Can the Parent (Mother / Father) of a Child Born Out of Wedlock (Illegitimate) Child Bring a Lawsuit for the Florida Wrongful Death of a Child?


In Florida and other states, parents lose a child due to the wrongful or negligent acts of another person or business. The Florida Wrongful Death of a child is a tragedy that a parent and family never recover from. A parent can never be prepared for the untimely death of a child from an automobile accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, medical malpractice, or another incident. A Florida wrongful death attorney who handled child injury death matters can assist a parent through the complicated process of a Florida Wrongful death case.

A biological parent has rights to pursue damages as the result of the wrongful death of a child in the State of Florida. In some instances, the paternity or parenthood of a child had not been established prior to the death of the child. A formal marriage between the parents at the time of birth should not be and is not the legal prerequisite to bringing a wrongful death case when a child dies in the State of Florida.

In Wilcox vs. Jones – 346 So.2d 1037 (Fla. App. 1977), the issue presented before the Florida Appellate Court was whether a father (parent) of an illegitimate child may recover for the wrongful death of the illegitimate child. The Florida Court noted that a prior decision in Florida recognized the right of a mother of an illegitimate child to recover wrongful death damages for a child. The rights of the mother were clearly supported by Florida law. The Florida court noted that the natural father (biological father) is not less a parent than the natural mother (biological mother). Furthermore, it would be a violation of the equal protection clause of the State of Florida Constitution and the United States Constitution to recognize the parents differently.

The loss of a child due to a tragic but preventable incident is an event that is compensable in the State of Florida pursuant to Chapter 768 – Florida’s Wrongful Death Act. Damages in the form of loss of support and services as well as pain and suffering type of damages can be pursued through the services and actions of a Florida personal injury lawyer.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Medical Treatment / Medical Care, Damages / Compensation, and other topics. See The ABCs of Child Injury.

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