is be here to safeguard the rights of your family. No one dealing with the loss of a child should have to worry about deadlines for filing paperwork or figuring out how such an accident occurred. As Seattle attorneys with experience in wrongful death cases, it is our job to take some of that responsibility off your shoulders and act on your behalf. For some, filing a claim is part of the grieving process; for others, it’s a way to punish the person responsible for what happened or fight to make sure it does not happen again.
If your family has suffered such a terrible loss, please call Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., at (888) 228-3860. We’re here to listen and help you explore your options for going forward and holding the at-fault party accountable for their actions.
Damages in a Child Wrongful Death Claim
In many wrongful death claims, a spouse files on behalf of a deceased partner for damages related to support they would have received had the person still been alive. Damages in a child wrongful death claim are more complicated, because parents don't usually rely on younger children for financial support. The parents of an adult child can seek lost income and benefits, but not the parents of a young child.
The parents of a younger child who has passed away are filing a lawsuit on behalf of the child. It is a way to seek justice for the child. Some of the damages parents can seek compensation for include:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering of the child before death
- 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 child (such as yard work and other chores, etc.)
We understand it may feel crass to think about these things. After all, there is no way to truly represent the value of a child’s life. But it is a way to make the responsible party appreciate the full depth of what they took away, and to make them accountable.
Who Can Be Sued for the Wrongful Death of a Child?
In general, negligent adults can be held liable for the death of a child. This is usually a person who was charged with the supervision of the child and neglected that duty, such as a babysitter, nanny, school teacher, or daycare facility. If a child dies under their care, they can typically be held accountable.
But they aren't the only adults who can face a child wrongful death lawsuit. Some other parties that might be liable include:
- A neighbor with a swimming pool in his backyard, who leaves the gate to the pool open. If a child wanders in and drowns, the pool owner was negligent and can be held liable.
- An adult who leaves a container of medication easily accessible, with the lid off. If a child is visiting, finds that bottle of prescription medication, and swallows it, the adult may be considered negligent.
- A school bus driver who is browsing on his smartphone at the wheel and crashes. The bus driver is likely negligent – but if he has a history of driving infractions, his employer might also be liable.
- A physician who examines a child but fails to diagnose a serious illness or injury that ends up being fatal. The physician can face both medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits for failing to uphold his duty of care.
- The manager of a store, who fails to clean up a spill or allows other unsafe conditions. If those conditions result in the death of a child, the manager could be considered negligent and found liable for the wrongful death.
- A company that produces an unsafe toy for toddlers. Defective products, especially those intended for kids, are dangerous, but proving the manufacturer was negligent in a product liability claim can be difficult.
Leading Causes of Child Mortality
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 19. These fatal accidents include suffocation, drowning, falls, poisoning, burns, and motor vehicle accidents. Determining if any of these events was caused by another person’s negligence can be difficult, which is why a knowledgeable attorney is so important.
Contact an Experienced Seattle Wrongful Death Attorney
We at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., hope you'll never need our services for the loss of a child, 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 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.
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