Parents Dependency on Children

The emotional loss of a child to a parent is unmeasurable.  The loss so dramatic it hurts to even contemplate the loss of a child.  When it happens, your world falls apart, it will never be the same.

In law, however, we, at fatal accidents claims solicitors have to advise grieving parents regarding all legal matters.

Naturally one would expect, that if a child lost his or her parent, there would be a “financial” loss to the child for upkeep and generally looking after the child (setting aside the emotional needs).  However, can a parent ever claim for a financial dependency on a child?  The answer is, as one would expect in the law, “it depends.”

Factors for Parent Dependency

There has to be a reasonable expectation that at the time of death of the child the parent would be financially dependent (in some way).  This financial dependency does not have to be apparent from the death of the child, it could be a future dependency provided that the evidence produced on behalf of the parent is not too speculative.   Thus in one case the death of a child who was only 4 years old did not succeed.

However some examples of cases where the Parent was able to claim a Dependency award:

  • ‘Marchioness’ disaster – the 19 year old deceased was a talented dancer and there was evidence that he would have supported his family.  See quote below from the Judge which just sets the tone of family relationships perfectly in our view.
  • Parents were infirm – here in this case it was agreed by the Judge that the deceased son would have looked after his parents.
  • Child living with parents – the deceased child would have contributed to the family household.
  • 16 Year old child not working – the parents were able to prove that the young child would have when able to work financially contributed to the household following her completing her apprenticeship.

Marchioness’ disaster – Judge’s quote from the case:

‘I can … accept from her father that Francesca was impulsive, and generous. His evidence about her willingness to work with him during her holidays makes it clear that she was prepared to relieve her parents of as much expense as she could. I therefore have little doubt that if there was real financial need which her parents had been prepared to admit to her, she would have done her best to alleviate it. I also accept that she would have been proud to have offered to her parents either by way of presents or money something substantial from her first earnings, to represent the fruits of her parent’s investment in her. If she had been at home when working in the United Kingdom, I have no doubt that she would have contributed generously to the household expenses over and above that which was necessary for her own keep. Further, her parents present financial situation is such that she may well have wished to provide from time to time some financial assistance. And as her parents grow older, I can foresee situations arising in which her financial support could have been expected. But I cannot believe that before her death they had any real expectation that she would have provided them with, in effect, a pension. I am sure that they would have wanted her to secure her own financial position, and to have provided for her family, when, as I am satisfied she would have done, she had married and had children.’

Dependant Children – Death of Parent

Under a Fatal Accident Act the death of their parent(s) following a fatal accident will usually be assessed with the surviving parent’s claim but there can be occasions where separate assessments of the child’s claim is desirable. As the fact of remarriage does not appear to be relevant consideration .

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Parents who lose an adult child in a fatal accident who has contributed to the maintenance of his parents is relatively easy to calculate especially if the contribution was for a regular sum. When calculating the multiplier, the principal factor is the expected remarriage of the child. The rationale is that on remarriage the contribution will cease or be reduced.

For an infant child, in a fatal accident case, there might be a prospective loss to found a claim for parents, the expectation of which is an inference of fact; the parents of an infant child in a fatal accident claim do have a claim for bereavement.

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As specialist fatal accident solicitors we can work for free win or lose so you have nothing to worry about. There is a limited time to make a claim so we make it easy for you to contact us. You can fill on our online form, for confidential advice.

We also specialise in fatal accident motorbike accident claim solicitors, again if you need more information please contact us.

Posted: November 13, 2013 at 4:07 pm