In California, determining the damages associated with the wrongful death of an adult is easier than calculating the losses related to a child’s death. For instance, if a parent dies, a child can file a wrongful death lawsuit for recovering money for the damages including love, care, support, guidance, and income. But when coming to a child’s death, the parents can only claim money for loss of love and affection and other related expenses. But as the financial gain of a child will be quite small, the monetary compensation associated with this factor will be also low.
Usually, the calculation of a child’s financial gain includes speculations; hence the younger the child is when he/she dies, the difficult is the calculation. A judge or jury may determine what the child may have contributed to supporting the parents in the future. However, this cannot be entirely based on rough estimations or guesswork.
For calculating this amount, the judges often use life expectancy charts. The Californian courts usually affirm smaller compensation for children’s wrongful death. According to the laws of California, wrongful death claims are provided to compensate for the losses associated with the death of a family member. Hence, the wrongful death lawsuit of a child will be settled for a low amount as he/she does not contribute much to the family in terms of money.
Factors Associated with the calculation of claim amount
Following are the factors that will affect the wrongful death claim of a child:
- Direct expenses: This includes hospital bills, funeral costs, etc.
- Loss of future earning potential: It is the amount a deceased child would have earned in the future had he/she lived.
- Loss of Companionship: This is determined by considering the factors like loss of love and affection, loss of community, the financial support given by the decedent child for the family (if applicable only), and the loss of benefits a deceased child would have entitled to in any pension or retirement schemes or in any trust.
The amount associated with some factors is easy to determine. For example, the funeral costs, medical bills can be calculated directly, hence it is easy to determine the compensation for these factors. However, calculating the amount for elements like loss of companionship can be difficult as it needs the analysis of different legal factors.
If you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of your child, it is better to consult a wrongful death attorney. He can help you to get the maximum amount you deserve by analyzing the various factors associated with your case.