Can a minor file a wrongful death personal injury suit? 21 Answers as of June 08, 2015

In a case involving their parents can a minor legally file a lawsuit involving a wrongful death of an adult?

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Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
I would assume they could, but it would be a fatal mistake not to hire any attorney as it is not an easy case and a minor probably could not know what to do or afford the expense of witnesses, experts, etc.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2015
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Yes. He or she will need to have a guardian ad litem to file suit; someone who is a close relative.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/5/2015
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
No, a minor cannot act in court on his/her own. A wrongful death action can be brought by the surviving spouse, or, on behalf of the estate, by the administrator of the estate. If, for some reason, neither option is working, or if the minor believes that his/her interests are not adequately represented by the estate or by the surviving spouse, the minor can bring a law suit through a guardian. Most attorneys who practice personal injury law know how to get a guardian appointed for a minor plaintiff. The deadline for starting an action is postponed until after the plaintiff would come of age. However, waiting might be not in the plaintiff's best interests: evidence gets lost, witnesses move away or their recollection of the relevant events fades; the colder the case grows, the harder it gets to win. Besides, a minor plaintiff likely needs the compensation for the loss of the parent now, not years later. Since in a personal injury case, the client usually does not have to pay the attorney until the case is won or settled, getting a consultation with an attorney is likely to be a sensible step to take.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/5/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Yes, but the minor would need a guardian ad litem to filing the suit.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/5/2015
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
The minor would have a guardian ad litem appointed for he or she. A minor cannot be a party until turning age 18. The other parent can be the guardian or someone else on the minor's behalf. It's a easy process with a form to be filled out and signed by the guardian. If you would like assistance with this case, do not hesitate to contact our office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/5/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Yes, the estate and minor may file a wrongful death suit. The minor will have to have a guardian appointed to represent them.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
    Technically, no. But you will have a right to compensation from the wrongdoer. You or your guardian should retain an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Absolutely, except that being a minor prevents the child from actually hiring the lawyer, and so it must be done through an adult. It can either be done by the adult being appointed by the court to represent the child, or the estate of the deceased, and then the adult retains the lawyer. The court has to okay the resolution of the case, and okay any distribution of the funds, so as to protect the child and the estate from being cheated.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    Not unless minority has been legally removed by a court. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    The minor can do it through a legal guardian or guardian ad litem. It might be possible to bring an action through the Personal Representative (=Executor) of the parent's estate. If, however, the parent left a living spouse, that spouse has a prior right to bring a wrongful death action. I am sorry for your loss. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    The answer is yes. Someone will have to hire a personal injury lawyer to protect the minor's interests.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
    Yes - though it has to be done with a court appointed guardian if the parents can't sue for the minor.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Law Offices of Carl L. Brown | Carl L. Brown
    Yes, there are specific rules and procedures to allow wrongful death filings on behalf minors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    No, someone has to sue on behalf of the minor. The court can appoint a law guardian for that purpose.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C. | Russell Gregory
    Yes, if the court deems the child to have standing under the Wrongful Death Act, the child could pursue the matter (through an adult appointed by the court, of course).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I need more facts. Generally the suit would be an asset of the estate. You would be a claimant. If you are in Michigan you are welcome to call Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC with details and to potentially engage the firm.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    in Connecticut a wrongful death claim can only be filed by the estate of the adult who died
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    A guardian on behalf of infant would bring lawsuit for estate
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    The "estate" through the Personal Representative is who can file a Wrongful Death case on behalf of the decedent.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
    Yes, the minor can bring in the lawsuit with a guardian appointed either by the court or an adult than can act as the guardian or can petition to the court for emancipation( depending on age of the minor). I suggest you hire a lawyer with experience in personal injury /wrongful death cases
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/5/2015
    Law Offices of Robert Burns
    Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
    Yes, but only via a guardian ad litem or representative of the decedent's estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/5/2015
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