When Florida residents file a wrongful death suit following the death of a loved one, it may seem impossible to put a monetary value on that person's life. However, that's what such a suit ultimately asks a judge and/or jury to do. It's part of the job of personal injury attorneys to help their clients to determine how much compensation to seek, using a number of factors, such as the person's earning potential.
It's understandable that the earning potential of an elderly person would generally be lower than that of someone decades younger. Estimating the earning potential of someone who has finished his or her education and is already working is relatively simple. However, when a child dies, it's virtually impossible to assess that child's earning potential over a lifetime.
Therefore, in wrongful death suits involving children, the damage awards given by juries and judges are usually smaller than those for adults. It's simply too hard to speculate on how much, if anything, that child could have eventually contributed to the support of parents or others who are filing the wrongful death suit.
Of course, there are certainly other factors that courts can consider when determining the amount of damages to award in a wrongful death suit involving a child. The relationship between the plaintiffs and the child can be an important factor in determining damages. The child's health, life expectancy and other things can factor in as well.
While the loss of a child cannot truly be measured in dollars, parents still have every right to seek compensation for the death of a child that was the fault of someone else. Miami personal injury attorneys can help families who have lost a child through wrongful death hold those responsible financially accountable.
Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Cases: Children and the Elderly," accessed Nov. 20, 2015