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Wrongful Death of a Minor Child

Apr 16, 2021 - Wrongful Death

There are very few, if any, more tragic circumstances than the loss of a minor child. When a child dies because of someone’s negligence, the law recognizes that parents have a claim to recover for the child’s wrongful death.

If you have lost a child due to some other person or entity’s behavior, contact a Stroudsburg wrongful death lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis for help. We understand that you are experiencing indescribable suffering and will handle your wrongful death claim with compassion, respect, and effectiveness.

Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania 

“Wrongful death” refers to the death of a person resulting from a wrongful act of another person, including negligence, vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter, murder, or intentional acts (or “torts”) such as assault and/or battery. When this occurs, the deceased person’s beneficiaries are entitled to bring a wrongful death claim in civil court, which is not precluded by any criminal charges against that person or entity.

Wrongful deaths of minor children are commonly caused by someone else’s negligence, such as negligent driving, or premises liability, such as leaving the gate to a swimming pool open.

Who Can Be Beneficiaries in a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act (“the Act”) controls who can be considered a beneficiary in any Pennsylvania wrongful death claim. Generally speaking, beneficiaries include the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased person. Parents are required to show dependency on the victim to be considered beneficiaries. 

Although complete dependency is not required, if either or both parents relied on an adult child for economic contributions, they may claim dependency damages. Spouses may recover dependency damages, the value of loss of love and affection, and the value of loss of services of a deceased partner. Minor children are presumed to be dependent. 

For claims of the wrongful death of a minor child, the beneficiaries are typically the parents but not grandparents or brothers and sisters.

What Damages Can Be Recovered For the Wrongful Death of a Minor Child?

Under the Act, a deceased minor’s parents can recover damages for future financial support the child would have contributed to the family. Such damages include the work the minor would have contributed to the home; lost companionship; and economic losses, such as funeral expenses, hospital expenses, and nursing costs.  

Damages from a wrongful death claim are not considered income to the beneficiaries and therefore are not taxable. Additionally, because wrongful death proceeds are not subject to the probate process, they pass directly to the beneficiaries.

Let a Stroudsburg Wrongful Death Lawyer Help You During This Difficult Time 

No amount of money can replace a deceased minor child. Nonetheless, if a minor child in your family was killed by the negligence or wrongful act of another in Pennsylvania, contact a Stroudsburg wrongful death lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis for your free consultation. We’ll handle your insurance and legal claims so that you can grieve in peace.

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Drake, Hileman & Davis

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