Kentucky Law Supports Child’s Rights To Claim Damages In Wrongful Death of Parent
In 1997, the Kentucky Supreme Court created a claim for children’s loss of consortium resulting from the wrongful death of a parent (GIULIANI v. GUILER, 951 S.W.2d.318 (Ky. 1997)). Cases like these involve a child recovering damages because of loss of love, affection, guidance, care, comfort and protection, and financial support from a parent. This type of claim can be served independently of a wrongful death claim.
WATCH Attorney Chris Rhoads discusses the legal rights a minor child can pursue under Kentucky law after losing one or both parents to a wrongful death accident, also known as “loss of parental consortium.”
Understanding Loss of Parental Consortium
Kentucky children are able to bring a loss of consortium claim to recover from the wrongdoer whose negligent acts have caused the wrongful death of a parent/s. The courts do not recognize a minor child’s loss of parental consortium claim if his or her parent is only severely injured. The commonwealth does however recognize parental loss of consortium resulting from wrongful death of a minor child.
Different than loss of parental consortium, spouses have loss of consortium rights when their husband or wife, or is injured in a serious accident, OR involved in a case of wrongful death or medical malpractice.
Nearly all loss of consortium claims can be difficult to calculate unlike hospital bills or loss of wages. As the amount of damages awarded for loss of consortium is determined on a case-by-case basis, an experienced wrongful death lawyer can provide a better idea of what to expect.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death occurs in a variety of contexts, but motor vehicle accidents and medical malpractice are by far the most common incidents of negligence causing death.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents cause nearly 700 deaths a year in Kentucky, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. Drivers have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road, but unfortunately, thousands of accidents each year are caused by speeding, driving while under the influence, distracted driving, drowsy driving, and driving unsafely for conditions.
- Medical Malpractice is responsible for 90,000 deaths a year in the United States. These unnecessary deaths can be caused by negligent acts during surgery, failure to properly diagnose a patient early enough to treat them successfully, drug or medication mix-ups, and many other medical errors committed by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.
Supporting Your Family
We understand how many lives can be changed because of a death, especially when it involves losing a parent. The lawyers at Rhoads & Rhoads want to help the hundreds of Kentucky children that are impacted by a parent’s wrongful death recover and make family life a little bit easier. We have the resources and relationships to make sure your family is compensated for your loss and treated fairly. We offer free consultations, and all cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. Call us at 888-709-9329 or contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment.
One of the real tragedies that we see in our practice is when a child has lost their parent, whether it’s their mother or their father who have died in a car crash or any other type of incident. The child is left without a parent.
If the child is under the age of 18, under Kentucky law that child has a right to pursue a claim for the loss of emotional support and parental consortium for losing that parent. And that is in addition to the financial damages that the child and the family has incurred from the loss of one of their parents.
So Kentucky law allows us to pursue a claim completely and separately from the wrongful death claim – individually for the child to make sure the child is taken care of in addition to the rest of the family.
Those claims are very important and Kentucky law does recognize them. And we have found that juries and insurance companies respond very well when those claims are presented properly.