What are the Legal Rights of Parents Who Lose a Child as a Result of a Florida Automobile Accident? The Wrongful Death of a Child

Wrongful Death Book Cover.001When a child is born, parents have the dream and expectation that the child will live a long and successful life.  Of course, it is impossible to either predict or control the future; however, with good parenting and a motivated child, success and a good life are certainable attainable.  The dream, of course, can be shattered by unexpected events and tragedies like a Florida Automobile Accident.  Children can be seen travelling as passengers in vehicles in every community.  Most of us have seen the signs or bumper stickers on cars that state “Baby On Board”.  This is a message to remind other drivers to drive with due caution and at a safe speed.   Of course, all drivers should be attentive to road conditions, traffic, and other vehicles.  In the flash of a moment, a crash can take place.  It can be because of excessive speed, carelessness, distracted driving, and other reasons.  Whatever the reason, when a crash takes place, children can and do suffer personal injuries.  Many children tragically die as a result of Florida Automobile Accidents.
When a child dies a result of an automobile accident, a parent can pursue a cause of action pursuant to the Florida Wrongful Death Act.  There are special provisions in the Florida Statutes and case law that apply to the death of a child.  A parent can bring an action for the wrongful death of a child and seek damages for the loss of the child including loss of services, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.  It should be pointed out that while the child’s suffering is germaine to the case – it is the loss of the parent that matters.  If the parent had a close relationship with the child, that will be taken into consideration when pursuing the case.  Is there really any form of compensation that will fairly compensate a parent for the untimely and preventable death of a child?  This is, of course, a loaded question of sorts.  However, the pursuit of a civil case for the wrongful death of a child does come down to money or compensation.  At some point in the case, the issue of compensation will be discussed.  If a settlement can be worked out, then the case can resolve without having to go through the stress of a trial; however, if a settlement cannot be reached, a parent can seek recourse / compensation through a trial.  As a Child Injury Lawyer, I am asked if other family members can also seek compensation like a brother or sister.  The simple answer is No.  The parents are the statutory survivors of a minor child.   There are circumstances where the minor child,  which is defined as a child under the age of 25 years old, has a child.   Under these circumstances, a wrongful death case can be pursued on behalf of the surviving parent and the surviving offspring of the minor child.  The Florida Wrongful Death Act is not a voluminous law by any means but there are some twists and turns to the statute.  As such, it makese sense for parents to seek the advice, counsel, and legal representation from a Florida Child Injury Lawyer when dealing with the aftermath of the death of a child.
The book titled – When a Parent’s World Goes From Full to Empty – The Wrongful Death of Child – What You Need to Know About the Florida Wrongful Death Act – covers general provisions of the statute, the pursuit of a wrongful death case, the assessment of damages, and other matters. You can get this book for free at When a Parent’s World Goes From Full to Empty.
Just recently in  Polk County Florida, there was a rear end accident that caused the death of a 4 year old child. It was reported that a box truck rearended a Toyota vehicle that was occupied by a driver and two children in the back seat – ages 2 and 4.  As noted by Sheriff Grady Judd, “These are the types of tragedies which can be avoided.  When you are operating a motor vehicle remember you are not the only person on the road. Please pay attention to other drivers. Precious lives depend upon it.” You can read more about the crash that took place in Davenport Florida at Child Killed in 3 Vehicle Crash.