The Rights of a Minor: Can They File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?

In the state of California, a person can file a wrongful death suit if a loved one has died as the result of another entity acting recklessly or negligently. However, there are many rules regarding who can file. Does this include the child of a victim? Can the child still be underage and file a wrongful death lawsuit? Keep reading to get the facts, and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation.

Children Do Have the Right to Sue for Wrongful Death

In order to sue for wrongful death, you must have a specific type of relationship with the deceased. For example, only spouses, legal domestic partners, children, and certain other people who depended on the deceased can file this type of wrongful death lawsuit. As it turns out, some minors, even if not the biological child of the victim, can still file this type of case.

A Wrongful Death Case Seeks Damages for Many Different Things

When a survivor brings a wrongful death claim against someone, they can include many things in their settlement request. This includes compensation for financial support, emotional support, love, quality of life, lost wages, lost income, medical costs, lifestyle adjustments, missed care, and much more.

More Specifics About Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim

With the help of a personal injury attorney, a spouse, domestic partner, biological child, and stepchild of the victim can file. If a minor was living with the victim for at least 180 days before their death, and the child received at last half of their financial support from the decedent, then the child can be eligible to file for wrongful death.

In the event that there is no child, spouse, or domestic partner to survive the deceased, then their legal heir can file a wrongful death claim. This could be anyone that the law determines is the legal heir or that the deceased included as heir in their Last Will & Testament.

The Process of Filing a Wrongful Death Claim as a Child

If a minor loses their only surviving parent or loses both parents, then the first step is for the court to determine guardianship. If the parent(s) provided information on who should be the guardian, then the court will need to approve it. If the parent did not qualify anyone as a guardian, then the court will determine who the guardian should be.

That guardian is the person that can act as a representative of the child to file the wrongful death action on their behalf. If you are the guardian of a child who has lost their parent(s) due to an accident that someone else caused, then you might have a case. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now for a free legal consultation.