Can a Parent Sue for Wrongful Death?

Personal Injury Lawyer

No one wants to experience the loss of a child through any means, particularly not from intentional or negligent acts. Parents undergo a devastating experience after the loss of a child. Unfortunately, it does happen. Through car accidents, medical malpractice or acts of violence, wrongful death may occur. If this happened to you, you may not know what to do next. You know that it was negligent and that you have a wrongful death case, but as the parent, are you allowed to file suit? The answer may be more complicated than you expect.

Can a Parent File Suit?

The answer will vary from state to state. Every state has its own laws dictating who can sue for wrongful death. In general, the benefit to sue is often based on the relationship that you have to the deceased person. Generally, wrongful death suits are enacted by the widow, widower or the child of the deceased. Now, if your child didn’t have these beneficiaries, then it’s up to close family to file a suit. Parents of unmarried children can often file suit in many different states. It’s important to look up the specifics of the law that you’re interested in. Of course, in terms of minor children, the parents have the right to file suit for wrongful death.

Exceptions to Married Children

In the majority of cases, you cannot file suit if your child is married. It is up to the widow or widower to claim wrongful death. There can be exceptions to this rule, however. If you believe that your child was victim of a wrongful death and the spouse does not file a claim, you may be able to. The laws are complex and you may want to ask a wrongful death lawyer for advice.

When it comes to wrongful death suits, no one wants to have to be in the situation to need to file one. However, when they do come up, there’s always a question of who is able to. When it comes down to it, family members get first priority. In rare instances, distant relatives may be allowed to file a suit. However, in most cases, it is someone who is a beneficiary of the person who died. This doesn’t mean that parents cannot file a claim, however. In fact, when it comes to unmarried children, often the parents are the ones who can sue for wrongful death. If you’re in the process of filing a claim, contact a wrongful death lawyer today to find out your options.

Resource: Personal Injury Lawyer Harrisonburg, VA, MartinWren, P.C.

Close Menu