Can You Sue for the Wrongful Death of a Child in New York?

Woman sitting by an empty swing

While losing a loved one is always painful, it is amplified when death occurs due to another person’s negligent behavior. Still worse, though, is when a child is the victim. Not only is the child’s life ended far too soon, but the lives of its parents will be forever changed with pain and suffering that will likely last a lifetime.

In general, New York law does enable surviving relatives of wrongful death victims to collect financial compensation. However, the amount they can recover is primarily based on the amount of income that the deceased was generating and continued to earn. This does limit the ceiling of financial recovery when the wrongful death is a child. If this has happened to you, contact us at Douglas and London.

Factors That Determine the Damages Awarded in Wrongful Death Cases Involving a Child

New York law does not allow the child’s parents to recover from their aforementioned pain and suffering. Instead, the court will only consider factors dealing with the financial value that the child contributed to the family. Here are several factors that may be considered:

  • The age, life expectancy, work expectancy, and habits of the child
  • The child’s earning potential
  • The child’s relationship with the plaintiff(s)
  • The health and age of the plaintiff(s)

In general, the older the child was at the time of their death, the easier it is to determine potential economic losses. With older children, the courts have a better sense for the child’s hobbies, interests, health, work expectancy, and earning potential– so the surviving claimants may be more likely to recover a higher amount.

These Types of Damages are Easier to Prove in These Wrongful Death Lawsuits

There are several types of damages that are less complex to calculate and are therefore easier for the parents to recover, including the following:

  • Any medical bills that were incurred between the time of the accident and the time of death
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • The value of the services that the child would have continued to provide for the household. This typically focuses on the chores the child would have completed. The negligible amount the parents can recover for it is usually offset by the approximate cost of caring for them.

We fight for the legal rights of our clients

At Douglas and London, our focus is on vigorously fighting for our clients’ legal rights to ensure that they earn the best results possible. Our New York City personal injury lawyers are proud of what we have achieved. In the 18 years since the doors of our firm first opened, we have earned over $18 billion in settlements and jury verdicts for our valued clients.

We have the experience, knowledge, and willingness to go head-to-head against any defendant in trial. In wrongful death cases involving children, it helps to have a New York City wrongful death lawyer who has successfully handled these cases before, will fight for your rights, and let you and your family focus on trying to begin the healing process.

Contact us for a free consultation

If your world has forever changed due to the wrongful death of a child in New York, contact us 24 hours a day to arrange for a free, zero-obligation case review. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so there are no upfront legal costs.