Can Parents Sue for Wrongful Death?

Many parents say that there is nothing worse than the loss of a child. If you lose a child due to negligence or malpractice, you may be considering a wrongful death suit. One thing that many parents ask is if they can even file a wrongful death suit for their child. The answer is more complicated than a yes or a no. Here is what you need to know.

Is the Child a Minor?

As the parent to a minor child, you do have rights to sue in the case of wrongful death. Often, the damages you recover include medical and funeral expenses, economic losses and compensation for the loss of companionship of a child. Now, some qualifications follow:

  • You have to establish parentage
  • You have to regularly contribute to the support of the child
  • You have to be dependent on the child for support

If you’re a divorced parent, you can still file a lawsuit. In fact, many divorced parents file separate lawsuits when it comes to the loss of a child. Keep in mind that you do have to be providing support for the child before his or her death to be included in a wrongful death suit.

Are Adult Children Excluded?

The question of adult children and wrongful death suits becomes a little more complicated. Every state has its own set of laws regarding who can file for a wrongful death. However, what many agree on is the stipulations that have to be met for a parent to file a suit for the wrongful death of an adult child. Generally, they have to meet one of the following rules, if not more than one:

  • The child had no spouse
  • The child had no children or step-children
  • The parents are dependent on the child

If you are financially dependent on your adult child, then you have the strongest case for a wrongful death suit. Of course, it all heavily depends on the nature of the case and your relationship to the child before his or her death.

Nothing replaces the loss of a child. However, in some instances, you may at least be able to recover some damages in the case of a wrongful death. This area of law tends to be on the more complex side. Every situation is different. Where one parent may sue for damages, another may have less of a case or be able to sue on different grounds. For an analysis of your case, you should contact a wrongful death lawyer today!


Source: Wrongful Death Attorney Phoenix, AZ, Rispoli Law

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