Losing a loved one is unquestionably one of the most difficult challenges a family can face. When that death is the result of the negligence or misconduct of someone else, it can be even more difficult. One of the worst scenarios, though, is losing a child. The surviving family of someone who has died, as the result of a personal injury caused by someone else, has the legal right to file a lawsuit for “wrongful death.” Wrongful death claims involving toddlers are particularly difficult to handle, but an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you through this challenging situation, so that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
What is a wrongful death claim?
The legal term “”wrongful death”” refers to a situation where someone dies as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another. Each state has enacted its own laws governing wrongful death claims. The dependents or beneficiaries of the person who was killed may be entitled to monetary compensation for that person’s death.
Wrongful death claims against schools and daycare centers
Possibly the most common situation where a wrongful death claim for the death of a toddler or small child will arise is against a school or day care facility. When a child’s death occurs on the premises of a school or daycare, the question of liability becomes an issue. For example, a few years ago, a Montessori school in California was sued for the death of a 3-year-old who choked to death on a push pin. The court found in that case that the school should have prevented the toddler’s death by providing appropriate supervision and safety measures.
Defective product claims involving the death of toddlers
While parents are ultimately responsible for providing safety and supervision of toddlers in the home, there may be situations where a defective or malfunctioning toy, car seat, or other product causes the death of a child. For instance, defective toys, flammable clothing, and defective products meant for use with children are common sources of injury. Toy defects can include choking hazards and toxic chemicals. Other children’s products that can be unsafe if defectively manufactured include bathtubs, rockers, child swings, and bicycles.
Deadlines for filing wrongful death claims
Like all other legal claims, there is a time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Each state establishes its own time limits, called the “statute of limitations,” for bringing wrongful death claims. In both Arkansas and Missouri the statute of limitations for a wrongful death action is three (3) years. Because wrongful death actions are often more complicated than basic personal injury cases, and often result in large damage awards, it is wise to consult with a wrongful death attorney to determine whether you have a claim. If you have unexpectedly lost a toddler, call the Cottrell Law Office at 888-612-0583.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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