Can a Minor File a Wrongful Death Claim After Losing a Parent?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Can a Minor File a Wrongful Death Claim After Losing a Parent? 

When an individual dies in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, that individual’s loved ones may recover monetary compensation for the damages they suffer as a result of the death, such as the loss of the victim’s financial support and the victim’s companionship.

Under Florida law, a victim’s children can recover this compensation. Often, they are the ones who suffer the most from a victim’s death. If a child is under 18, he or she cannot file a wrongful death claim, but can benefit from one filed by an adult claimant.

Minors Cannot File Legal Claims

Minors cannot file wrongful death claims because legally, they cannot file any type of claim. When the minor is the child of the victim and his or her surviving spouse, the surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for the child’s damages alongside his or her own damages.

A Minor can Receive Compensation for Damages Through a Wrongful Death Claim

Certain damages are awarded to the victim’s estate, rather than directly to the victim’s loved ones. These damages include the victim’s lost earnings, the medical and funeral expenses paid by the estate, and the victim’s lost “net accumulations,” the income and assets he or she would reasonably be expected to have obtained if he or she had lived.

After this compensation is awarded to the estate, the estate is subject to probate. Through probate, assets are passed to the victim’s beneficiaries. The court may create a conservatorship to handle the minor’s assets until he or she comes of age.

A personal representative of the estate may file a wrongful death claim. If the victim did not designate one, the court may appoint one. When this party is not the victim’s spouse or if the victim was not married to the child’s other parent, the personal representative may be tasked with filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim’s minor child.

Work with Draper Law Office to Pursue Compensation for your Wrongful Death Damages

If you lost a spouse or your child lost his or her other parent in an accident, it is your job as the parent to seek compensation for your child’s damages on his or her behalf. Speak with one of the experienced wrongful death lawyers at Draper Law Office to determine the right course of action for your case, which could be you filing a wrongful death claim or remaining in contact with the executor of the victim’s estate to ensure that your child receives his or her share of the damages awarded to the estate. Call us at (866) 767-4711 today or visit our website to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with our firm.


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