Wrongful Death of a Child

Helping family members receive compensation for the wrongful death of an child is very important to us.

Losing a child is painful and saddening under any circumstances. However, when such a loss occurs because of the negligence of someone else you may need to consider whether to bring a child’s wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties.

Under Indiana law there is a specific statute, Indiana Code 34-23-2-1, which has been enacted specifically for deaths of children. This statute applies instead of the more general adult version of the Indiana Wrongful Death Act.

The children’s statute is very specific in the damages which it covers, and which it does not. When determining the types of damages to which you, as a surviving parent, may be entitled because of the death of your child, these are the things to consider:

  • Loss of child’s love and companionship
  • Cost of healthcare and hospitalization which were required because of the defendant’s negligence that caused the child’s death
  • Cost of the funeral and burial
  • Reasonable cost of psychiatric or psychological counseling incurred by the surviving parents and minor siblings as a result of the child’s death
  • Child’s uninsured debts, including debts that the parent was required to pay on the child’s behalf
  • Cost of administering the child’s estate, including reasonable attorney’s fees
  • Loss of child’s services

Most of these damages are typically limited in time, until the child would have reached age 20, or perhaps up to age 23 in some circumstances related to a child’s education. However, damages for loss of the child’s love and companionship can be awarded from the time of the child’s death until the end of the child’s last surviving parent’s life expectancy. Punitive damages are not recoverable under this statute though.

If you have experienced the pain and grief associated with losing a child through the fault of another, you should find experienced counsel who can help advise you about the right legal path to take.

Indiana’s statute, and accompanying case law, can be complicated, and it can get further complicated if the child’s parents are no longer married and/or raising the child together. In such circumstances it is important to seek legal advice on how to proceed.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s fault or negligence, we’re here to help.